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Timothy C. May writes
> James Donald writes:
> > Illegal betting is merely illegal.  Murder is also immoral.  
> > 
> > This really does make a difference to reputations.
> I'm not persuaded. Reputation is not having a nice feeling, it is
> expecting that an agent will act as he is expected to act (not an
> exact definition).
> ....
> Carlos the Jackal may or may not have deserved his reputation, but it
> was his reputation to his potential employers that mattered, not our
> moral judgments about the bombs he planted or the planes he hijacked.

Carlos claimed to be a political terrorist, not a simple mercenary -
to be motivated by moral considerations.  This claim was probably
a simple lie, but true or false, if he had claimed to be a simple
hitman for hire, he would have been out of business fast.

Large scale, well organized illegal gambling does exist, and
operates smoothly on a basis of trust.

No large scale murder for hire organizations exist, and such
operations as do exist operate very erraticly because of
extreme distrust and treachery.

Morality is more than just game theory.  It is game theory plus
our methods for categorizing acts in terms that we can apply
game theory to.

Honoring an illegal bet has much in common with speaking the
truth, paying ones debts, and honoring a contract.  

Honoring a murder for hire contract, whether by the murderer
or the payer, has little in common with these things.

We have the right to defend ourselves and our
property, because of the kind of animals that we              James A. Donald
are.  True law derives from this right, not from
the arbitrary power of the omnipotent state.                [email protected]