Nonetheless, I honestly think that this part of the debate is quite pointless and contingent on so many factors that it's not worthwhile to speak philosophically about it. The possible effects of extra-legal punishments on a citizen's inclination to obey the law depends on the kind of wicked regime in question, its set-up, the degree of its wickedness; it also depends on the individual citizen's reasoning process, his motivations, what he personally feels he has to lose if he obeys the laws of a wicked regime or not. It is essentially an empirical question. Also, both philosophers do not seem to be arguing from the same baseline. To me, both the regimes they describe are plausible, and so the consequences that flow from these regimes are also plausible - and so this discussion says nothing about whether there is an internal morality to the rule of law, or whether there is a necessary connection between law and morality. I'm also not sure if one can infer anything about the latter question by observing whether a wicked regime adheres to the rule of law. It could be that a wicked regime enacts evil laws that they adhere to, but it doesn't mean that the evil laws are not evil. But of course, this is an obvious objection which I'm sure Kramer has responded to already. I didn't read the first two instalments of the debate, so I don't know what's been said.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the fifth instalment (I'm not around when they discuss the fourth). This debate is quite entertaining because both men are quite unapologetic about using ad hominem attacks against the other, and the animosity on print is also present in real life. It is a rather sad state of affairs because Kramer was Simmonds' PhD student. Nevertheless, the entertainment value is real. Simmonds' article in the fifth instalment is titled 'Kramer's High Noon', which starts off thus: 'Hello? Is anybody there?' Like Visa said, I've never read an academic article that opens like that.
After the discussion, Raffael, Visa, Josh and I had an early dinner at Las Iguanas. I liked the mushroom fajita and the cocktail I chose for Josh and me (Jaguar Milk, consisting of milk, cream, chocolate liquer and something else - delicious) but the combination of everything made my stomach feel queasy. I had a mint tea while sitting in the Punter with Dominic which made me feel better, and so I got myself a glass of wine. I came back and released the toxins from my system (if you know what I mean) and I feel normal again now.
Today was a fruitful day. I'm sick of my doing so little on a day-to-day basis though. These days, I get up at 10.30 and watch an episode of Battlestar Galactica while having breakfast, then usually go to the gym, then cook lunch which takes about 45 minutes, then have lunch in front of another BSG episode, then I don't even know what I do after that. Tomorrow, I'll have breakfast at Fitzbillies and go to the faculty to do some reading. I feel useless and unmotivated, and I want to turn this around because I am tired of the loss of confidence, the bad mood, the angst.
Dominic and I are going to Prague this Saturday for four days. I'm so excited! It will be amazing.