How would the community be viewed by a government?
Which, to clarify means as a charity, foundation, enterprise, a Higher Education Corporation etc. etc.
Due to the intricate issues of law dependent on the country that the community resides this is not easy to answer. For example how would Islamic laws on finance affect savings for the community, how would a co-operative status in France adjust the way money is stored or given to individuals. What about healthcare, company obligations to pensions?
This is all further compounded by the community working for charities, taking money and “paying” members, generating “paid-for” services, ultimately then each community must chose the most appropriate available status based on what is available in the host country.
Ideally, the community shouldn’t be treated in a special way and should grow on its own merits, it should be an example of a functional independent society that provides a valuable service to the local community, nation, world and humanity without some hidden agenda and without proselytizing.
it should ask for favoritism either but rise or fall on its own merits.
How should rules be decided on?
This has been discussed in part in e76 and normally after a founding document (constitution) being created by a random community of full time community members (advocates). Rules in such a document should be considered rules of conduct for the community itelf and should not clash or supersede with existing civil laws of the host country has established.
Rule changes should only occur when decided by a 2/3 majority and should be validated to ensure that they don’t violate civil law or the fundamental ethics of the community (nor work at odds with its purpose).
** Problems could arise where the host country has rules that in fact impinge on the moral core of rules and roles within the community. If homosexuality for example banned by the host country but is acceptable within the community, this could cause intense conflict.
On the previous post 99 I have had a few extra thoughts
There are times in extreme situations when this [following the laws of the host country] may cause a conflict of interest, take for example, a woman who was beheaded for practising witchcraft in Saudi Arabia, this followed the laws of the nation, and as such quite rightly caused international condemnation. How can one blithely say “follow the host countries rules without question”.
Similarly, what to do if a community member is called out as being a witch or sentenced in such a way? Or if a corrupt government or Nazi like dictatorship demands the community to obey oppressive, unethical rules.
In fact it may not even need to be that extreme what if a person arrives at the door begging for sanctuary because they are to be married against their will, or a minor who is experiencing abuse, an outspoken reporter who has been found to spread information about his corrupt government.
It would be simple to say; this is unlikely, this probably won’t occur but that would shy away from the simple question.
I am writing Exploration II which covers more of these moral ambiguities and questions of conflicts of state corruption vs. community ethics. Suffice to say I realise this is a complex issue and Exploration I is only intended as an initial foray into the concept of the community. It was never designed to cover every detail.
Why have punishments in the community?
There are two fundamental methods of punishment; personal remorse or guilt for your actions and socially or legally imposed punishments.
It is firstly important to clarify that if any civil law is broken it is up to the external authorities to decide the severity of the punishment according to the laws of the nation the community resides in [note: This means irrelevant of the moral codes of the community if someone brakes the law of the nation that the community is operating in they are charged and sentenced by the authorities in that nation. There should be no excuses and all laws of a host nation should be upheld]. This is right, proper and should not be disregarded or lashed out against, even if the civil law seems incorrect or archaic.
If there is a breakdown of order in the community that is not relevant to civil law, like a member not working or causing agitation, regularly causing distress etc. The range of punishments would flow from isolation -> exile. The reason should be clear ‘ good behaviour should be encouraged and rewarded while negative or destructive behaviour should be discouraged and mitigated.
As physical punishment has been regularly shown to be notoriously bad at being an effective system to change habits, social isolation and reflection seems a more appropriate method. Humans without training find social interactions and stimulus pretty necessary. Social isolation or enforced reflection on difficult topics should be sparingly dispensed to transgressors, certainly an authority figure dealing out the punishment should be in a group of selected officials who all agree on what is being done.
The council in charge of the rules and assessment of peers who might be removed from community permanently will either
a) need to be carefully decided on by a vote from the community or,
b) the matter must be voted on by the entire community in an open dialogue
As removing someone from the community permanently is the most decisive judgement the community can deliver.