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Not Prevously discussed in this thread

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Tuesday, 4 March 2014, at 7:23 p.m.

In Response To: Respect? (phil simborg)

One of the major arguments some people make in favor of NLM is : "Why the hell should I help my opponent if he makes a dumb mistake?"

Well, we have already discussed how that makes the game a meaner game, how that leads to ethical issues about whether or not we should take a win because he misread the dice or put the wrong checker on the bar, and whether or not that is the kind of game we want to have. But I have another answer to this point.

If your opponent accidentally has the wrong score and tells you that you are winning by 3 points instead of 2, why should you correct that?

If your opponent accidentally leaves his clock running during a break, why should you correct that?

We correct those because we are fair, honest people who don't want to win a game that way, and we don't want backgammon to be played that way.

And that is why we don't want to take advantage of someone who accidentally picked up the wrong checker, or misread the dice, or didn't realize it was his turn to roll and hit the clock, or accidentally picked up a die before his turn was over, etc. etc.

Why do golfers penalize themselves if they ground their club or accidentally move the ball? Even when no one is looking? Because it is a gentleman's game and it is a game played without an official standing by at all times to make those calls. Just like Backgammon should be. A gentleman's game.

There is no need for us to have moral problems about whether to live and die by the rules or play like the game should be played. Make the rules reflect how the game should be played.

(For those of you who say, "I don't care what the rules are, I am going to be ethical," while I understand your point of view, but if you bend the rules or don't apply them as they are intended you are, in that way, not being ethical either, and you run the risk of going down a very slippery slop to determine where to draw the line on which rules should be bent or ignored and which ones should not. I don't want to play in a game that gives me those challenges, and right now, I am forced to play in that game because my other choice is not to play. But if we can change this rule, and revise and rewrite a few others that are poorly written, I believe we will have rules that reflect the game most of us want to play and embrace.)

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