Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Philosophy or essence of Law

(The effects of good laws may be enough to change them, even if they're rooted in justice. But what do we do when even those new practical laws become abused or create new effects that give us unforeseen problems?)

I first must pose a situation to define the context of the discussion of law and hopefully make our discussion a bit more practical and down to earth.

A war criminal known for genocide has come to speak at your University. Your friends have decided to go hear him speak and you decide to come along. Unbeknownst (Unknown) to you, they and a group of others are planning to interrupt his speech repeatedly until he stops speaking or they are all taken away.

The speech begins and one by one the chants and screams start. Warnings are issued and the chancellor of the University himself stands to quiet the interruptions. All actions are in vain. Finally police mounted at the entrances start escorting your friends out one by one.

You think in all this commotion, if we should uphold free speech for war criminals and at what point can we silence an individual.


The roots of the argument

A similar situation occurred to me and the first thought that came to my mind was that free speech must be upheld. But then I asked myself why I felt that.

My answer was simple:

"If we deny the right of speech to one person, even justifiably, such a law could be used unjustly to silence us. So to protect us all we exclaim Free speech."

But do you what I did there? I reasoned not on the law itself but it's application. I reasoned unjustly corrupting the application of a good law that might silence evil people who spread discord in the land simply because it's application might be abused.

So that brings up another question.

Should good laws be changed for fear of their application's unjust misuse?

Which poses another question.

Should laws be made on their practicality of application, as it applies to the real world rather than the essence of good and evil?



Suddenly I was in murky territory. I was using possible applications or situations of corruptions to make laws. I had forgotten the essence of law itself, which is in my humble opinion, to preserve Good and expel evil for the sake of the citizens of a country, thereby allowing each of them to live safely and justly.


Back to the example

So some would argue that a war criminal guilty of killing many innocent adults and children does not deserve the right to speak, let alone even live. Most could argue that sincerely I feel.

But most don't argue that simply because they fear for their own right. They fear that a tyrant would abuse and use wide sweeping interpretations of this law to create their own agenda and unjustly silence his opponents.

So I ask myself, Who is correct? How should laws be written? Who's future possible problems with applications of laws should we trust? Do laws have any essence in good and evil whatsoever? Can those laws built on practicality too be abused?

To prove that a law based on the practicality of it's application can be abused and misused, would bring us back to our original problem and now we'd be without the essence of Good and evil.


Arguments of practicality

The drug war as it's called in America is a very good example of this practicality argument. Some say drugs practically can never be removed from society and are the cause of much strife in the land because of their funding of organized crime.

I tend to agree with that position however controversial it may be. I prefer a non organized syndicate any day, over a few thousand more deaths by people who sadly used a substance they shouldn't have. I only make such a distinction, however tough it may be, because I feel the organized crime syndicate would murder equal if not more numbers of people than would members of society whom legally bought and ruined their lives on heroin for instance.

So look what i have done. I have taken away the essence of good and evil in a law, in this case preserving human life and rejection these evil drugs, so that I may make a more practical law that would destroy a good number of organized gangs.

Is the creation of these organized gangs an unforeseen effect of creating laws based on good and evil?



So how can this be reconciled? Am I a walking contradiction? How can the canvas be white and not white at the same time?

If i define something i cannot undefine it at the same time.

Should laws be based on their application, opening a myriad of problems associated with who decides and who is more correct about their future implications; or should they go back to their roots of justice/injustice, good and evil?

Sometimes it's better to pose the question, and contemplate on the answer, rather than grab in the dark for false hope.

In this case I won't grab for the answer, but search for what may be an unending quest for the essence of law.

I will lay one rule down though and that's that the ends will never justify the means and I refuse to use that logic to take a person's right away for a prophecy that may or may not come to fruition.

That is a road filled with death, destruction, evil, corruption, and injustice; something the law can never stand for.

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