Saturday, January 26, 2008

Law

Is there a verifiable set of moral laws? Is there a set of laws that is naturally just and pure of intention? If this set of laws does exist where is it?

Some would offer the Christian Bible (which version I don’t know), the Muslim Quran, of the Jewish Torah as a source of moral and just laws. This is not supported by fact. “Thou shall not kill.” This law or commandment is often quoted and often broken. From the basis of that law some states of the United States execute people. If thou shall not kill is a solid law then we cannot execute. (I am just using this as an example – don’t go off the deep end and start discussing translation issues – focus people).

Perhaps we can reduce the entire corpus of law to restrictions on the use of force? Simply put, initiation of force is illegal. If one initiates force then the injured parties are within their rights to respond with force.

Does this sum up the entire purpose of moral and just law?

Brandt

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Moral and just law is like the old grade school teaching of mixing oil and water. They just don't go together (and no one try to be a smart ass talking about removing dissolved gas from water to make them mix).

John Galt said...

Yikes, that is gloomy. Sadly I am inclined to agree with you to an extent. Our current theory of law places government in the place of legitimized use of force against the governed.

I recently read a paper on praxeology that stated that government is more interested in punishing those that break the law than they are actual criminals. This is a bit out of context as it was a long paper. Regardless, we come back to the subject of law and justice.

Has the law become more important than the good of the citizenry? If so it may be best for us to go back to the drawing board and re-work our code of law (Constitutional and statutory). We may also want to take a look at "common law" and remove the courts ability to make law by precedent.

Just a thought running around in my head. We may have too many laws in this country. We may have so many that they no longer serve the purpose of law. In other words, we have law for the sake of law. It seems clear to me that law was developed to ensure and protect the rights of the citizens. Do our laws actually do that now or have they become an anchor on the necks of good people?

Brandt

Howard Roark said...

Remove the courts ability to make precedent? Why would you want to do that? How do you think law grows and improves to "ensure and protect the rights of citizens" (which some people would argue isn't the purpose of law anyway. They would argue the purpose of law is to maintain the peace, which may have nothing to do with protecting citizens' rights)? And how do you suppose all those infractions upon citizens' rights were challenged to begin with? Through Common Law precedent, that's how. To totally get rid of Common Law would be disastrous. Common Law is what keeps law human. If the human aspect errs, well then, we can refer to Constitutional Law, Statutory Law, or the Model Penal Code (all of which had common law as some form of foundation, by the way). But to get rid of Common Law, AKA the courts ability to set precedent, would stagnate justice.