Utah Politics/Region

Art Pollard pollarda at lextek.com
Thu Feb 3 21:45:14 MST 2005


At 04:23 PM 2/3/2005, you wrote:
>Barry Roberts:
> >The main point is, why do you get to enforce your personal morality with
>laws?
>um...the short answer is "cuz that's how our socially based legislative
>process works."

Does that make the laws just? No. Just because there is a process does not 
make it fair or just.  Iraq had a process up until about March 23rd 
2002.  If you questioned anything, they cut your hands off, your tongue 
out, or tortured your family -- if you were lucky.  That is how their 
socially based legislative process worked.

>TuxGirl:
>"...that doesn't give us the right to impose our beliefs on others who come
>here..."
>
>ah - actually, it does - at least legislatively.

Just because we "can" do something does not give us the right to do 
so.   God gave us:

1) Life
2) Liberty
3) Property
4) The right to defend our life, liberty and property.

Law exists when we assign that right to a third party.  In this way we do 
not have to spend our time and efforts each and every day defending our 
life liberty and property from those who may wish to take it away.  We have 
in effect created law so that specialists (policemen, county DA, AG, etc.) 
can defend us allowing us to go on with our lives.

However, just because we have created law to defend life liberty and 
property does not mean that law can not be used unjustly.  Law can also be 
used to steal life, liberty, and property unjustly.

If I were to get together with some of my friends and pass a law in Utah 
County saying: "Each citizen named Josh Coats that wants to use Linux as an 
OS must apply for a license from the county and will be taxed 67% of their 
income to the county" it would not be just -- just because the law is on 
the books and is enforceable.

If there is something that is immoral and is unjust if you were to pass a 
law requiring it, the actions would not automatically become just and 
moral.  In the movie BraveHeart, you may recall the laws that were on the 
books that allowed the noble to claim the right of "Prima Nocte" or "First 
Night" with a bride.  Those were legitimate laws on the books.  They were 
not right nor moral and yet their society lived under them.  They were 
legitimate laws enforceable by law and through force if they were not obeyed.

Just because you can accomplish something through law does not make it any 
more right.  A good rule of thumb is that if you can not accomplish 
something by yourself morally, it is not just nor moral for you to pass a 
law to accomplish the same thing.  If I like your car and take it, it is 
called stealing.  If I like your car, get together with some friends pass a 
law and impound it for no other reason than we want it, it is still stealing.

>just want to refer back to my "sociology 101" reply to this thread.
>for those of you who missed it, it goes like this:
>
>people have morals.
>people make laws.
>people make laws based on their morals.

Well, according to our Consitution and the Declaration of Independance,

>so, any kind of statement like this:
>
>"hey, what gives all you [insert social/religious/philsophical group here]
>the right to make laws just because you happen to believe in [insert moral
>code here] and the rest of us don't??"
>
>..is a silly statement.  i trust that it's silliness is self evident.  in
>case it's not, play the 'fill in the blank' game with any group or law you
>can think of, and you'll figure it out.  try "aztecs" and "human sacrifice"
>versus "christians" and "murder".  you get the picture.

A just system of laws should be able to remain the same no matter who is in 
power.  The citizenry of Utah, New York, Massachusetts, the Taliban, or the 
Khmer Rouge.  As long as the citizenry respects the laws and the laws do 
not seek to curtail people's freedom and liberty, all these groups can 
exist under the same set of laws.  The problem becomes when these groups 
try to corrupt law in order to use it to take away anothers life, liberty, 
or property.

>if you don't like the laws the the local/global dominant social group
>legislates, then you can change them through the legislative process, or you
>can go somewhere else.  it's that simple.

Benjamin Franklin said :

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. 
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!

 From your statement, I can assume that you do not mind being the lamb.

>different people, different morals, different laws.
>if you are part of a moral minority in your community and are outraged at
>the legislative influence of the majority, get used to it - it's the same
>everywhere.

Just because it is the same everywhere does not make it right.  If the 
preponderance of the civilization were involved in ritual child murder (to 
use an extreme example), the laws that permitted such actions would not be 
just or moral nor should they be obeyed.  Just because the majority is 
involved does not mean that the laws that permit it should exist.  (BTW: 
The example I chose is not that extreme.  The Greeks and Romans on which 
our civilization and legal system is based both "exposed" their children to 
wild animals and abandoned them in the wilderness if they were not wanted 
-- this is the basis for the story of Oedipus.)

So, should law not protect in the words of Benjamin Franklin the "lamb" ?

And again I ask : You do not mind being the lamb?

-Art




-- 
Art Pollard
http://www.lextek.com/
Suppliers of High Performance Text Retrieval Engines.



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