Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Laws poor substitute for morality

Laws poor substitute for morality

(My Clovis News Journal column for October 11, 2013.  Another "Huh?" headline from CNJ)

If you've been around computers much you know they tend to get slower over time as more junk builds up inside their programming, and as more processes get fouled. Some of this is due to spyware, malware, and viruses created to do you harm, and some is simply little glitches that tend to reproduce and spread.

Any complex system does the same sort of thing as time goes by.

Sure, you can keep applying patches, but the only solution is to wipe everything clean and start from scratch with a blank slate- or as blank as possible.

Such is the state of the body of laws in America. It's time to start over with a blank slate.

Even if you wipe the legislative slate clean, it will still be wrong to use force against anyone who isn't attacking someone else or stealing or damaging private property.

Laws against things that are truly wrong don't need to be imposed or enforced. Decent people will always recognize that murder is wrong, for example. It doesn't take a law to make it wrong, nor does it take a law to make it right to prevent a murder from happening or to permit you to seek justice for a murder.

That part is built into reality- it doesn't change, whether you write laws in that regard or not. Everything else needs to be carefully evaluated before being installed again.

Once the laws have been wiped away, and before imposing one to deal with some problem, look at history to see if previous legal attempts to address that issue fixed the problem, failed to fix it, or actually made it worse.

"Laws", against anything other than aggression or property rights violations, are harmful to the fabric of society. That's because to enforce them you must first violate life, liberty, or property.

The vast majority of laws are written as a patch- an attempt to fix a problem created by earlier laws. This just makes more problems that will need to be fixed later. This isn't a solution. Stop patching the flawed and broken code; that only makes things more twisted and problematic. Scrap it instead.

Install the recovery disc and start clean, and before enacting any law- even one that has a long history of being "common sense"- evaluate that law and see if it worked as advertised, or if its effects were misguided. Leave all your emotional baggage behind for this task.

And remember: If you need a law to make you do the right thing, you're already wrong.


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