Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Laws do not determine right and wrong

Laws do not determine right and wrong

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 5, 2013)

Should "wrong" be illegal? Telling lies is generally acknowledged to be wrong, so should it be illegal to tell your wife she doesn't look fat in that dress when she does? Should it be illegal to tell kids Santa Claus visits them?

When you criminalize everything you make it all subject to ridicule and increase the likelihood that your "laws" will be ignored.

When you do something wrong, there are often automatic consequences. No law or enforcement is necessary. If there are no consequences, then normally that means no one was harmed by your actions. That, or you are well-connected with those in power.

Should things that aren't even wrong, but are criminalized due to some people believing you are hurting yourself by engaging in them, be illegal?

Is not wearing a seat belt wrong? Of course not. It is certainly illegal. Just like driving without a "license" or going one mile-per-hour over some arbitrary speed limit.

Having and using marijuana isn't wrong, yet look how many lives have been destroyed on the altar of The War on Politically Incorrect Drugs for this non-offensive "offense".

Tattooing your body probably does more physical harm than smoking pot, yet it is legal. As it should be.

Sitting around watching TV certainly does lasting physical and mental harm, yet only the most enthusiastic Nanny State advocates would propose putting you in jail for wasting your life in front of the screen.

Carrying a gun without official permission isn't wrong. Robbing a bank, with a weapon or without one, is wrong. The fact that both are often looked upon by "the law" in the same light is ridiculous.

Everything was legal until someone wrote down words to forbid or regulate it. It isn't that certain things should be "made legal" again, it's that it was wrong to have ever made them "illegal" to begin with. Without "laws" to forbid them, physical attacks such as murder, kidnapping, and rape, and economic attacks like theft and fraud are still wrong. Just about everything else is none of your business, regardless of what the "law" says or what "majority opinion" may be. Even if something is wrong, it isn't the business of "the law" as long as no third party is harmed.

It is sad that people seem to have decided that anything they don't approve of, and consider "wrong", needs to be forbidden, and every prohibition must be enforced by people, with guns or offices, who are largely unaccountable.


"Laws" don't trump reality

Why do I have a tendency to ignore "laws"?  I am not a disagreeable person.  The problem is that I can't ignore reality in order to obey "laws".

Your "laws" can't override my knowledge and common sense. 

"Fire ban"?  It just rained a huge amount- everything is drenched.

"No guns"?  Do you really think murderers and robbers will obey that?

Sorry, but my need to look to someone as "authority" goes away as soon as that "authority" demands I do something that goes against what I know is the right thing to do.  I defer to (actual) authority, and I tend to ignore "authority".  You can tell the difference by the way they act.

Authority gives advice, helps you if you ask, and isn't stupid.  These are the leaders.

"Authority" makes demands, shoves you around, and is so stupid you wonder how they remember to breathe.  These are the Rulers.  You know, like Bloomie.

That means their "laws" make no sense, and obeying them makes even less.  Why do something that goes against reality?