posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 06:24 PM
See as a position on Laws, Courts, and Enforcers is a matter of philosophy, I will post this here:
Law, courts, and enforcers (LCE) serve three useful purposes that I will go into:
To make it easier for masses of people to live in the same area without disharmony
To facilitate commerce
To direct society and ensure the direction
Disharmony in masses comes from two parts. For one, people tend to engage in actions that, when separate from others, cause no harm, but when close to
others, can cause harm to and disturb others. For instance, if someone were to drive at dangerous speeds on an empty road, no one is injured or
disturbed when this person does this. If, however, that person were to try to drive at dangerous speeds on a moderately crowded road, other people may
be disturbed or injured as a result of the behavior. As such, having LCE to discourage actions that, when taken in public, would potentially cause
harm or disturbance serves to promote harmony. As a side note, as people get closer to one another, like in cities, the potential for stepping on each
others toes becomes greater; and, as areas get more crowded in one way or another, LCE has to exercise stricter regulation to prevent disharmony - or
to prevent people from stepping on each others toes.
Disharmony extends, for the second part, from unintentional disturbances to intentional disturbances. As people get closer to each other the
opportunities to take advantage through acts known as crime grow in number. Further, as people step on each others feet, people may become enemies of
one another and commit malicious crimes. LCE serves to discourage these disharmony inducing acts.
By serving to enforce contracts and serving to standardize the material in and interpretation of contracts, LCE both facilitates commerce and
decreases disharmony. Without LCE, two parties contracting would likely be depending on their own power to enforce the contract. As such, more
powerful parties may tend to break contracts for their own benefit. Additionally, the more powerful parties may tend to interpret contracts in their
favor and either act in ways not expected by the other party without consequence, or force the other party to perform acts the other party never
intended on. Further, upon breach of contract, one party may exact a disproportionate penalty - say, indentured servitude for some paltry amount.
These tendencies of unregulated contracts tend to cause disharmony and tend to impede commerce.
By standardizing the expectations, commercial transactions can go without contract or without contracts that would otherwise be burdened with details;
as such, commerce is facilitated. For instance, the US UCC has
Â§ 2-308. Absence of Specified Place for Delivery.
Unless otherwise agreed
(a) the place for delivery of goods is the seller's
place of business or if he has none his residence; but
(b) in a contract for sale of identified goods which to
the knowledge of the parties at the time of contracting
are in some other place, that place is the place for
their delivery; and
(c) documents of title may be delivered through customary banking
LCE tends to direct societies by constricting, punishing, and rewarding actions. By putting in speed limits, people will tend to drive around that
speed given the speed limit is enforced. As the pattern in speed limits is ingrained in those under the speed limits, these people will tend to drive
around at moderately safe speeds even without speed limits posted. And, certainly some laws do good by instilling behaviors. By outlawing the practice
of medicine except for those licensed, there is a dual effect of both decreasing the number of quacks while also decreasing the general public's
interest in the subject. And so, even laws and regulation that may have been intended for good result in negative consequences. That is, I could
speculate on how decreasing the publics interest in a subject and having them rely on experts causes problems, but so can the reader.
It is clear the LCE are useful tools. However, like any tool, LCE can be misapplied. The logic and intent of all laws needs to be clear. When someone
breaks the letter of a law without compromising the intent, what grounds are there to pursue that person for breaking the law? An argument could be
made that, if the LCE system were prevented from acting on those who did not compromise the intent of the law, then law breakers would constantly be
arguing that they did not break the intent of the law. Is it not within the power of those who judge a case to determine whether or not the intent of
a law was compromised? I would say it would be a sad state of affairs were the intent of the law so far from the grasp of the people who judge those
who broke the law that the intent wasn't the primary concern in making a judgment.
In most places where there are roads and traffic lights, it is illegal to pass straight through an intersection when the opposing light is red. The
intent of this law is to standardize the flow of traffic and thereby aid in the flow. The intent is also to prevent accidents which would cause
disharmony and disrupt the flow of traffic and thereby commerce. In a scenario where a driver is the only driver in the area for many miles, if this
driver were to break the red light law by passing through the intersection, should this person by penalized? It might be asked, "how could the driver
know the maneuver was safe"? Well, there are many intersections where a view in all directions for a great distance is available. In these such
intersections, when a driver passes through the intersection on a red light having discerned no other drivers in the area, there has been no
compromise of the intent of the red light law. Instead, the problem comes when the situation is not as clear. When there are a few people on the road,
or when visibility is low, or when there are obstructions of sight in some directions, there is a question as to whether the driver who broke the red
light law made a good judgment or whether he/she compromised the intent of the law. However, I would say that in most cases, it is fairly obvious
whether the intent of the law was compromised, and, in cases where it is not obvious, details and reputation/history can come into play in making a
Having the logic and intent of all laws known is not just important for knowing how to judge those who broke the letter of a law. Laws in both letter
and intent can be dated. In being dated, a law can hinder the progress of a society. For instance, a law might state that a maximum of X houses can be
placed on land in zone Y. Whether or not X houses are too many or too few for the needs of the society in that area depend on the current situation,
and that current situation can be quite distant in time and situation from when the law was initially passed. For instance, without a change to such a
law, the formation of a high density city might be prevented. And, to go further, without the logic behind laws being public, the public itself would
have a hard time inspecting laws and causing to be removed laws which were no longer useful or were impediments to the goals of the society.