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Let us breakdown society shall we? Let us say there was just one person, would there be a need for a written codification of law? Of course not, there would only be the one person, that person could not and would not break a law against themselves, would he or she?
What are inherent rights? They have been defined numerous times as those rights that you were inherently given, the instant you existed. Therefore, you had the right to exist. Since you had the right to exist, you then had the right to protect yourself from harm. You had the right to self preservation.
reply to post by spoonbender You are humorous, I was trying something a little deeper though.
Originally posted by LIGHTvsDARK
reply to post by spoonbender
If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears, did it make a sound.
If a citizen smokes a weed and no one sees, did that citizen break a law?
Originally posted by Dark Ghost
Nevertheless, basic laws and boundaries are needed to ensure the safety and well-being of the overall population. You simply cannot have a happy cohesive society if natural law is the only law adhered to.
Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
That's a bit of a strawman. We dont know how many more of anything there would be if any at all and we may never know given how much force irrational fear wields over people.
I can say that there is no deterrent quality to any law or punishment with near absolute certainty.
Most people are decent people. Casting aside nonsensical victimless violations such as moral or prohibitionary or non-compliance crimes the worlds population by a wide margin is decent. Even in the glorious land of Somalia most people are not pillaging murdering psychopaths.
People who commit real crimes. Crimes that violate life, liberty or property. Crimes with victims. Don't care about consequence for any number of reasons. One, it's a crime of passion or a heat of the moment crime. No thought given to consequence. Two, the offender is insane and incapable of understanding consequence or siply does not care that there is a consequence. And three, the offender believes he will get away with it.
Compound that reality with instances of wrongful conviction and you've basically nullified any deterrent qualities that may have existed.
If we are to believe that law and punishment is a deterrent than it would have to be much more swift and very public. Yet the system is not at all. People sit for months or years waiting for their trials which are then rarely publicized. In an age of 24 hour news cycles and perpetual access in every home there are still people who honestly dont know a thing is illegal.
As the system currently stands there is no deterrent factor.
Take the excuse of ignorance. Or the non-excuse as it were. Forcing that ignorance is no excuse identifies the problem that people are in fact ignorant. If you made a law against using green crayons yet didnt tell me straight to my face that green crayons are now illegal how am I not going to be ignorant of that law? I have no reason to believe that green crayons could be illegal. After all they harm no one in person property or liberty. Shouldnt I be operating under the assumption of liberty? We are in a free country, right? Yet the use of a green crayon is illegal and should I be seen using one I will be punished. No deterrent quality and the very real excuse of ignorance cannot be used by default.
There are pages and pages of green crayon laws on the books. Laws which are violated everyday that any rational human operating under the assumption of liberty would never imagine are laws in the first place yet ignorance is not an excuse.