Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rights and Natural Law

 Washington is in the process of trying to create new rights through law.  This shows ignorance of the source of our rights.  When it comes to law, we are not on the path of creation, but of discovery.  We are to be instructed by the universe we find ourselves in.  This is the foundation of the concept of Natural Law. 

We as human being do not create law any more than we create science.  We often attempt to write law in ignorance of reality, and even with contempt for reality.  When we do, those pursuits fail.  Even when we attempt to write laws as we see them, we rarely get it right the first time.  In the process of writing law we must reflect reality and human nature, we must recognize natural consequences, or it will inevitably be the cause of pain and suffering.  We must approach law in the exact same way we make note of the observations in any scientific pursuit.  To fudge the numbers, and force and outcome is to cheat. 

Artificial rights are unsustainable without the use of force.  Natural consequences are always without mercy.  Subsequent experiments will point out the folly of an incorrect interpretation of observed reality, providing much needed and even painful correction.  Sometimes several iterations are needed to come to a correct conclusion.   If we create law contrary to reality we only set ourselves up for failure, and when we fail the only honorable path is to observe reality again through the lens of our new found experience.  The ends of the law clearly aren't met.  The law has failed, (not the natural law, but our flawed understanding of it) but at this point we don't need to completely scrap what we had, (although in particularly egregious cases it certainly should be scrapped), but only to revisit and revise the law to fit with our new found observations.

The goal of this process of discovering natural law is to note, record, and teach what is necessary for a civil and just society.  It should not attempt to banish any natural consequence, or enforce any kind equality upon the people.  It should not compel compassion or any good work, any more than it should promote theft.  The law should be kept in it's simplicity, and become over time a complete and static body.  If it is not, this is only evidence of its immaturity.

"When the state is most corrupt, then laws are most multiplied" - Tacitus 

When the law is complex and voluminous, only part of it can ever be executed.  The unexecuted portion of the body of laws will necessarily become void.  Those who have the duty to enforce such a body of law will pick and choose those parts that will suit their agenda, and use the law as a tyrant whether that is their intention or not.  Accountability will be slow in dealing with such a tyrant because the complexity of the law will be used as a defense.  Ignorance of the law, because of its size and complexity, will result in contradictions within the body of law itself, providing cover for those who would abuse the situation.  The people crushed under the weight of this situation will find themselves having to throw off the tyrants and dispose of vast tracts of the law, and keep those based on a foundation of simple well understood necessary principles such as liberty, property, and individual responsibility.

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