Monday, 20 December 2010

The Law

yes, it is 'Dubya' eating a live kitten, his favourite midnight snack
The direction of law in a civilised society should be, and is, towards making the law based on rational judgment rather than evolved, instinctive, responses.  Something should not be illegal based, for example, on disgust.  It should not be illegal to eat your pet when it dies (and nor is it to my knowledge).  How about eating a dead relative?  How about two gay brothers getting married and having a physical relationship?  How about bestiality?

We must take into account whether an act infringes on another person's human rights, or not, when we make laws.  If it does not, then it should be legal unless it is also destructive to society.  For example should heroin be legal?  If someone becomes a heroin addict, their contribution may go from being positive though tax payment, to being negative – losing their job, becoming a criminal, and using up police and court time.  The heroin addict isn't just harming themselves, they are harming society; it is for this reason that there is a strong argument for laws to be not purely based on whether the act infringes on someone else's human rights.  
But this exceptional case is only an interesting digression – the point is that as civilised societies mature, law should become more rational and gradually reverses laws such as homosexuality being illegal.  

What's next?  Don't misunderstand me – i think that laws should reflect the views of society to some extent; but i wish (and believe we are moving slowly in this direction) that society's views on law should be more rationally based than they are now.

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