Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Herr D designed this on He
says it's not a political cartoon but a satirical
cartoon. I didn't see the goat's legs, but okay.
I happened on a chat room where a debate about the spirit vs. the letter of the law was going on. I saw a lot of cagey arguments about bias and implementation and relative importance. What I didn't see was an analysis of how each side is formed.

According to Jungian psychology and certain other philosophies, there is a universal notion of fairness and justice that transcends human consciousness and remains an ideal to be striven for. That sounds like a fancy way to say 'fair is fair.' Put bluntly, the ideal is supposedly understood by but not created by everybody.

Then there is the letter of the law. Herr D assures me that five people together can't agree on where to go for lunch, yet well over a fifty people are involved directly in passing every law. That being a multiple of ten, it qualifies as an order of magnitude.

With an order of magnitude of chaos higher than the inability to make a simple and quick decision, obviously laws are never going to be universal and are unlikely to be extremely well written and cover more than a small majority of cases that come up. That doesn't even cover complexity or cost.


Oh, right, Shelob. Um--yeah, I was beginning to sound preachy, wasn't I?  Um . . . imagine for a moment that I'm an alien that comes from a place so advanced that the need for law is considered primitive. That is to say, governments are regarded as quaint artifacts within the culture mainly to preserve history. They don't have to actually govern any more. What do you think I'd find would be the most offensive law?

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