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What is the law?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by doppelganger, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    "Thou shalt not walk on all fours"

    What is law? How does it come to be? What does it do? How does it do what it does?

    What is the relationship between "law" and "rights"?
     
  2. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    I think the law is one of the primary means by which the status quo is maintained.
     
  3. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    How so? Can you elaborate? What is the "status quo"?
     
  4. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    The people with the money, the power and the status use 'the law' to keep hold of said money power and status
     
  5. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    So how does the law function to maintain that status quo? And why?
     
  6. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    It costs a fortune to take a case, access to law is limited by ones ability to pay.

    The laws are created in favour of those who already hold wealth a major reason why in my opinion is the cosy relationship between the politicians and the wealthy - laws relating to tax relief on property development and capital gains tax are a good example in this country.
     
  7. Eliot Wild

    Eliot Wild Irreverent Agnostic Jerk

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    It seems to me, most simply, the 'law' is a set of rules that are enacted to govern conduct.

    I suppose that depends upon which 'law-making' authority we choose to direct our focus. In the United States of America, federal laws are passed and enacted by the U.S. Congress. However, the question of how laws come to be is a bit more involved than I would think we have time and space for here. Some laws begin as mere ideas that spring from the need to maintain order, while others are attempts of particular interests to unduly and unfairly press their weight on others, such as was the case with laws during the Jim-Crow era southern United States.

    However, here is an audio-visual that might explain how, in particular, many laws come to be in the United States:

    [youtube]mEJL2Uuv-oQ[/youtube]
    YouTube - ‪Schoolhouse Rock- How a Bill Becomes a Law‬‎


    This is an awfully broad question. I am assuming you mean that if a law is designed to maintain order, how does it do that. So, my first inclination is to say that with most law codes, there must be an instrument of enforcement, such as our Executive Branch of government here in the United States. Sorry, but while I'm certainly no expert, our Constitution in the U.S. is the model I'm most familiar with when it comes to some of these questions. The Executive Branch is the limb of government that is tasked with enforcing the laws that Congress passes. While the Judicial Branch is tasked with interpreting those laws. Urr, that is how it is to work ideally. We often really screw that up here in the states.

    I am not sure there is an inherent relationship between these two items if we view them dispassionately as mere concepts and models. However, again, going back to the United States Constitution and many state law codes here in the U.S., laws are often enacted as an instrument for 'protecting rights'. We hold certain truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are born with certain unalienable rights, and our laws are measures we enact to try to protect those rights, although I have yet to witness a perfectly functional model when it comes to codes of law, whether that be civil or criminal.

    Of course, after all this, I just realized perhaps you were talking more specifically about 'religious laws' since this is the religious section. In that case, please ignore all of the above and accept my humblest apologies for intruding.
     
  8. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    So true. :( And because of that, only rich people can afford to put themselves in positions where they might come in contact with the law. (For example, only rich people can start selling a new product, because a rich person is the only one who can afford the lawsuits that will inevitably follow when stupid people hurt themselves with the product.)
     
  9. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    While Schoolhouse Rocks is always welcome, I was thinking more in terms of the general concept of law itself, independent of any particular social or political system. That would include both overtly 'religious' law, but non-religious law as well.

    How do rules govern conduct?
     
  10. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    By threat of punishment.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Eliot Wild

    Eliot Wild Irreverent Agnostic Jerk

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    Bingo. That would be my answer too. Frubals.

    For a law to be functional, I suppose, there must be some instrument of enforcement. Even If I am a member of a group that has no 'material' or 'forceful' mechanism for maintaining our laws and rules, then it is 'honor' or 'trust' that is the instrument of enforcement.

    However, most law-makers are not willing to accept 'trust' or 'honor' as such an instrument, hence in the U.S. we have federal, state and local police agencies, such as the FBI, Various State Troopers, Sheriff's Offices, etc. We also have 'sentencing guidelines' that require pre-established punishments/measures be levelled against those who violate the law with their conduct.

    As a matter of fact, if anyone's curious, I can tell you exactly what the sentence for being 'Drunk in Public' is in the small city which is home to Western Kentucky University where I attended college.
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Except that's not the case with Xian law. There is no punishment; there is no enforcement: Love God -- love neighbor. There is no "or else" attached to that.
     
  13. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    What's hell for, then?
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Since salvation isn't a reward, but a gift, I don't know what hell has to do with the topic at hand.
     
  15. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    Well, surely hell is a punishment. It's certainly evoked often enough in the Bible for it to be used as a deterrent.
     
  16. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    I guess god's law says you AUTOMATICALLY go to hell.

    Unless you get some kind of a gift.
    (kinda like a 'get out of jail free card')

    It's reverse psychology is what it is.....
    :areyoucra
     
  17. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Well-Known Member

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    ^ this.
     
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