On Laws

We all realize the importance of rules and guidelines in our everyday lives. We appreciate regulations against acts which would otherwise endanger us, and are greatly interested in those which offer rewards for our good acts as well as others meant to protect us from the unpredictability of nature.

As in a football match, so also medical practitioners have rules guiding their practice, so it is in every facet of human existence. These, we can all agree serves to provide tools ensuring the integrity of human life is maintained. Thus, they can be reckoned as mere tools to ensure the inalienable rights of humans are protected. What then do we do when laws fail to serve, or even work against this end? Is it not proper to amend or even abolish them as need be?

It is pertinent to determine how this differentiation is to be achieved, to determine rightly which of the innumerable rules, laws and guidelines are worth retaining, and which ones are to be amended or discarded. A general principle would be that any law which serves to restrict any human right or liberty but does not prevent or reduce the possibility of direct bodily or psychological harm to another human ought to be struck out.

Regulations which serve to protect the desires of a person or group based on the personal feelings at the expense of those of another person or group, in a situation where the latter’s desires do not cause direct bodily or psychological harm to the former are not worth having or enforcing since they merely represent the viewpoint of a fraction and do not reflect the opinion of the whole. Humanity is diverse, and in a lot of cases, one man’s desires happen to be the antithesis of another’s. We have the jazz fiends and the opera fanatics, vegetarians and meat-eaters. I cannot but wonder if there is anyway the interests/desires of one of these groups can be rightly placed above that of the other. This outrageously preposterous query happens to be a representation of what happens to obtain in many facets of human pursuits.

A clear distinction must be made between the robber and the prostitute, for while one aims to steal, to harm, to kill, the other harms no one, kills nothing, steals nothing. While we may rightly view one as bad, the other cannot be justly labelled the same under the basic principle of the law.


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