It’s easy to change the laws

  • Sumo

Shall we just ‘change the law’ to fix want we want to regarding marriage, theft, lies …? Here’s a snippet from¬†Utopia on just this question.¬†(Written in 1516, books like this deflate the modern boast that we’re dealing with ‘new things’, and cannot learn from those old thinkers.)

But if one shall say, that by that law we are only forbid to kill any except when the laws of the land allow of it, upon the same grounds, laws may be made, in some cases, to allow of adultery and perjury: for God having taken from us the right of disposing either of our own or of other people’s lives, if it is pretended that the mutual consent of men in making laws can authorise man-slaughter in cases in which God has given us no example, that it frees people from the obligation of the divine law, and so makes murder a lawful action, what is this but to give a preference to human laws before the divine?

The existence of a written law, fully complied with, does by no means guarantee justice or truth. It’s interesting when people agree in law-making, but not convincing.