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Laws are just sad attempts to stop regularly occurring problems in society but they don't fix the problems.

If a man in a village gets a gun and shoots a person this could be considered a terrible crime so law enforcements remove the individual. Another man was then shot in the same village by a different person. And this problem keeps reoccurring over and over again, but people still keep getting shot. Why, the cops have removed the people that did the shooting, why is there still a possibility that people could be shot? It's because they haven't removed the problem. The real problem could be the gun. This could apply to many other laws if you just think about it. Identify the problem, the true problems.

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    Jul 29 2012: There are moral ideals; and ideals are ideals.
    Perfection may not be possible. But it doesn't mean humans should resign and make no attempts towards perfection. Because such an attitude would make a difference between imperfection and hell.
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      • Aug 9 2012: Don, quote:
        "There is a right attitude and a wrong one; it is just that simple. And so the right attitude must be called the perfect attitude."

        Okay, then the right or perfect attitude is to get rid of the causes, and not attack the symptoms.
        People, or criminals, are the symptoms. They are not the causes, so they are being broken down by an unjust system that doesn't need over-hauling. It needs to be torn down, done away with, and a new and just system for all built.
        That to me, fits your idea of the "right attitude, or perfect attitude."

        Anything that blames people, is not right, nor perfect, nor just. Anything that punishes people is not right, not perfect and not just. It must be so for all people. The system, or all systems world-wide, are what are immoral, deviant, abnormal, not helpful and not capable. It isn't people. It isn't human nature. The system is immoral, evil and so too are those who work at its highest levels no matter what they are, be they religious, political, economical, educational, judicial, legislative and any I cannot think of.
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    Jul 29 2012: Laws are not intended to stop crimes from happening - that's the fundamental flaw in your reasoning. Laws are intended to provide a fair and consistent way to respond to crimes when they occur.

    There is no statistical correlation between gun control laws and the murder rate, anywhere in the world.

    Many societal, political, and cultural changes have been found which reduce crime, and others are being debated all the time, but laws have never been attempts to stop crime.
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      Jul 29 2012: I think this is probably a fundamental flaw in a lot of people's reasoning. It's also possible that if it is a flaw in a lot of people's reasoning, it is not a flaw. (This is to say that when people argue for a law, like banning gay marriage or making possession of marijuana illegal, they usually do it because their intent is 100% to stop this activity.) Why respond to a crime if the response won't have a deterring effect? What would be the point of that?
    • Jul 29 2012: I think you missed the point on this one. I made up that stat, it has nothing really to do with guns, that was just an example. Here is another one to try and clear it up. Lets say I decide to break the law and speed. And while i was speeding i witnessed many speed signs that indicated that i was breaking the law. But the law was still broken. Why not use technology that we have today to try and create a car with a gps that would know the speed limits and would prevent the cars from going above the speed limit on that road. See that is why i said that they are sad attempts at solving problems that regularly occur in our society.
  • Jul 30 2012: Laws are the born from reactions to crimes. Every victim of a crime now has a law named for them. Politicians use the creation of laws to benefit them and their careers. Politicians want to be seen as tough on crime.
    To me the most ridiculous notion a a law was when "hate crime" legislation when into effect. To me it never made sense that the law could determine a violent act against another person was predicated by hate. This has to do with race, gender, religion, etc.
    To me violent crime by definition is hate crime, regardless who it is against. Here's an example. Man kills another man of same race and sexual orientation. Not a hate crime.
    Man kills another person who is a different color, race, religion, sexual orientation (usually a minority). This is considered a hate crime. The fact that this law exists invents the notion that we don't commit violent acts as individualsagainst other individuals, but rather a member and representative of a group. It makes no sense to me.
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    Jul 29 2012: Hi Ian.

    Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV)
    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    The Jews had hundreds (or thousands) of laws, much like we do today. They didn't work either. Jesus gave these two to replace the lot. Trouble is we can't even keep the two. If we could, then we've cracked it. But alas......

    :-)
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      Jul 29 2012: I like those ones and the fact that there are just two memorable ones but I live by an old Chinese (I think) one I once read -"If it is wrong- don"t do it"
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      Jul 29 2012: Peter, from your comment, I get the impression that, in your worldview, every religion other than Christianity is wrong and doesn't work. This may not be the case, but that is the impression I have.

      What do you mean by "[Jewish laws] didn't work either"? What evidence do you have to support that claim? Also, what do you mean by "The Jews had hundreds (or thousands of laws)"? Matthew 22:37-40 seems to be similar to the Ten Commandments in spirit. I'm sure there are hundreds or thousands of statements in the New Testament that can be taken as "laws".
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        Jul 29 2012: Hi Jared.
        I think the message Is that we cannot fully obey any laws. So the introduction of even more will not help the situation.
        However, if we could really love one another, there would be no strife. But of course we can't, so we are stuck with hundreds of useless laws.
        The Ten Commandments are covered by the two Jesus gave.
        2 Corinthians 3:6 (NIV)
        He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant---not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

        :-)
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          Jul 29 2012: Sure. But I would like to invoke one of my favorite ideas here: "The perfect is the enemy of the good." I would argue that it's better to have laws than to not have laws, as you seem to agree with as well. See my response below to Rhona, where I claim that an explicit set of laws is necessary in a city-state. If you agree with that (which you should, as I believe laws in the Bible are explicit), now we are just arguing about the number of laws. Certainly the legal code could be improved. It could be simplified (which would also probably remove a lot of loopholes). New rules could be made. Others could be changed. We may not need more rules, but we also might. Who knows what the simplest set of functional rules is. At some point, there probably are diminishing returns between improving the legal code and decreasing behavior which we as a social deem unacceptable.

          On an unrelated note, this thread becomes a lot funnier when I substitute the word "law" for your surname, "Law". Such a fitting surname for this thread!
      • Jul 29 2012: None of the male dominated religions has worked to bring harmony and happiness to humankind. Religions, like laws, are designed to control OTHERS. Let's all just control ourselves and make sure that our words and acts are positive, since positive acts and positive words have positive impacts. All we need to do is be honest with ourselves and honest with others. It is that simple.
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          Jul 29 2012: Not all instances of law and religion are attempts to control others maliciously. While all are attempts at control, you have to ask, "Who receives the benefit of that control?" For instance, a law can be an agreement to mutually monitor and enforce something, like property rights. In this case, yes, it is an attempt at control, but it is presumably to the benefit of the community which is mutually monitoring and enforcing the rule. The members of the community are agreeing to "control" each other and themselves to a common set of explicit rules. Problems can arise when not everyone the rules affect is able to participate in the creation, monitoring, and enforcement of rules.

          While it would be nice to just treat others like we treat ourselves, this only works in a community that mutually monitors and enforces this. This is feasible in small communities, but incredibly difficult in large communities. I think this is why we need explicit rules, because the ability to mutually monitor and enforce behavior in a city-state is not possible (at least, I don't know of an example to the contrary).
      • Jul 29 2012: Jared, It's fine with me that you hold a different opinion than I do. I wonder how you know the motivation of the people who wrote the religious and secular laws. I wonder if people who chronically attempt to control others, are successful at controlling their own behavior to live up to their own high standards of conduct (for other people.)
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          Jul 29 2012: Yes, I'm glad that one of the rules we agree to is that it is okay for us to have differences in opinion. Though, I'm not sure where the difference lies. I think as we are both unaware of all instances of law and religion, it is hard to make a broad characterization of the true nature of all of them. It wouldn't surprise me if certain religious rules like "Thou shalt not consume ____" had practical reasons underlying them, for example. How does the rule-maker benefit from someone not eating shellfish or pork?

          I never claimed to know the motivations of people who authored religious and secular laws. I only claimed that not all of these people were attempting to maliciously control others; I did not exclude the possibility that some did. Yes, there are hypocrites in the world. We're all hypocrites on some level. It's always easier to point out in other people. And, yes, there is certainly a range of how hypocritical people can be. However, for a city-state to exist, I think that a codified set of explicit laws is necessary, even if it has some down sides. I wouldn't trust my fellow citizens to judge my behavior against "being honest with ourselves and honest with others". They don't know me or my context well enough. I am arguing that this type of agreement only works within a small community.
  • Aug 7 2012: How does a society then begin to fix the problems? Isn't it up to ourselves to fix our own problems?
  • Jul 31 2012: deal with the under lying conditions, instead of managing the sympthoms
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    Sym !

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    Jul 29 2012: If someone is going to do something wrong, he'd do it whatever the weapon was. Guns are not the main problem. The main problem is the criminal minds that were behind those events. You may think laws don't help but if we could read people's minds, I bet we would see that a lot of them would never regret killing someone if there wasn't a law that could punish them for doing this. Laws maybe don't stop all of cases, but it do stop some of it.
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        Sym !

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        Jul 29 2012: I agree with you.
        However the system was, I think the laws concept works after all. Maybe not these laws itself. But generally we surely need laws to fix and stop these kind of problems. And we need to work on these laws to make it better because it controls these kind of problems(not me and you, people who are in charge of this), after having sincere employers of course.
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          Jul 30 2012: Laws aren't the only way to fix one problem. Problems like crime is more of a collaborative effort by the community. Reporters need to report the crime. Police need to protect society from dangers of criminals. Parents need to raise their kids to be good citizens, not criminals. Lawyers need to defend the victim/criminal, in case the criminal was innocent or not. Businessmen or startups can create new innovative ways to solve one problem.

          Point is, we all have different ways of fixing the same problem. And the real solution is usually not one solution but all (most) of the above.
    • Jul 29 2012: A interesting response, starting to wish I didn't use the gun example. You could be correct about the criminal minds that are the problem. But the result of the law is a terrible fix. The result would be jail, in some cases. But this is a terrible fix to the ' Criminal mind' problem, if you think about it jail only strengthens the criminal mind. For example; If I go to jail for the crime i committed, i am probably going to explain to my cell mate how i got caught, and he would eventually do the same. From this interaction we have just learned from our mistakes. We may have learned and taken into fact that our crimes were wrong to begin with. But we also learned how to do them a lot better. Because jail is suppose to serve two purposes, one is to remove the individual from our society, and to allow the individual to reflect on his actions for a period of time sometimes lasting more than 10 years. Imagine if you had 10 years to think about what you could have done better to not get caught, but you also have a wealth of information and experience around you that are thinking the same thing. So a new question, How do we fix this new established problem of the criminal mind?
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        • Jul 30 2012: Agreed, we can't have them running around continuing their actions. But it can't be smart to send them to a place where they learn more wrong doings. Why not rethink prison, instated of simply detaining criminals we educate them. With what, or even how would need more thought though, how do you go about changing some ones thoughts permanently?
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          Jul 30 2012: I think there needs to be a stronger differentiation between the really bad criminals and the petty ones. There are definitely guys out there who want to destroy society. But then there are just the down-to-earth petty thieves.

          Jail does nothing for rehab, that's for sure. And with that kind of environment, it's just doesn't encourage that kind of change.

          Here's an example of people in jail doing a fun community thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMnk7lh9M3o

          Ian, I do agree with the optimism about not all criminals are bad and that people do change. And you know what, I've realized that most criminals are some of the most interesting artists out there. A lot of these guys, I bet, are really bad at socializing or communicating to others their thoughts and feelings. Perhaps one method for them to "change" is to incorporate sports and art. Let them play some basketball, soccer, card games, chess. Let them listen to some music, do paintings, sketches, dances, etc. Somehow teach them to read, and they may be interested in books and stuff. Or let them get involved in a community project like painting the side of the jail wall. Oh, and let them watch TV like ESPN sports or Olympics. Either way, if you keep them entertained, they may not even want to harm society anymore, they just want to dabble in their passions.
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    Jul 29 2012: I see laws like patches on dykes. We have to stop the pressure points and flooding but we do not really have much hope of stopping all that water if it wants to come through. Good patches though help us stall for time until we are ready to address societal issues in a new way.
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      Jul 29 2012: And to add, just like law, patches are nice, but it won't stop any problems if the fundamental problem is that the dam has a weak foundation.
    • Jul 29 2012: Why not redesign the dike so it doesn't need patches.
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        Jul 29 2012: Sounds great and some dams are well engineered. How do we do it?. You know they always say to suggest the solution.
        • Jul 29 2012: Well this would be more of an issue of safety. We need to design new technology that would help permanently in force the laws. For example, make a car device that has a gps in it that is aware of the speed limit on the road your trailing on, it could then prevent the car from going above the speed limit. You have successfully eliminated the need for the law, no speeding. Sure this technology might be a few years down the road, but if we want to see these problems fixed you need to start with an idea.
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        Jul 29 2012: I love this thinking. Will some industry group with enough financial backing scuttle it?
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    Jul 29 2012: In such a fast-paced world, the lawmakers do their best at fixing most of the problems to the best of their understanding and abilities.

    It's easier for people like us who are watching from the outside, see what they're doing wrong in their box. And it's easier for them to see our problems from the outside of our box. The world moves fast, and it's not easy to make the best decisions with such a small amount of time.

    But with that said, I agree with you, I think there is a lack of understanding from their part in addressing the real problem. They address the effects, not the cause.

    I also know some really good people out there who owns guns too. To them, it's just a hobby, nothing dangerous to society. I mean a very good friend of mine said he always wanted to just go to those shooting ranges to shoot for the experience of it, but I've known this guy for years. I can say with huge confidence that he would never hurt anyone or end anyone's life. He's got a loving brother, parents, he even took up a homeless dog who's frightened of everything because my friend cares about life in general. Like I can easily see he feels sympathetic for the dog because he suspects the dog was raised abusively, which is why the dog is afraid of other strangers. Like if this friend of mine were to kill another human, it'd be for very good reasons.