What makes a law unjust

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I think TB is still the issue. While herds still have a risk of having it and milk is not universally tested for it before sale, pasturisation will remain mandatory in most developed countries, I think.
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  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    It has been nearly eradicated in most of the developed world. You can still test for it. The protocol is to kill a positive animal. That is how we have almost eradicated it
     
  3. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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  4. Thomas Didymus

    Thomas Didymus New Member

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    Sophie Scholl, who spoke the truth with dignity, was opposed by unjust laws. Here is her explanation to law enforcer Mohr, who, even though treated her with kindness, he still assisted the order of subtle dehumanization prevalent in Nazi Germany. He could not see right from wrong, or at least, he didn't want to out of pride.

    Mohr: You may have used false slogans but you used peaceful means.

    Sophie: So why do you want to punish us?

    Mohr: Because it is the law. Without the law there is no order.

    Sophie: The law you are referring to protected free speech before the Nazis came to power in 1933. Someone who speaks freely now is imprisoned or put to death. Is that order?

    Mohr: What can we rely on if not the law? No matter who wrote it.

    Sophie: Our conscience.

    Mohr: Nonsense! [Grabbing two books, one in each hand, as though weighing them against each other.] Here is the law and here are the people. As a criminologist, it is my duty to find out if they coincide and, if not, to find the rotten spot.

    Sophie: The law changes. Conscience doesn’t.

    (https://www.independent.org/news/article.asp?id=2022)

    Her response finds a place in Lutheran theology.
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I can shed some light on the 'public good' issue. The US averages about 32,000 firearm casualties per year, 60% of which are suicides (most of which likely would still have been carried out by a knife, poison, or other means if a gun were not available). Contrast that with the fact that firearms are used to deter (often by merely showing the firearm) criminals from committing crimes more than 1,000,000 times per year. 32,000 versus 1,000,000 (31 times as many beneficial uses as detrimental ones). On balance, the public benefit of firearm possession by responsible adults far outweighs in numbers the public harm of firearm possession.

    Be that as it may, it is moot because the USA does not utilized the 'public good' line of reasoning on this subject; instead it recognizes the right to bear arms. Rights override public policies.
     
  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Would you also feel free to sell mushrooms you had collected in the woods, not knowing whether some of them might be incurably toxic?

    Would you consider a law which forbade you to trade in such an irresponsible manner, unjust?

    If any of your customers died would you just say it was their own fault for not reading your notice saying "Some Mushrooms can be Poisenous", and for trusting and assuming that you knew the difference when you collected and marketed them?

    Does a vendor have a responsibility toward a customer, which carries a penalty if the vendor is negligent and causes harm to the customer?

    Should raw untested/unpasturised milk be sold without a very clear health warning? Bearing in mind that someone who gets TB from infected milk can infect others merely by breathing.
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    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  7. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    It is not the governments job to manage harm reduction like this as it just picks winners and losers. We can buy cigarettes, horribly processed food, and other things that kill us but they outlaw raw milk which will kill far less people. The government should set standards for pathogens and then let all food that meets it be sold kinda like California does with milk. I can't believe a small government guy just referenced California..................... See the above post.
     
  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Cigarettes, alcohol and horribly processed food carries little possibility of their consumers passing the toxicity or infection inherant to them on to unwitting others though, do they. You seem to be championing a cause for the selling of (acceptably?) toxic foods for the consumption of those foolish or trusting enough to buy them, even though such foods may render those that buy them infectious to others whom they may inadvertantly, even come into proximity to.

    Seems that a law to stop this happening might be designed to protect those who may die if the law were not to exist, rather than as a way to restrict the freedom of vendors to make a living for themselves while carelessly threatening the lives of others.
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  9. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    You can literally test for TB. TEst it and test the cows. Follow the protocols. In many states you can buy raw milk in the states. Just not in the one I live in. No out break of TB yet. Follow the laws because if you test and follow them you don't get TB. The other foods just kill you and cost you in health and health care costs but yes lets worry about something that has not happened since 1910 because we can test and monitor for it now. Unjust law

    If you look up raw milk on the internet and look at reputable sources it does not list TB as a potential danger anymore. Set standards and tests and then let people be free to choose if they want to drink the raw milk or not or basically with anything else like it.
     
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I would feel free to collect and sell morel mushrooms I'd collected in the woods; there is no confusing them with any other type. People do pick wild mushrooms for sale to others in our country; it's a common enough practice. People who engage in this as a business or hobby are careful and know how to identify mushrooms, and they are not going to risk their source of income by taking chances with mushrooms they aren't certain of. I would not sell any other type than morels because it's the only one I personally am certain of, but if I had more experience I could safely recognize and sell other types.

    If one is going to say that it's immoral to sell a certain type of food item for the reason that it is occasionally unsafe, then we will have to outlaw lettuce and some other raw vegetables. It seems like there are two or three recalls of lettuce every year in the US after a batch somehow gets contaminated and a few people become ill from eating it. Occasionally the same problem occurs with tomatoes or other foodstuffs. Shall we throw the baby out with the bath? Outlaw all raw veggies? Many parts of the US have local, family-run 'fruit markets,' roadside stands selling the food items they grow or produce; should they all be shut down?

    Sellers accept the risk and are thus motivated to take care about the quality of what they sell; their reputation and livelihood may hinge upon their products' quality and safety. Buyers may also accept certain risks (for example, when you buy dry beans or lentils, you accept the risk that a small stone may occasionally be among the edibles, so you are supposed to inspect what you're about to cook). If a food item turns out to be unsafe, the purchaser may have legal recourse (sue the seller), and this further motivates the seller to take reasonable care. It is unwise and unhealthy for consumers to expect their government to outlaw the independent sale of any foodstuff on the rationale that those food items might sometimes turn out to be unsafe in some respect.

    We have one dairy in our state of Oklahoma that has been selling raw milk for, I believe, nearly 100 years. The state inspects it, of course. I could buy and consume it, but it's a bit far away for convenience. The dairy did have a recall on a batch of milk last year, but that was a very unusual problem for them.

    It's unfortunate when people justify their own surrender of rights by making excuses about the alleged wisdom of their decision. Once a God-given right is surrendered to the government, the government is loath to ever hand it back (governments love to play "god"). :rolleyes: Why do citizens voluntarily ask their government to strip them and their fellow citizens of a right? The answer is that people have a deep-down emotional desire to be taken care of and to feel safe and protected; it stems from early childhood and we never fully outgrow it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
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  11. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Some rights override public policies.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (Declaration of Independence)


    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    (Preamble to the US Constitution)
    The 'public good' is of limited use in Australia as an argument, however the idea of the common-wealth is ingrained in our psyche. We stepped up gun control following the Port Arthur Massacre, following which Gun Ownership is Australia massively declined. Obviously there are people who need firearms, like farmers, but realistically, I don't know anyone who has a gun (that I know about). Clearly we have not eliminated the problem, however we have significantly reduced it. In the early 1990's Gun Deaths were around 600 per year, and these days around 200 per year. That would seem to be an additional 400 people a year set free to enjoy Life, Liberty and the pursuit if Happiness. I know that may seem silly given that gun deaths in the US are approaching 40,000 per year.

    I just can't get my head around it. It seems the US answer to gun deaths is more guns.
     
  12. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    @Botolph I am kinda interested in gun control in Australia now. Just a few quick questions. Can you own guns to hunt? I live on a farm and I need to have a few to kill those coyotes that killed my chickens last year. Also how does one go about getting a gun if they wanted one for hunting or any other reason?
     
  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The problem with this conversation is that none of you guys are trying to root your arguments in nature. The argument goes, "I like x", "I like y", and there's no common ground which you both can stand on.

    The question is not whether gun control is more practical, or whether more guns is good. These are trifling questions. The real question should be, what is the nature of man, what is the natural state, and how can laws embody and protect the natural state of things.

    It is never okay to violate the natural state of things, even for perceived practical advantages. Say it is discovered that a totalitarian state where most people are brainwashed to follow the leadership of The Party, is actually the most successful outcome for most of mankind. It would still be entirely wrong, and evil to participate.

    We don't believe in 'the highest good for most people'. We don't believe in utilitarian ethics. Utilitarian ethics are evil. We believe in natural law, natural justice, and virtue ethics.
     
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  14. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I agree @Stalwart. THat is why I actually agree with it being an unjust law to outlaw the sale of raw milk, which started this whole conversation.
     
  15. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    If you need or want to own a gun in Australia, you need a licence for each gun. Your fitness to own a gun, and your reasons and purposes for owning a gun will be assessed. Some people might join a gun club, and use firearms in the context. A farmer with a rabbit problem would most probably have now problem. Hunting is not a big thing in Australia, but I imagine so long as it was understood it would not be a problem. I know a croc hunter would want/need a gun. Once you have a licence, then the gun store is allowed to sell you the weapon.

    Utilitarian ethics are not necessarily intrinsically evil. They may indeed represent a more just outcome than some other offerings, such as the greatest good for the most privileged. Utilitarian ethics fail when the only test applied results in an end that justifies the means.

    I don't believe in natural justice, if that includes the rich dominate the poor because they can, and I don't like systems were dumb rich kids get to College while bright poor kids are excluded, because that is how it is meant to be. I think such a system is a waste of resources, both material and human.

    There is a question around the nature of the relationship between the individual and the community. Is the individual the product of their community, or if community simply the sum total of individuals? How do we then treasure our own life, and treasure the lives of others in out community, for they are all gifted by God.
     
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  16. Thomas Didymus

    Thomas Didymus New Member

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    Indeed, Botolph! :console:
    Nothing is guaranteed to us in this lifetime. Bad and good things will alike happen to us no matter our circumstances, background, education, or enthicity. Regardless, we strive as Christians to live not self-directed but heaven-directed lives. Life is simply more more than just enduring in a Goethean sense (think Faust). If that were the case, Jesus would not have healed the blind, cast out demons, raise Lazarus from the dead, or feed the multitude of the 5,000. Truly, he wanted us to live joyful lives, especially for His glory. I sincerely believe the incarnation of Christ would have still happened if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God.

    Despite what I have said about Geothe here, I have learned much from him.
     
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  17. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Er, that's not what natural justice is.
    :facepalm:

    You're better than this friend, usually your comments are so measured and considered. Perhaps we should have a separate thread on perhaps how exactly natural law applies to various cases. But you are swimming against 2300 years of philosophy, and literally 2000 years of Christian teaching. So, yeah, not a great position to hold on to, if you think that Tertullian (a notable exponent of lex naturalis), the church fathers more broadly, or the scholastics, or the Reformers, advocated the things which you just ascribed to them in the heat of the moment.

    I would like you to answer with a Yes or No to this statement:
    Do you agree with this? Or do you find that a possibly unnatural outcome might be the best answer for mankind? I think I know what you may say, and if so, you'd be going against 100% of Church consensus in doing so.
     
  18. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    You know where I stand, correctly, and I am totally opposed to totalitarianism and indeed to overbearing State Intrusion.

    Natural Justice is the protection from bias and the right to a fair hearing.
    Natural Law is a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct.​

    It is understood in a Western Style Democracy that all Statute Law would not override natural law.

    If "the system" provides undue opportunities to the rich at the expense of the poor, then the system lacks some equity. It also deprives the community more widely of the benefits that would have been achieved if the poor with talent had opportunities. I am certainly not standing against Natural Law or Natural Justice, however I believe that we are called to work for equity (fairness) in opportunity, and I am not advocating that means the same outcome for all. However I do get concerned when a banker on a 16 million dollar salary things a fair working wage in 10 dollars an hour, or a billionaire miner claims millions in grants and subsidies, pays 300 dollars a year in tax and sees no problem in using off shore labour and pays them 30 dollars a month.

    The dice are loaded.
     
  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    But what if that system answers your social challenges better? Would you then accept it?

    The dilemma you're in, is possibly being forced to accept an unnatural system, if it can check the boxes of certain social/political objectives which you personally prefer. If it were someone else, they'd seek other personal social/political objectives. And thus everyone would chase their own subjective/fictive/imaginary objectives, with no reference to nature, to the objective truth, to the actual structure of reality. Man against reality, the classic image of our old and first Enemy himself.

    Instead, you should calibrate your social/political objectives to the natural law, to the objectively true state of things.
     
  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Pilate's Question : What is Truth
    Lawyer's Question: Who is my Neighbour

    The problem with the Natural Law Answer is not that I reject it, but rather it is not codified. So in that sense it is an approach to the question rather than the answer in itself.

    Selling Raw Milk is not illegal in Australia, and Dairy Farms sell Raw Milk to Dairies all the time, the problem in Australia is the sale of Raw Milk for Human Consumption. Raw Milk is less stable than processed Milk and has a much shorter shelf life and is prone to contamination. We bought our milk from a neighbouring Dairy Farm on the clear understanding that it was for the pets. I didn't and don't regard it as especially dangerous, given the very short supply chain, (about 300 metres) and the control we had in relation to it. I don't think we ever kept milk more than 2 days, as it was easier to get a get some fresh milk from the morning milking.

    City Folk of course are looking at a much longer supply chain, and I know when I was in PNG I gave up milk altogether as I could not deal with frozen milk. This is where the law kicks in to protect.