Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.

Author Topic: Theoretical Question: Can society reach a point where it needs no new laws?  (Read 2951 times)

booksmart

  • Token Left Leaning Idealist Libertarian
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6596
  • E. Pluribus Unum.

  • Offline
Can a society reach a point where no new laws are needed, or will there always be someone looking to find a way to play the system and find a new way to cause harm?

WeTheArmed.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    JesseL

    • Gun Mangler
    • WTA Staff
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 12451

    • Offline
    If you write the laws sensibly enough that simply causing harm is what's illegal, then yes.

    If I invent a new way of murdering someone, does it matter that "using an XYZ in the commission of a deliberate homicide" isn't already illegal?
    Arizona

    Feud

    • Teller of bad jokes.
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 4986

    • Offline
    Depends on what you want, and how much discretion you're wanting to give to judges to establish common law remedies.  While an infinite number of laws might account for infinite possibilities, functionally, it seems like it would be tough to effectively reach a limit.

    Technology and human ingenuity have a way of offering all sorts of novel legal problems.

    Plebian

    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2604

    • Offline
    In theory you would not need set laws at all for a society to function. You could simply have a jury of their peers decide if the action they took was in accordance with the society as a whole. Many tribes existed for thousands of years with this system. It is a relatively new idea to have a hard coded set of laws to society.

    You could also set up a universal broad idea laws like most religions attempt to do. Then have some "holy" council come forth to deliberate on the specifics of the case on an individual basis.

    Although if we are just going by theory. You could have a society that needs no laws at all. Everyone would just do the right thing, and the society would hum like clock work.

     
    Oklahoma"If all our problems are solved, we'll find new ones to replace them. If we can't find new ones, we'll make new ones."

    JesseL

    • Gun Mangler
    • WTA Staff
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 12451

    • Offline
    Quote
    will there always be someone looking to find a way to play the system and find a new way to cause harm?

    I'll point out that the inflation of legal codes probably has at least as much to do with gaming of the system by the side of enforcement and prosecution as it does by the criminal side of things.
    Arizona

    Coronach

    • WTA Staff
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 6791
    • Armorer: Colt 1911, M16, Glock, M&P, Rem 700 & 870

    • Offline
    I would say "no", as technology is constantly evolving and you will always need some form of regulation of new tech (this is NOT to say that we need the level of regulation that we have now). However, it should get to the point pretty fast where all of the "big picture" is sussed out of the legislators are left to do minor edits and revisions of existing laws, with actual NEW legislation (laws breaking new ground) being as rare as a modern constitutional amendment.

    Clearly our elected leaders don't subscribe to this POV.

    Mike

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

    OhioNot stressed, but I am a carrier.

    RetroGrouch

    • Senior Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 976

    • Offline
    It is possible if the society hits a technological plateau such that innovation is at the edges of existing science and tech.


    Or if you wrote laws such that they were very broad and merely interpreted them for new things.  Kind of a libertarian utopia.
    Arizona

    JesseL

    • Gun Mangler
    • WTA Staff
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 12451

    • Offline
    When is the last time a new law was really necessary to deal with the misuse of some new technical innovation?

    Arizona

    booksmart

    • Token Left Leaning Idealist Libertarian
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 6596
    • E. Pluribus Unum.

    • Offline
    Well, determining whether putting a GPS device on a suspect's car qualifies as an invasion of privacy, for one...

    JesseL

    • Gun Mangler
    • WTA Staff
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 12451

    • Offline
    Well, determining whether putting a GPS device on a suspect's car qualifies as an invasion of privacy, for one...

    Did that require a new law? The USSC determined in that doing so had violated the suspect's 4th amendment rights. There's still some question about where the line is drawn, but that remains an issue for the courts more than the legislatures.
    Arizona

    booksmart

    • Token Left Leaning Idealist Libertarian
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 6596
    • E. Pluribus Unum.

    • Offline
    Fair 'nough.

    JesseL

    • Gun Mangler
    • WTA Staff
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 12451

    • Offline
    I guess you could argue that case law will always grow, while a sensible set of codes/statutes remains static.
    Arizona

    Chief45

    • WTA LEO
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2428

    • Offline
    whereas the entire point of the "body of the law"  was so everyone knew exactly what was and was not considered illegal. supposed to be solid, black and white, no wiggle room, so every man knew where he stood.     of course when they graduated the first lawyer, the entire process became perverted.
    KansasUN-Retired LEO.

    Non Timebo Mala . . . . . . . I will fear no evil. . .

    It is what it is. . . . . .It's All Good.

    booksmart

    • Token Left Leaning Idealist Libertarian
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 6596
    • E. Pluribus Unum.

    • Offline
    whereas the entire point of the "body of the law"  was so everyone knew exactly what was and was not considered illegal. supposed to be solid, black and white, no wiggle room, so every man knew where he stood.     of course when they graduated the first lawyer, the entire process became perverted.

    Brings to mind one of my favorite Terry Pratchett lines: "Dhblah sidled closer. This was not hard. Dhblah sidled everywhere. Crabs thought he walked sideways."

    sqlbullet

    • Contributor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1593

    • Offline
    I would say not only "can" but "should". I have been saying this for many years.

    In a free society you ought to have almost no restrictions on your actions in private space.  As long as you don't destroy another's property or injure their person directly you are good.

    In public space, there may be slightly more regulation as we have to define who has first access to a shared right, and how that shared right is apportioned.  Traffic lights illustrate this most excellently.

    But most of what goes on in Congress is nonsense.  We don't need drunk driving specific laws.  My uncle drives far better at .15 than my father-in-law does stone sober.  If either of them kills my child with a car, I will be mad...  I won't care whether is was impairment or inability that killed my child.

    We should, in point of opinion, be very wary of all new laws.  In most cases they are unneeded drivel that will just clog up the works and jam up someone who shouldn't be.
    Utah

    coelacanth

    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 10032
    • eccentric orbit

    • Offline
    Perhaps a better way to approach the question would be to ask if it is possible to have a society with no laws.  Are we at some level able to agree what is acceptable behavior and what is not without the entire construct of a legal system?  If that isn't possible then there seems little chance of slowing the onslaught of legislation we are buried under.   I often wonder if the endgame is to make everything illegal and then simply choose who to prosecute/execute based on the whim of prevailing authority.
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

                                                   Benjamin Franklin

    Chief45

    • WTA LEO
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 2428

    • Offline
    Perhaps a better way to approach the question would be to ask if it is possible to have a society with no laws.  **SNIP**

    kind of a oxy there.  call them laws, or custom or tradition, or whatever you wish,  but for any society to function, there must be some rules.  Otherwise, you don't have a society, all you have is a strong man.  The strongest or the most ruthless, without any check upon his actions unless he himself checks his actions.  Even a good man can do something for the wrong reason, or do something bad for "good reasons".   Would you wish, for example, an Obama or a Hillary to be the one with power and you have none ?  or for a "it's for your own good" to not be constrained by the rule of law ?

    do you truly wish a return to the rule of the strongest ?   what if You are not the strongest ?  what if your not the fastest, or best with a sword or bow or club ?   what if,  like many of us have noticed, ie in the "my knees hurt" thread,  18 was a long time ago. 

    as long as the rule of law is still the rule,  we have a chance.  at least as long as the Constitution holds up. 
    KansasUN-Retired LEO.

    Non Timebo Mala . . . . . . . I will fear no evil. . .

    It is what it is. . . . . .It's All Good.

    Feud

    • Teller of bad jokes.
    • Senior Contributor
    • *****
    • Posts: 4986

    • Offline
    I guess you could argue that case law will always grow, while a sensible set of codes/statutes remains static.

    Hence my comment on judicial discretion in establishing common law remedies.  But, that gives a lot of power to the courts, which are not theoretically not as deliberative or accountable as what a legislature would be.

    sqlbullet

    • Contributor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1593

    • Offline
    Hence my comment on judicial discretion in establishing common law remedies.  But, that gives a lot of power to the courts, which are not theoretically not as deliberative or accountable as what a legislature would be.

    In practice, though, courts, even lower ones, tend to be more deliberative.  They seem to generally take seriously the fact that the debate is limited and the case law long standing.

    Legislative bodies, on the other hand, seem to have a cavalier attitude that if they screw it up, the law can easily be revised.
    Utah

    jimspur

    • Member
    • **
    • Posts: 189

    • Offline
    To the O.P., no.  Too many people who just have to "fix" things.
    Good night Chesty, wherever you are!

    Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.