I’ve been pondering over the idea that anything is black and white. There are various things that folks mention like life and death, the idea that there is a definitive point when anything becomes concrete. I think that there are very few, if any, things that are as such. I’ll throw out some examples and then carry into what I call “Intuitive Law”.
It was originally inspired by the paradox of the grain of sand and the mound of dirt (or sand). The idea that if you take a mound of sand/dirt and remove a single particle that it will still be a mound of sand/dirt. If you do this again you will still have a mound. So you then ask the question, at what point does a mound of sand/dirt stop being a mound? Could you state that a single grain of sand is just as much a mound as a large collective of them?
The idea that if you look at anything critically and try to take just a little bit away from it, a negligible amount even and it remains the same. That by that logic if you continue to do so you will never see the change when it happens you’ll just at some point intuitively feel that it is no longer the same. Evolution carries on by this principle, as no species looks very different from the last itineration of itself and the next. They are grains of sand being removed from a mound (or added to it) in an endless change that looks unchanging.
How about Murder? That’s a pretty shocking charge that can end the life of those accused and tried. Imagine you punch someone in the chest and they die a second later. You’d be charged with Murder (feel free to replace this with shooting someone). But what if they died a second later than that? Would it still be murder? How about a second after that? What if we continue this up to 40 years worth of seconds or 1,261,440,000 instances of seconds? At what point do we no longer look at that punch or the puncher as the murderer? At what point does the natural biological failure become the cause of death? Sure in natural law there is an obvious cause that is the cause and there is no question. However natural law, the actual cause for events, is rarely the deciding factor in Human Law.
If you can’t appreciate that, when does a hobby become suicide? If you drink rat poison and die in an hour you will be ruled as a suicide. How about if you eat paint chips and die from brain decay 10 years later? Or if you smoke and end up shortening your life X amount of years? What about eating fast food to the point of morbid obesity and having heart failure? At what point do your poor choices become suicide? Since Suicide is a crime at what point do these other actions become criminal? What speed of self destruction is deemed unacceptable, what is the exact point that this mark is met? This could be shrugged off but the idea of “exact actions resulting in exact consequences” is the foundation of the entire US law system, most of our nonsense comes from laws that are read word for word, so we need to set down exact points.
We work by the system of intuitive laws. We choose what time intuitively feels right, the large problem with this is that it is easily molded by dickery. Dickery being a term I wish would become common enough to be a real word.
Dickery (V), 1. The act of abusing anything otherwise well intentioned because the actor is a complete dick.
Dickery is the reason that religion in an organized fashion doesn’t really pan out, or why Politics has so many issues in so many countries, it is why communism, socialism, and capitalism all don’t work. Dickery is how you can take a character like Jesus (who, other than being a Fig Tree murderer, is generally pretty nice) and use him as your figurehead for hating homosexuals. But I could write a whole post on Dickery, so we’ll save that rant for another day. It’s fairly similar to my feelings on douchebags.
This might all just be jibberish but I hope it is thoughtful jibberish. The hope is that people will examine anything they feel is concrete and see if it falls apart under the “one bit less or one bit more.” The legal age for smoking, for drinking, for driving, for recreational (or serious) sex, running for president, working in certain industries, all these things have strict limitations that make them appear to be solid and natural in their design but their foundation is based upon intuitive law.
It makes much of it seem very silly, as if the folks who design our infrastructure aren’t much more creative or aware of the world around them than Elementary kids. Which I feel might be unfair to Elementary kids as there are some very intelligent kids who could probably run any office better than the current “vintage” models. That’s a dead horse that’s been beaten into obscurity at this point. Though it will be the foundation for a topic of discussion I hope to make later this week (the dead horse phenomenon, not the vintage politicians being fairly poor at their job).
Note: I suspect the reason that we won’t set exact times is the same reason DRM works so poorly. Folks will learn how to circumvent the system once you stop making it abuse able, so the question becomes which side is better? Having the legal system with a large power of abuse ability, or the people with a large power of abuse ability? I’m hard pressed to see a system where neither (or both) would have this option. Although Lawyers and Lobbyists sure make that possibility seem less unlikely every year.