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"But law comes from the majority consensus! Whatever the majority of the People want, the government has the right to make that into a law! That's what Democracy is!"
This is a common belief today. Perhaps it's more evolved than other explanations - like "law comes from power (i.e. weapons)" - but it's still not the answer.
Ask yourself a simple question: Can you give someone something that you don't have?
Can you give someone a car if you don't have a car?
Can you give someone $1,000,000 if you don't have $1,000,000?
"No, obviously not."
Can you give someone a right or authority that you don't have?
If you don't have the right or authority to do XYZ, can you give, grant, or "delegate" that right or authority to someone else?
"No, I can't give someone a right or authority that I myself don't have."
Correct. Now do you have the right or authority to make law?
"Yes. I'm a citizen and I vote!"
So you get your authority from your nation/state?
But you just said your nation/state gets ITS authority FROM YOU.
OK, so... You're saying your nation/state gets its authority from YOU.... and YOU get your authority from your nation/state.
That makes no sense.
"Yea I was just about to say so. Oops. I guess I'll have to find some other explanation...
Oh, I know. I automatically have the right to vote, and make laws, because I'm born with that right!"
So you have the authority to decide how someone else lives their life - even if they're not harming or bothering anyone else?
You have the authority to set the definition of what's right and wrong?
You have the authority to change right and wrong, simply by the sheer force of your own will?
Are you a god over your fellows?
"Well I can't do that by myself, but if you add my will together with the wills of others, and our will is the majority, then yes, we collectively have the authority to make law."
If nobody in a group has XYZ, can the group give XYZ to someone?
If nobody in the group has a spaceship, can the group give someone a spaceship?
So if no one in a group has the right or authority to make law, then can the group, as a collective, have the right or authority to make law?
"I suppose not."
So if the group doesn't have such authority, can they delegate such authority to an elected representative?
"If it's enough people, then yes."
And how much is enough? What's the magic number? Is 1000 people enough? That's the population of the countries of Palau and Vatican City. If Palau and Vatican City get to make laws with just 1000 people, then can I make a law for YOU if I get 1000 signatures?
"It's not a specific number - it's a majority. The majority of the people (50% +1) within a given physical area."
What physical area?
"A country. Or a state, city, county, township, etc. Whatever social unit the people have agreed upon."
"The people in the physical area."
What physical area? Who decides what physical area there needs to be a majority within, in order to make laws? Who decides the borders of each "lawmaking" area?
"The people who live there."
Aha. Look at what you're doing here. This is circular logic. You're saying people can't make law - unless they get a majority of their peers within a certain physical area to agree with them - yet they themselves are the ones deciding what that physical area is in the first place!
So you've got a circular logic here. You're saying people don't have the right to make laws - unless they give themselves the right to make laws. Totally circular... see?
So if I wanted to, I could get together with a friend, take out a map, draw a circle around your house, declare the area inside the circle to be a "nation" or "state" or "municipality", then walk inside that circle together with my friend, write a "law" on a piece of paper, "vote" on it with my friend, and then, voila - that's the law, and you're subject to it.
Is that really how you think a rational, civilized system of law and order works?
"But you don't have the right to do that. The state does."
You keep claiming that your nation-state has authority, but can't say where it gets that authority from. You say they get it from you - but can't say where YOU get it from. All you're doing is making up names of imaginary entities, and claiming you get authority from them, but when I ask you where THEY get it from, you keep saying "yourself".
They get it from you... and you get it from them. How can that be possible?
Neither of you are getting it from anywhere, and neither of you have ever possessed it.
"That's a very good point. You're making me think hard here! I see what you're saying. I guess I DON'T have the authority to make law for you, or for anybody else. And even if I team up with some other people, we still don't have such authority, because none of us have it in the first place. You're right."
And if you don't have it, then you can't give it to your elected representatives. THEY therefore don't have it. They don't have authority to make laws.
"But at the end of the day, the nation-state has the weapons, the armies, and the power. If they say something is "law", then it is. They have the power to enforce their view of law - whether it's right or wrong. That's what makes law - the power to enforce it."
Well then, if you came here from the Objections Main Menu page, you apparently chose the wrong option to the question of "Where does law come from?"
Perhaps you meant to say that law comes from Power.
"No no, scratch that... I don't believe law comes from raw power. I don't believe 'might makes right.' I'm not a caveman."
So you don't believe law comes from power. Good.
And we just established that it doesn't come from consensus either - because nobody can give anybody anything that they themselves don't have.
"But wait. We need SOME way to make laws. We can't just have chaos, where everyone can just do whatever they want. We need laws to keep society together. If "We the People" can't make laws, then who does? God? A king? Or should we not have any law at all?"
Of course we need law. And we HAVE law. Look at the title of the website :)
And the good news is, we don't need to "pass" or "legislate" it - it already exists. It's built into the structure of Reality itself. We have all the law we need.
"Ok, maybe you have a point about nation-states not having the authority to make law. But why would YOU have such authority? Who do you think you are? What gives you the right to make a website like this? What makes your 'Law of the Earth' real?"
This question has been addressed here.
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