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"You're confusing 'law' with 'morality.' I agree that some things, like robbing, raping, murdering, etc. are wrong. They're wrong intrinsically, whether or not social norms recognize them as such. But that isn't 'law' - that's just morality. Horrible things remain 'immoral', no matter what - but they're not 'unlawful' unless the society decides to make them so, because society is what determines the law."
So something can be immoral, but still lawful?
And something else could be entirely moral, but unlawful? Is that what you're saying?
So... is a person who breaks the law a criminal?
"Yes, that's the definition of a criminal."
So was Harriet Tubman (the coordinator of the Underground Railroad, who brought thousands of enslaved human beings to freedom) a criminal?
And the people who abducted free human beings and sold them at slave markets - were those people 'not' criminals?
"Correct. What they did was immoral, but not criminal."
So your "laws" are not based on morality?
"No, they're not. They're based entirely on the wills, desires, and whims of society."
So why call them laws? Why not call them wills, desires, and whims?
"That's a good question. I guess calling them 'laws' is just what I'm used to. Everyone else is used to it too. We shouldn't go around changing the definitions of words. 'Law' means wills / desires / whims... while 'morality' means what's actually right and wrong."
Language is the most powerful tool in the toolbox of social change. Whoever controls language controls the terms of debate, and hence the stage upon which the debate takes place. If you want law to reflect actual right and wrong, then you should be open to the idea that law is based, by definition, on morality.
And the current definition you're using for "law" is not even the original one. We aren't the ones trying to change words into unnatural meanings - your society has already done that. You've already warped the definition of law from its origins - all we're doing is changing it back.
A long time ago (and quite recently in some cultures), law was recognized as a natural phenomenon. Nobody thought themselves capable of changing law - nobody except a sociopath. Everyone knew that victimizing other people, whether through theft, rape, or murder, was wrong. Everyone knew that cruel and needless exploitation of animals was wrong. Everyone knew that it was wrong to disregard ecological principles and recklessly alter and consume the biosphere. Everyone knew these things, and no one presumed themselves - or any group - capable of changing that. No one thought that wrong actions could be made right, or vice versa, by the will, desire, or whim of any person or group.
They didn't consider wrong actions wrong because a big, mighty man said so - they just knew it already. Legislation was never necessary, because the law was written into the innate conscience of every person. And it still is. Even in you, if you know where to look.
But then, starting several thousand years ago, people started to forget this basic truth. Men were elevated above other men, and falsely attributed with the authority to redefine right and wrong, according to their own personal whims. This happened most suddenly and spectacularly in Mesopotamia, and then in other major imperial centers, like the Nile River Valley, Yellow River Valley, and a few other key points. From those centers, the mind-virus then spread to other parts of the world. Wherever it spread, human beings became corrupted by it. Those living in very isolated places, like remote islands and deep jungles, held on to the truth longer. But by the time the Age of Exploration (colonialism) had encircled the globe, the "me-make-law" mindset had taken over most of humanity. To learn more about the Story of Humanity, click here.
Your definition of "law" is already altered from its original meaning. All we're doing is restoring it.
Law rests firmly on morality. The two are intricately intertwined, whether or not the prevailing social norms understand this.
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