So we’re going to have another post based on something from Draconusmajor, in response to the last two posts.
I can’t say I agree with you. What I can say is I think you’ve let your focused narrow to near vendetta worthy levels. I’d like to propose a topic change. Perhaps you could discuss how you justify being a ‘God’ of law when the law sees to it that the rich stay stupidly rich and the poor become hopelessly poorer and even homeless.
As an added challenge discuss this in a blog post and do it without rreferencing social justice at all.
So I’m going to start with the “justifying” being a “God of Law,” especially in relation to how the law sees that the rich stay rich and the poor get poorer.
I mean, I am what Hel has me be, so I suppose that would be justification enough in my eyes, but I suppose people would want more than that. “Because God told me so” just doesn’t fly like it used to, lol. So here we go.
The truth is, the Law doesn’t really have anything to do with the rich being rich, or staying rich. Nor does it have to do with the poor being poor, though occasionally it does have to do with the poor losing their homes. The Law, however, is not Economics and generally has little to do with economics, except to rule out various forms of theft. It’s mostly economics as to why the rich are rich, the poor are poor, and how often one transfers from one to the other. But we’re here to talk about law.
The truth is, the only real areas where the Law has much of anything to do with economics is in the areas of copyright, taxes, and making sure that there is a minimum wage and that no one can be paid more or less based on various states of being (sex, ethnicity, religion, etc). When it comes to non-discrimination, there is no effect when it comes to a rich/poor dichotomy. Copyright preserves a creator’s ability to own their own creation and profit from it. This, perhaps does have to do with the rich/poor dichotomy, but only in those who are rich that have either created something and profited from it, or are descended from those who created something and profit from that. However this pretty much never comes up in the rich vs poor discussions that DM is referring too.
So really, the issue is in taxes, as far as the law goes. Now, the truth is that tax laws apply to everyone equally. Where the rich stay rich in regards to taxes is that some of their income comes from sources other than a profession, and these are taxed differently. As most poor people do not have incomes of this type, they do not get such tax breaks. That’s hardly an injustice, though, and such forms of income have faced greater taxation over the last decade than they have before. Some might consider this to be unfair, but the Law isn’t always about fairness.
The other side of this is that businesses use the law or work to pass laws that help them make profits, which in turn make those who own and run the companies more money. Sometimes this makes people poorer. Walmart is a good example of a massive business that tends to leave areas poorer for its existence, even though it is fully lawful in its practices (at least that anyone can tell).
This is often treated as a moral failing of the Law, a proof that the Law is corrupt, unjust, even used for evil. The thing most people seem to forget, however, is that the Law is not about Morality. It never has been, except in a few examples such as Judaism or Islam. The truth is, law works more like this:
It has generally been regarded by Western Philosophers that Law is best when Law is Neutral, professing neither good nor evil. This is not universally the case, of course, across all societies, however, it was by looking at many societies across the world that such Western Philosopher’s came to their conclusion. A good example of this in modern times (not referencing the latest one) is Islam.
Islamic shariah law is a perfect example of what happens when Law is codified based on morality. Adulterers are stoned to death, witches are killed, gays are thrown off of buildings (or stoned, or both). For the longest time (and recently under ISIS) the raping of non-Muslim women was perfectly legal and even legally encouraged via slavery and several other methods. There are many more examples which are easily researched.
But even here in the USA we can see what happens when morality is enforced legally. Witchcraft and practices associated with it have been outlawed in many states and many Pagans now fight to have such restrictions (especially against Divination). More widely known, were laws outlawing homosexual acts. More and more often, these laws are being changed because the morality of the populace has changed.
Regardless, the more people attempt to legislate morality with Law things typically become worse not better. Many seek to be like Superman, bringing truth and justice to all, but all to often it is Hitler that ends up being seen.
The primary goal of Law is to hinder actions, to prevent person or persons from taking things from other people. Theft, murder, rape, things of that nature. However, commerce, the buying and selling of goods is not theft. That some are successful and become rich, while others not so much, is not unlawful. That the rich occasionally manage to pass laws that prevent governments from taking from them as much as those less rich might like is also not unlawful. After all, none of us like it when the Government takes from us personally, so where would it be righteous and just for us to desire a thing we hate to happen to others?
Now, as to the part about the Law being responsible for people loosing their homes, most people buy their homes on credit. They enter a legal contract with another party to borrow the money, with the oath that they will pay back that money. Sometimes, due to things far outside of anyone’s control (including the rich) bad things happen to the economy. People no longer have the money they thought they would and they cannot pay back what they owe, and so they lose it.
Is this unjust? Not really. Surely, it sucks to lose one’s home. I’ve experienced it myself. But regardless of why, in such instance one did fail to uphold one’s oath, and one broke a legal contract. Now, one could argue that the Law should be that a person couldn’t lose their home, but then what expectation would any lender of having their credit repaid? That’s the reason the law is the way it is. Without it, no one would lend money, and then no one could buy with credit, and then none but the richest of the rich would be able to have homes at all.
And really, that’s a Law I can live with.
The ultimate truth is that there will always be rich people and poor people, and generally the Rich have been Stupidly Rich in comparison to the poor. This has been true across all societies, and generally only grown as time has progressed and civilizations have gathered more and more resources to themselves. And perhaps this too, is a Law, like gravity, or time, but then, those Laws are not about morality either. And this too, is how I justify being what Hel has me be. Morals change. What is good becomes bad, what is bad becomes good, and sometimes orange becomes blue, if you will. But Laws are contacts between people, and sometimes these work out for everyone and sometimes they work out for a few, but in the West we have systems where people are equally represented in the making of these contracts, where everyone has a voice, and if someone is given power and fails to do as he promised, or does badly, he may be replaced. And this is all done Lawfully. Maybe it’s not always “morally right” or doesn’t agree with someone’s idea of “justice” but it is a peaceful agreement between all peoples. And frankly, I can’t think of a better way to do it.
Because if we didn’t do it that way, there would be still be poor people and rich people, the only difference is that the rich would be rich by violently taking from other people, and people would be poor or dead because they couldn’t keep what they had.