Sunday, April 15, 2007

Universal Laws (2) Nature

A law has two parts.

  1. An action or behaviour is forbidden. Laws do not tell us what we can do. They prescribe things that we must not do. The specification of the law must be sufficiently precise that anyone can understand what actions are prohibited.
  2. A penalty is prescribed for non-compliance. Those who break a law receive a negative sanction or punishment. This penalty is applied by a civil authority.

The penalty turns a moral statement into a law. Pride might be morally wrong, but there is no civil punishment for being proud, so it is not a law.

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