Friday, August 23, 2013

Treatise on Law.

Modern Galilee. And Nevertheless It Moves - Honore Daumier

"An unjust law is no law at all,"-  St. Augustine

For some reason, in the our fiction novel, our heroes aren't exactly the most law abiding type. They'll steal cars (or horses) to outrun the bad guys, they'll take justice into their own hands and lets not even go into trespassing laws. That's what we've been brought up with. The idea that when the bad guys start fighting, we can do anything we need to do, lie, cheat, steal, take up the sword, in order to stop them. 

So here's the question. What is a hero allowed to do in order to stop a villain? On one hand, the guy who obeys every single traffic law, even when the villains are after him, is possibly going to die of stupidity. On the other side of the coin, we would do well to head Neitzche's warning that he who fights monster must take care not to become a monster himself. If the hero acts in every way like the villain in order to take him down/ What differentiates him from the villain? 

I think the answer to this, is that the heroes always follow moral law. Sometimes they follow moral law higher then the civil law that surrounds them. The laws of God trump the laws of man, and the laws God themselves work according to certain order of operations. The value of human life more valuable than the value of human property laws. Otherwise our characters will find themselves in the situation of being unable to fulfill their responsibilities towards their God or their loved ones, because they are being forced to obey minor laws.

However, this doesn't mean our heroes are free to ignore law. They simply have a priority of which laws to follow..That's what differentiates them. The villain does not obey law, or at least, he doesn't obey God's. The hero, to one extent or another is bound to obey God's law. And Christ reminds us that his commandments are not burdensome. They make room for moral complexities. But they don't free us to do whatever we want.

In conclusion, our characters always do have to obey the law. Not necessarily man's law, but always God's. His law comes first in all situations. 

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