Untrue Things People Believe
Real Law Versus Man-Made Law
This is the eigth article addressing those things most people believe that are not true introduced in the article, "Most Of What You Believe Is Not True." To see all the articles, or any other one, please see the Index.
Real Law which I've also referred to as the "laws of reality" are the principles that describe the nature of reality. Those principles determine what an individual must do and how one must live to live successfully and happily in this world.
The principles cover the two aspects of reality: the physical world and life. The principles describing the physical world are the principles of science, also called "scientific laws."
The principles describing the nature of life concern three attributes of reality, life itself, consciousness, and the human mind. Though perfectly natural, life, consciousness, and the human mind are not themselves physical, but cannot exist independent of the physical.
[NOTE: The assertion that life, consciousness, and the human mind are not physical is a philosophical issue I've thoroughly addressed elsewhere: they are fully discussed in my last philosophical work published here, How We Know, particularly the chapters, Ontology, Life, Consciousness, Perception, and The Human Mind—Volition, Reason, Intellect.]
Most people understand why the principles of physics, chemistry, and biology are sometimes called laws and in a very real sense are laws, because one cannot defy the laws of nature. What most people do not understand is that the principles that describe the nature of life, consciousness, and the human mind are as inviolable as the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology.
Every living creature has a specific nature that determines how it must live to live successfully. In all forms of life, except one, what an organism must do to live is programmed into that organism's nature; in the higher animals that programmed pattern of behavior is called instinct. An animal does not have to discover what it must eat, how to acquire its food and water, what kind of shelter it needs and how to dig or build it, what kind of things it must avoid, or what kind of environment it ought to live in, and it cannot choose to do anything other than what its instinctive programming determines it must do.
Human beings are the only creatures without a pre-programmed pattern of behavior, and must discover everything they must do to live successfully. In the place of instinct, humans have a mind for discovering how to live and choosing to do it.
The human mind consists of three characteristics unique to human beings: volition, the ability and necessity to consciously choose all one thinks and does; reason, the ability and necessity to think; and intellect, the ability and necessity to gain and retain knowledge.
The most important aspect of the human mind is the intellect. In order to choose anything one must, at a minimum, know what there is to choose, and to choose well, one must know the possible consequences of one's choices.
To choose, one must think: "what do I want, how can I get it, what is possible, what is best?" What one does not know they cannot think about. The limit of one's choices is determined by the limits of one's knowledge, and since one cannot do what they cannot choose to do, the limits of one's life and its possibilities is determined by the limits of one's knowledge.
If one's choices are to lead to life and success and not to disaster and death, it is not enough to have knowledge, one must know how to think, because thinking is the only means we have to judge what is true and not true. Since truth is whatever correctly describes any aspect of reality, to choose or act on anything but truth is a choice or act in defiance of reality.
The requirement of human nature to consciously choose all one does, to think as well as one possibly can to make right choices, and to gain as much knowledge as possible to make right thinking possible are some of the basic real laws that cannot be defied without disastrous consequences.
The whole purpose of the human mind is to be the guide for all human action. It must do for human beings what instinct does for the animals, it must provide the kind of action necessary for a human being to live successfully and happily. It must discover all that a human being must do to provide all that human nature requires to live and thrive and enjoy life. The name we give to that behavior is work, the actions that produce all that is required for successful human life.
While the principles of physical reality determine the real laws that cannot be defied at the physical level, it is human nature that determines the real laws that cannot be defied if human success and happiness are the objective.
Because a human being is a volitional being he is responsible for all his choices and actions. Any attempt to evade that responsibility is a violation of real law. Because a human being must act (work) to produce whatever his life requires to live, thrive, and enjoy his life, any attempt to evade that requirement of his life is a violation of real law. Any attempt to have or be what the individual has not acquired or achieved by their own effort is a violation of real law.
A moral human being is one who lives always in conformance with the requirements of reality. The only "law-abiding" individual who is truly moral is the individual who always lives by the principles of real law.
Moral individuals choose to take responsibility for their own lives, neither desiring or seeking anything in life but what they have achieved or acquired by their own effort, fully confident in their own ability and competence to live happily and successfully in this world, gladly bearing the consequences of their wrong choices, and proudly enjoying the rewards of their right ones, neither needing nor wanting the agreement or approval of any other individuals, always seeking to be the best they can be in all things, mentally, morally, and physically. Anything less is a violation of real law.
Real Law Compared To Man-made Law
- Real law does not need to be enforced by any human action or agency because reality itself enforces its laws. If one fails to learn all they can, which real law demands, they will limit their life and suffer the consequences. If one fails to work, to actively produce all they can of value, they will suffer deprivation, poverty, hunger, and possibly death.
Man-made laws can only be enforced by men and the usual agency for that enforcement is a government, although religious institutions and other gangs are sometime the enforcement agencies.
- Real law cannot be defied or ignored without consequence. Whether a physical law, like gravity, a biological law, like toxicity, or an ethical law, like the requirement to live honestly, which is true honor. If one defies gravity they will be hurt physically or die; if one defies the principles of toxicity and ingests poison they will be sickened or die; if one attempts to live as a fake and a cheat, it is their own life and happiness they will cheating and will suffer the consequences.
Man-made laws are defied and ignored all the time without consequence.
- Real law is identified in terms of principles. Under the principles of reality an individual's wealth consists of all that he acquires or earns by his own effort, and he is required by the principles of reality to protect and preserve that wealth himself against any individual or agency attempting to deprive him of that wealth. (Think IRS.) The context is, "wealth only pertains to what one has earned."
Man-made laws consist of specific prohibitions and obligations without regard to any context. Under man-made law an individual's wealth is whatever he has acquired, "legally," whether he earns it or bilks some other sucker out of it in the form of government welfare. Taxes under real law are government theft, but under man-made law wealth does not belong to the one who earned it but to whatever agency can use force to take it away from him. There is no context, only brute force.
- Real law must be discovered. No human dictates or proclamation determines real law because it is reality itself that determines real law. One may fail to successfully discover the principles of reality or be mistaken about some of them, but whatever laws of reality are not observed, even through ignorance, the violation of real law will be penalized, which is why learning all one can possibly learn about reality and its nature is one of reality's laws.
Man-made laws cannot be discovered because they are not based on any evidence that can be examined, but on the pronouncements of men. Men may write their laws down in books, but reality will never recognize or enforce them.
- The consequences of violating real law are always commensurate with the violation. Reality does not "punish" wrong actions, but it determines the consequences of all actions and those consequences, because they are always consistent with the nature of reality, they just.
The consequences of violating man-made law are never commensurate with the violation, because there is no means of making that evaluation objectively. There is no way to measure the severity of a so-called crime that consists of violating a man-made law. The punishments and penalties applied to the violation of man-made laws are always unjust and always ineffective.
- Real law holds for all people. No position or class or condition exempts anyone from real law. No matter who or what a person is, genius or idiot, billionaire or bum, beautiful or ugly, all are subject to the same laws of reality. Real law never discriminates, because it does not recognize race, religion, nationality, anyone's allegiances to any human ideology, or anyone's history or heritage.
Some people are exempted from man-made law, particularly the "law-makers." Almost all man-made law is different for different people depending on all the irrelevant things real law ignores. All man-made law is discriminatory.
- Real law holds everywhere. From the poles to the equator, every individual in this world is subject to the laws of reality. On any continent, in any country, or state, or city, real law is the same and applies to everyone.
Man-made laws are different everywhere. Every continent, country, state, and city in the world is infected with different and usually contradictory man-made laws.
- Real law holds all the time, because real law cannot be changed. The laws of reality are, like reality itself, immutable, absolute, and ruthless. Real laws never change, are never revoked, can never be evaded, and their violation is never forgiven.
Man-made laws change all the time, which is perhaps the best proof that they are nothing but vapor. New man-made laws are constantly being added and, though rarely, old laws are revoked. At any time in history, any place in the world, what was deemed right or wrong under the law has been different at different times. How can something be morally wrong one day, because the law forbids it, and perfectly moral the next, because law allows it? Think prohibition.
- In the context of real law, the more law-abiding one is, that is, the more their life is lived in conformance to reality, the more happy and successful their life will be.
In the context of man-made law, the more law-abiding one is, the more restricted, meaningless, and unimaginative their life is reducing their life's potential and any real possibility for happiness and success as a human being. The principle is simple, one either lives by using their own mind to think and choose how to live, as reality requires, or surrenders their mind and their will to some set of arbitrary rules and regulations invented by men, which reality forbids.