More law less trust

The ODT”s Weekend Mix  had a profile of Otago University law Professor, Mark Henaghan. It’s not online but concluded with this:

The law tends to reflect society’s values, Prof Henaghan replies.

“There’s a wonderful saying by an American philosopher, ‘In hell there will be nothing but law, and due process will be duly enforced.’

“Because in a way the more law you have the less you have to trust people.

The less you trust people, the more distrustful they become and so the more law you need in order to trust them. “

A good society would not have too much law, because people would do the right thing he says.

But in New Zealand we have a lot of law.

More law less trust, less trust more law, more law, less trust  . . .

Sad but true and even more so if read with this morning’s quote of the day from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.

When people don’t recognise the voice of their own conscience they don’t recognise the voice of justice and we have less trust and we need more law and then we get less trust. . .

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to More law less trust

  1. Roj Blake says:

    When people don’t recognise the voice of their own conscience they don’t recognise the voice of justice …

    Sadly, there are many who DO recognise the voice of the conscience and do evil. They set off bombs in crowds, deny children life saving medical care, elect grubs to high office, restrict the rights of women, ignore scientific evidence and defer to “gut instinct”, and follow stupid rules from ancient books.

    Although it can seem like it, conscience is not something we are born with, it is something we learn as we are socialised. We are not born knowing right from wrong, we are taught and shown by example.

    It is easier to trust in small groups, than in larger cities. It is why rural people still leave houses unlocked, why laws are not needed to enforce friendships.

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