Lady Justice

The Ideals of our Culture vs. the Laws of the Land

Lady Justice
Lady Justice, by AJAEL

Dear Son,

One of the things that drives me mad about our culture is that it constantly fails to live up to its own ideals.  We have built our society on principle that people know what is best for themselves, and ought to have the freedom to follow their own conscience – and then we refuse to respect that freedom when someone makes a choice that we don’t agree with.  We shaped our culture around the value of Justice and Due Process – but the moment someone is accused of a crime, we try and convict them in the court of public opinion, and demand that they be punished immediately.  We created a society where government wasn’t meant to have the power to meddle in our lives – and then we demand they make new laws and claim new powers every time we get scared.

People forget why we made this culture.  It has been a long time since we had mad kings and corrupt soldiers doing whatever they pleased with the citizenry.  It has been long since aristocrats have treated us as their property to starve and beat.  It’s been a long time since our Irish ancestors were being starved, abused, and sold into slavery to make the English rich.

And because it has been so long, people have become focused on the little picture, like their feelings and their beliefsThey want to reshape our culture to make them feel better or conform to their religion or ideology. They say our system can be hard and heartless.  And maybe sometimes they are right – it can be.  But you only have to look at how badly a government can blunder, how absurd and violent the law can be if we give it too much, and realize that their pursuit of good feelings and their little picture can hurt us all.

Today a man is being tried for harassment because he criticized a group of feminists when they were planning on invading the privacy of a couple of men and publicly humiliating them by doxxing them (stealing their personal information and publishing it on the public Internet.)  He was rude when he did it, because although he had been their friend and co-volunteer, he thought – rightly -that what they were doing was wrong.  And they brought criminal charges against him. This man has lost his job, spent time in jail, and spent thousands of dollars in legal fees for speaking up about what he thought was right.  And because every judge’s decision changes the rest of the law in Canada forever by creating a precedent, all of our freedoms to publicly speak up and criticize people for wrongdoing is in danger.  Because we created bad laws that keep begetting more bad laws.

I hope that we get a sane and sensible judge for a change of pace, and that we don’t lose a little more Freedom for no good reason.  I want to create a world where you are free to make your own way in the manner that you see fit.  Not one where you are restrained and restricted to protect other people’s feelings.

One where we do our best to live up to our ideals.

Growing up around me you are going to hear a lot of anti-conformist talk.  But you are also going to hear a lot of deep respect for the ideals of Philosophical Liberalism.  Remember that the two are not mutually exclusive.  You can love the ideals of your culture, but hate the execution, because your government is not your country, and your laws are not your morals.  Ultimately you will have to decide what is a worthy balance for yourself.

Remember that the heart of our culture is in high ideals, and some days we don’t live up to them, and that the wise man pushes us to do better.

Thoughtfully,

Dad

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