Thursday, February 21, 2008

Law as religion

There's something uncanny about learning about the law. Not learning the law, mind you. Learning about it. About how it started, why we respect it, what makes us respect it, that sort of thing. The philosophy behind it all, what. I find it's a bit like religion, in the sense that you take what is given, and go with it. Many theories try to explain why we follow the law. Jus naturalism talks about our innate sense of justice.

We're now talking about positivism. Kelsen's theories. And in the end, you're left with this: you follow the law because it is based on another law, or norm, and in the end, everything is based on a Super-Norm, which you follow because you do. Which is a bit like religion. You do something because God says so. You do something because the law says so.

Which, come to think of is, is quite similar to the job of any scientist. The chemist studies the rules of chemistry, and does not really question where the rules come from, because they just ARE. The jurist studies the law, and does not question its origins, because it just IS.

There's something comforting, really, about not worrying about the Meta-norm, and taking it for granted. Because if it were to fall, it's the whole system that will come crashing down. Sometimes, I guess, willful blindness is just necessary.

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