Posts Tagged ‘Law’

Crime is not indivdualistic

February 7, 2015

(A) crime is not committed only against the victim but primarily against the community whose law is violated.

Telford Taylor, New York Times Magazine, quoted in Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Penguin: 1994, p.261

Likewise, a breach of love for neighbour is a breach of the law of God. Justice is not served merely by doing justice for the former without the latter.

Miracles are restoration of nature’s laws, not violation

September 10, 2009

There is a disturbing element in the world…a principle at work absolutely contrary to the principle of Law – what the bible calls sin…If miracle seems abitrary and violent, may it not be because some forcible method is necessary to redress the balance already upset by the introduction of evil into a world originally ‘very good’?…When the physician…restores the body to health, although he forcibly interrupts a series of physical processes which apart from him must have worked themselves out, he is really ranged on the side of the natural and normal…May we not say then that in the sphere of biblical miracle the real intervention is not the intervention of grace, but that of the sin that required it?

J.R.Dummelow in R.Abba, Nature and Authority of the Bible, p.138

Nature held in suspense by the higher law of mind

September 7, 2009

‘Physical laws are suspended any time an animate being moves any part of its body; the laws of matter are suspended by the laws of life’ (Mozley). Archbishop Trench: ‘When I lift my arm, the law of gravitation is not, as far as my arm is concerned, denied or annihilated ; it exists as much as ever, but is held in suspense by the higher law of my will’…this is what Lord Kelvin meant when he said that from the point of view of science every free human action is a miracle. Man, says Augustine, is a greater miracle than all that he can work…If it gives scope  for the exercise of human personality to such an extent that it may be deflected from its normal course by the mind and will of man, is it reasonable or unscientific to believe that it may be influenced to an even greater extent by the mind and will of God?

R.Abba, Nature and Authority of the Bible, p.157

September 7, 2009

…in Paris on 27 August 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Treaty was signed, and war was renounced as an instrument of national policy. Fifty-four years later that treaty is still in effect, its existence serving as an unintended and unfortunate mockery of its admirable aims.

Among the signatories of the Pact of Paris are Iran, Iraq, and the Soviet Union.


The law can state what is wrong but has no power to effect the keeping of it.

Ignorance of the law no excuse

September 6, 2009

Sir John Latham, Chief Justice of the Australian High Court (1877-1964), was driving in Melbourne when he was caught contravening a traffic law. The Irish policeman asked him his name. ‘John Latham,’ he replied.

The constable said, ‘You wouldn’t be after being that John Latham who is a barrister, now would you?’

‘Yes. I am he.’

‘And you wouldn’t be after being that same John Latham who is the Commonwealth Attorney General?’

Sir John’s hopes began to rise. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I am he.’

‘Well, you won’t be able to plead ignorance of the law, now will you?’

Oxford Book of Legal Anecdotes, Oxford 1986, ed. Michael Gilbert

Adding to Scripture

September 4, 2009

Joseph Fielding Smith (Mormon President 1970-72) said that a cup of tea can keep a member out of heaven:

…but my brethren if you drink coffee or tea, or take tobacco, are you letting a cup of tea or a little tobacco stand in the road and bar you from the Celestial Kingdom of God, where you might otherwise have received a fulness of glory?

“Oh, it is such a little thing, and the Lord will forgive us.” Well, there is not anything that is little in the way of sinning. There is not anything that is little in the world in the aggregate. One cup of tea, then it is another cup of tea and another cup of tea, and when you get them all together, they are not so little.

Joseph Smith, Mormon founder, drank tea, beer, wine and possibly smoked too.

The Law is Powerless to Change us

September 4, 2009

Benjamin Franklin made 13 virtues for himself, including: Silence (‘speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation’), frugality, industry (‘lose not time; be always employed in something useful’) and tranquility (‘be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable’).

He set up a book with a page for each virtue, lining a column in which to record “defects.” Choosing a different virtue to work on each week, he daily noted every mistake, starting over every 13 weeks in order to cycle through the list four times a year.

For many decades Franklin carried his little book with him, striving for a clean thirteen-week cycle. As he made progress, he found himself struggling with yet another defect. “There is perhaps no one of natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it. Struggle with it. Stifle it. Mortify it as much as one pleases. It is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself….even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.

Phillip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace, Zondervan, 1997, p. 35

…These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Col.2.23

Is the sign there to spoil your fun or save your life?

September 4, 2009

Rico Tice was on the beach with John Chapman in Australia and wanted to swim. But a sign said: ‘Sharks – No Swimming.’ Yet still Rico Tice wanted to swim. Chappo asked him, ‘Is the sign there to spoil your fun or save your life?’

The law of God appears to rob us of pleasures we desire – but it functions, amongst other things, to protect us from our own folly.

The King is Law

September 4, 2009

In truth, the action of the Fuehrer was pure justice. It is not subject to the law; instead, it was the highest law.

Carl Schmidt, Hamburg, 1940.

There was, supposedly, no one to whom Hitler was accountable, no norm or standard of Justice to which his actions could or should be tested.

Ignorance of the law is no good excuse

September 4, 2009

ignorance of the law is no good excuse, where every man is bound to take notice of the laws to which he is subject.

Hobbes, Leviathan, ch.25, 2