.ll 72
.fo off
.co on 
.ce ((Editor's comments in double parenthesis - Homer))
.ce ADR - 418
.ce Copyright (C) Homer Wilson Smith
.ce Redistribution rights granted for non commercial purposes
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Resent-Date:  Wed, 06 Sep 89 18:16:46 EDT
Resent-From:  Homer 
Resent-To:    adore-l@ualtavm
Date:         Wed, 06 Sep 89 17:44:25 EDT
From:         Homer 
Subject:      Re: Law, religion and ethical norms
To:           Discussion of Ethics in Computing 
In-Reply-To:  Message of Wed, 6 Sep 89 12:18:46 EDT from 

----------------------------Original message----------------------------

     In my mind criminality is an absolute.  It is an effort to take
from another what another would not give willingly.  It is an effort to
violate simple considerations of fair exchange, to consume without
producing in return.  To take without giving.

     Thus the purpose of law is to delineate criminality and specify
retribution for it, and not to define it or to create it by passing
arbitrary laws that then make something criminal that before wasn't.

     Things do not become criminal because they become illegal.  They
become illegal because the ruling party has come to recognize that they
are criminal and wishes to state so publically and set retribution for
indulging in such actions.

     If things became criminal just because the law said so, then
criminals could get elected and make laws that would make things
'criminal' that weren't.  Further any law the criminal made could never
itself be criminal unless there were an earlier law saying the later law
was criminal.  For example if a criminal passes a law against marijuana
that would make smoking pot criminal but the law itself could not be
criminal.  However if there were an earlier law saying it was criminal
to pass laws against marijuana, then the later law against marijuana
would be criminal.

     If criminals were making laws (and they are all the time) then you
can be sure there would be no such prior laws to stop the criminal from
passing criminal laws.

     Just as good intention, love, beneficence, fair deals, fair trade
all existed long before any codification were made of them, so were bad
intention, evil, hate, malevolence, rip offs and criminality.

     Robbery was criminal long before any laws were written.  And if a
law were made outlawing breast feeding, that certainly would not make
breast feeding criminal.  That would merely mean criminals were making

     If criminality were DEFINED by the law there could never be a
criminal LAW, and thus all criminals making such laws could never commit
a crime in the writing of such a law.  Clearly criminals commit crimes
regardless of what field of endeavor they are operating in, including
the field of writing laws, thus they can commit a crime in writing a bad
law, thus criminality does not find its basis in law but in a higher

     People who define criminality as that which is illegal are
themselves criminal and know it and hope you don't see it.  They are
trying to rip you off of your inalienable right to determine for
yourself what is criminal and what isn't.

     The purpose of law is to enforce those rights and duties that we
would naturally enforce for ourselves if we were all all-powerful
beings.  As such it is our own natural understanding of what is a rip
off and what isn't that defines and gives reason for and credence to

     It is criminal to rob a bank and kill the cashier, it is not
criminal to smoke some weed or smoke crack.

     Crack may be very very bad for you and perhaps laws should be
passed concerning it, but it is not a CRIME to smoke crack or to deal.
Of course many criminals (people who are out to rip you off of your
money regardless of what their product does to your life) deal drugs.
RJ Reynolds comes to mind.

     When the government starts to pass criminal laws against non
criminal activities, then the populace becomes divided against the
government and the police force.

     If all you could get arrested for were real crimes and not silly
things like drugs and prostitution and such, think about how empty our
jails would be and how welcome the cops would be in our homes.

     Further the Justice system would be utterly free to deal with the
real crime in our world and not the created 'crime' (Joe student blowing
some weed).  Also the real crime that gets enhanced by making a
lucrative market out of something basically non criminal.

     People who claim it is heresy to say that criminality exists
totally independant of the law are merely showing you they need someone
to think for them and that they wish to make it a law that everyone need
someone to think for them.  There should be a law against such people as
they are basically criminal.

     As it is the cops are just robots of the state who enforce any law
no matter how criminal (which is what we pay them to do, not to make
judgements of their own) but because the LAWS are criminal, the populace
comes to consider the cops and the government criminal and thus a large
schism takes place.

     This is terribly unfortunate and sad, a tragedy beyond proportion,
because the cops are the good guys, but they are paid to enforce the
letter of the law and if the law is criminal then the cops become

     This kind of society is on its way out.

     The only way to turn it around is to put criminality before the law
and not the law before criminality.  Homer adore-l@ualtavm 9/06/89*Law,
religion and ethical nor