Understanding the need for Laws

Imagine a world in which laws are non-existent. Individuals would have ultimate freedom to do whatever they wanted without worrying about the consequences of not following rules. They would also be able to enjoy freedom from having to fill out many government documents and could spend their money on needed or desired purchases without having to pay taxes. Without concern about speeding or parking tickets, they could drive as fast as they wanted to on highways and park wherever it was most convenient for them to do so. Without laws, there would be freedom from having to make court appearances, pay penalties or fines, or face imprisonment.

However, while the idea of such freedom might sound appealing, it might also put the morality of many in question, cause undesired consequences, and put people in danger.  For example, if there were no laws against the kind of animals one could have in his or her home, the individual could bring in all kinds of large and wild animals. Without any laws regarding drinking or drinking age, parents could attend parties or go to nightclubs, get drunk, and bring along their children and teenagers to accompany them in drinking. 

Unfortunately, even if many individuals and parents would never do the above and believed that their moral values were so strong that they would always do the right thing, significant challenges would come from other individuals. Not everyone subscribes to the same ethical codes or shares the same viewpoints. Some might even believe that they have a better way of getting things done than others, and many will consider their own needs and desires more important than others’ needs.

The end result of such differences would hinder the promotion of justice. A lack of boundaries and limitations could contribute to power struggles involving control and fairness between individuals as well as groups. Individual differences in perceptions of ethical conduct could contribute to increased distrust, injustice, and corruption, views that are certainly not beneficial anywhere in the world. Without laws, competing needs and desires between different individuals and groups could spark fighting, ruthlessness, and unethical results.

Laws, then, serve a vital purpose in protecting people and promoting common interests in a society. However, extremes, or too much of anything, is never beneficial. Having no laws or very inadequate rules can be just as detrimental as having too many rules or laws.

In a shared world where people hold so many different viewpoints, experiences, and needs, balance is imperative for living and working together. Striving for this balance is a constant work in progress, maintaining common ground and shared goals on one hand and rethinking issues involving laws going too far, or not far enough on the other.