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I was struck by the following question from my online friend, Fred. He has a point.

“Why do we have to have so many laws?” This is a question from a child, but not a childish question.

Wherever people choose legality over morality, the body of laws must be large and the interpretations complicated – growing like a cancer maiming natural freedom.

Among individuals of character, the legal simply defines the minimum morality needed for the society to function as a benefit to the individual and the group. As long as no one wants an unfair advantage, but rather desires everyone to have all that he or she deserves, then laws can be simple.

Men of goodwill can have honest differences of opinion, and these can be covered in short order. Men of ill will use the law not for rightness but for wrongness… this necessitates voluminous documentation.

As W.C. Fields said, “You can’t cheat an honest man.” The honest man is not controlled by greed, so is less vulnerable to the con man’s schemes.


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