This short essays extends an important lesson touched on in “The Law!” and “The BS that is ‘The Law.’” Namely that there are multiple sources of laws and they are NOT equal.
This essay will provide a brief overview of general sources where laws exist and/or come from. How they are known and enforced, and who does the enforcing. It’s also possible there will be an exploration of law versus rule versus tradition versus policy versus ordinance versus edict etc…
Spiritual laws are the least understood. Since Jesus advised not to give pearls to pigs or things to dogs that are holy, I won’t dwell on this in a public forum. Except to drop these obvious hints and invitation to where one might find such things. ;-)
Laws of the Natural (Physical) World
Before homo sapiens evolved on earth, creatures great and small were (most likely) intuitively trying to learn the fundamental principles of their existence and the larger world around them, in order to go on living and spread progeny.
Laws of nature and the laws of physics existed before humanity and are in effect whether we like them or not, understand them or don’t. In fact humanity has incorrectly defined or explained more than one law of nature and law of physics during our recorded history.
We use our senses and instruments to observe nature, to try to determine patterns that always occur under specific circumstances, to document them, and to update our understanding as we observe and figure out more.
There are many laws in nature. Many of them seem obvious; for example, items lighter than air float up, and objects heavier than air fall down. Many laws are not obvious because our unaided senses can’t detect the existence or fluctuation of key variables; or perhaps, as with the weather, there are so many variables involved, it’s remarkably difficult to find the laws which would allow us to calculate conditions accurately much further in the future.
Spiritual Laws & Laws of Physics
Spiritual laws and the laws of physics are special because they existed before we did; these laws were not determined by committee or electoral process; and they do not need humans to enforce them. Rich and powerful people can not bribe to avoid them; bullies can not threaten their way out of them.
Human Laws, Religious Laws, Political Laws
The last of the main sources of laws, is us. Human beings. Humans have created laws that run the gamut of every kind. There is no one representative sample law to give as an example, only lists showing their diversity. In fact it was difficult choosing the word “created” for it, as so many other words could have been chosen: invented laws, conjured laws, written laws, chosen laws, abused laws, enforced laws, etc…
I’m going to guess the earliest human laws were based on who was the strongest or most threatening or had the most deadly weaponry or the most loyal followers. There has been some progress since then.
I believe God did give various humans specific laws to record and share; however, it’s pretty clear humans have added greatly to that number. Many religions have texts to explain or augment their fundamental scriptures, yet those scriptures have fewer pages.
Another subcategory of human laws are political laws, laws for ruling over people (also called governing). As you know these laws can be written in a variety of ways, by kings, by committees, by the rich, by the poor, by popularity, by the power-drunk, by those thirsting for justice, etc…
Human laws have a major downside which is they can be contradictory as well as arbitrary. Human laws can also ignorantly or blasphemously attempt to overrule spiritual laws or laws of nature; this is a HUGE source of problems. Specifically where some people attempt to force their wills on others. Some people take their personal choices which they use to govern themselves (or not) and try to enact them as rules (“laws”) over others. (This topic is discussed much in the Bible, first as the need for freewill and later as the malignant explosion of rule upon rule.)
What is the point of all this ‘Spiritual Laws’ versus ‘Laws of Nature’ versus ‘Human Laws?’
The first point was to write a fairly short and simple description of the three main sources of laws. The second point was to show the impartiality and immutability of non-manmade laws; and that humans are not needed to be enforcers.
But the biggest reason was to provide a bit more background to the essays “The Law!” “The BS that is ‘The Law.’” and Men (& Women) of Lawlessness. It’s important to realize the tragedy a supposedly “law & order” policy has brought, the OPPOSITE of law & order and the opposite of respect for law and order!
Want to read something that dwells on the (mostly) funny side of these phenomena? Loony Laws… That You Never Knew You Were Breaking, by Robert Wayne Pelton. Also known as Loony Laws from the Power Mongers, People with Friends in Business, and the Holier-Than-Thou-Congregation.