Legality refers to that which is acceptable, o.k., promoted, good, right, true, best, rewarded, helpful, or positive in its application and or usage and which requires some form of government or discipline.
Illegality refers to that which is unacceptable, bad, discouraged, wrong, subject to punishment, false, hurtful, or negative in its application or usage and which requires some form of government or discipline.
In either of the above cases, the application relates to the individual and that individual’s personal life and conduct and how they do or do not exercise self-discipline.
From there, the next level of application would be within the blood family of parents and their offspring and requiring some method or authority making it possible to live together.
Next would be within a community which could be as simple as a tribe or neighborhood, or as complex as a nation of people who recognize a common interest requiring that there be some form of governmental authority making it possible to live together.
Within a “community” could mean a voluntary community such as a charitable organization, religious organization, educational organization, or a common interest organization. Of course the ultimate organization would be that which is not necessarily voluntary, but which has the capacity to use force for the purpose of creating and/or keeping order.
Order is the result of some kind of discipline; whether by oneself, one’s parents, one’s teachers, one’s rulers. The opposite of order is chaos. Chaos would be the lack of law or any enforcement or order; also referred to as anarchy. Historically, chaos/anarchy has never survived for very long because it is unpopular with people.
It is unpopular with people, because, with rare exception, people want to a.) be left alone, b.) be allowed to prosper and conduct their lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting someone else. Those who revel in chaos and anarchy even want much the same, but they are willing to make some sacrifices so that they can conduct their lives according to their wishes.
Some people wish one thing, and find another offensive or unacceptable. For example, some people want to have unfettered sexual activity of whatever nature they see fit to conduct. Let’s parse this just a bit. The lowest level of sexual activity would be between a consenting man and woman. within that context, the woman becomes vulnerable to pregnancy. Pregnancy creates another human being (fetus for small child). In 9 months that child is born and must be fed and cared for if it is to survive. The decision once pregnant, of course, is does the pregnant woman wish to have the baby or not. If not, then abortion is a solution along with having the child and giving it up for adoption. The adoption route is likely more difficult because of the emotional attachment to the child and the difficulty of going through the birthing process. Therefore, there is a conundrum as to having the baby and raising it with love and care; aborting the baby; or giving the baby up after its born.
Each of those solutions carries with it different ramifications. To have the baby and raise it costs money, time and effort. Failing to do that properly can cause a baby to grow up deprived, angry, violent, poorly behaved etc. If that is the case, then the baby when grown can become a problem for people around it. On the other hand, if the baby is raised with all of the necessities of life which would include, love, food, water, shelter, clothing, education, and good guidance, then the baby can grow up being a help and an asset to those around it. The former has negative consequences, and the latter has positive consequences. Who is to decide what is best, and once that decision is made, then who is to decide how to administer any order to the society as regards the former verses the latter?
If the baby experiences the former and grows up to torture animals, is that to be allowed? If the baby goes on to beat up other kids; is that to be allowed? If the baby grows up to force its will on others; is that to be allowed? If the baby grows up and chooses to take someone’s life on a whim, is that to be allowed? If these things are to be allowed, then who makes that decision, and if they are not to be allowed who makes that decision?
Living among other people presses us in an individual as well as a collective sense to make decisions about things that involve the interaction of human beings with each other so that there is some semblance of order. It is known among Reformed Theologians that man is sinful, and therefore, he needs to be governed by laws. In other words, there needs to be a common understanding of that which is legal and that which is illegal. Historically, that has been unavoidable from the earliest times.
As such, the following have been made illegal throughout the history of mankind’s civilized societies; murder, stealing, rape, and lying to mention some of the most basic. Not surprisingly, people are resourceful and work around the subtle nuances of certain of their actions with the idea in mind that they can be justified somehow. In so doing, they create the need for more extensive laws to repress bad behavior. Of course over time, people’s behavior deteriorates until there is anarchy/chaos again, and then as some point in time, it gets so bad that order must be restored.
To continue the example from sexual behavior, let’s go to the next step after a man and a woman have conjugal relations. From there, the options grow rapidly. It may extend next to women with women and men with men. At this point, no pregnancy is of concern, and the objective of the activity is merely self-gratification. In the conduct of these activities can lead to a desire to pursue younger people. Then the problem may arise that the man and the woman who had a child and chose to be responsible to raise that child in love may object to their child being pursued by an adult for the adult’s pleasure when the child may not be cognizant yet of what sexual activity is all about or any of the ramifications of participating in it. It should be noted that in any sexual activity that is outside the bounds of two healthy people in a monogamous relationship, the possibility of spreading debilitating and even fatal diseases is not only possible, but likely.
Now we are faced with another conundrum, and that is the freedom or right to pursue pederasty or pedophilia verses the right of a loving parent to protect and guide their child in a way that is in accordance with their views until the child is old enough to decide for itself. Society has created what is known as the “age of majority” which means that a child is old enough to come out from under the authority of its parents to act independently from them and to conduct their lives as they see fit.
From there, we can see bestiality taking form in our society today. Bestiality is sex with an animal. No more need be said of that.
One form of sexuality that makes the news on virtually a daily basis is rape. Rape of course is the forcible imposition of sexual favors for the gratification of the aggressor at the expense of the victim. Rape knows no age, sex, race or intellect. It is brutal, violent and in most civilized societies unacceptable. Within that context, America has had at least one President accused of committing rape – on more than one occasion even. In that particular case, no justice has ever been exercised, and society is all the worse for it.
Any, or all of the above can lead a person to become a prostitute; someone who is willing to sell their body for money no matter how dehumanizing it is.
From this decline, we can end up with the Franklin scandals and the Jeffrey Epstein’s of the world. In other words, sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is very big in America and throughout the world. Sex trafficking involves at the very least some deception in order to bring in participants. At worst, it can involve kidnapping and ultimately murder, and indeed has.
So, these are a few aspects that regard society and its decline. As we go through the above list, different people would have drawn the line at different points in the devolution of society. In that case, at what point is the line drawn properly so that everyone can accept its demarcation?
It is the contention of this writer that people are incapable of making that decision on their own. People are flawed and as such, they will always justify their actions as being right. So, can a society survive with a moving target of morality with everything being legal? What are the consequences to the people who are led astray by bad examples of people to whom they look up. What are the consequences of people being forced to do things against their will. What are the consequences of getting a nasty disease that lingers with you for life, and debilitates you and the quality of your life? What are the consequences of money as an incentive to debase one’s self esteem of spirit if you will?
The consequences of the above is to diminish the spirit of a people, and to lower their standards and erode the integrity and productivity of their society to the point of ultimate disintegration. Wil the people of America ever rise up and say no more of this. Our nation is worth preserving and we will do what it takes to restore it and establish righteousness in it?
People, by themselves, are incapable of setting a standard by which to live and by which an orderly, prosperous and just society can exist. But, people who recognize the God of the Bible as being all wise and knowing, and who are willing to follow and obey him, those people can have an orderly, prosperous and just society. In fact, it actually happened, although not perfect, in America in the 1600’s through the mid-1800’s. Wars, fiat currency, and a general moral decline have brought us to where we are today. Will we recover? Only God knows. Can we recover? It is the opinion of this writer that we can if we repent and to what’s good right and true in the eyes of the God of the Bible and all Creation.
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