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law of liberty

"There is a law of compulsion as well as a law of liberty. Animals are compelled to live in air, and fishes are compelled to live in water. Men ought to live according to the law of liberty, not licence, and when they do not they break the law. To a law-abiding subject an ignorant law-breaker must be a laughing-stock, who, perhaps, ought to be pitied in return for his amazement at the frequent punishments that come upon him. He does little deeds that seem to be all right, and is forthwith punished. To him it is puzzling, but to the knowing ones it is the simple sequence to his acts. It is exactly the same with mankind who break the laws of Nature, only there are not many “knowing ones” to look on. They do not know they are breaking the law, because they act on the adopted illogic of the world, and so there is amazement at punishment. They avoid the light, and are surprised at being in the dark. The knowledge of the law is actually in them, but practically not. Tired out with their experiments with the law of liberty, they run to the other extreme and seek to avoid this free will of theirs, and proceed to try experiments with the law of compulsion, with a like result of disappointment. Free will and its results fail them so often that they are willing to abandon their birthright for a mess of prospective pottage. Of course it is not their free will that ought to be blamed at all, but they say it is; the spectacles that are placed at the back of the head cannot reasonably be said to be useless for seeing. In many cases men see that the law of compulsion brings them far more real life - although it should not be so - than their own wrongly guided free will does. Politics always presents illusory examples to be envied by discontents where Nature seems to fail. Men for this very reason weakly demand governments to help where they cannot help themselves, because they overlook Nature that is both able and willing to help them. The fact is men want to be compelled to do right in spite of the law of liberty. Even in domestic matters and hours of labor they want legislative compulsion. It is a strong acknowledgement of weakness. The evil is produced by the wrong conduct of free will. The sixth sense which is immediately connected with free will is disbelieved and disregarded. One who has lost his hearing does not expect to hear sweet sounds." David Sinclair, Vera Vita the Philosophy of Sympathy part 2 of 2

Page last modified on Wednesday 05 of October, 2011 03:48:52 MDT

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