Can any Law ever be Absolute: Relativity of Law
Summary: Applicability of any law is limited by nature and context of things and events. Therefore no law can ever be absolute. A law is valid only within scope and limits since applicable laws vary across natural hierarchy.
Legal systems have their origin in dissatisfaction resulting from individualistic and subjective interpretation of facts and circumstances. Individualistic and subjective interpretation of facts and circumstances often led to irreconcilable and even mutually contradictory differences between different interpretations of same set of facts and circumstances by different individuals at the same time. Even interpretations by the same individual of similar set of facts and circumstances at different times were found inconsistent, irreconcilable and mutually contradictory. This can often be observed even in the contemporary society when things and events are judged without applying standardized yardsticks. Morally unscrupulous people often vary their yardstick from one set of circumstances to another. They can often be seen protecting things, events and people they are interested in and abusing the rest. They resent any call for use of appropriate standardized criterion. For them only criterion are their interest, comfort, convenience and their authority.
So naturally a need to evolve standardized criterion for evaluation of facts and circumstances and determining subsequent course of action was strongly felt. This eventually gave rise to law based system of governance in which laws were elevated to the level of gospel truth. Courts and legislatures were entrusted with the task of determining applicable laws. All this was done and has been practiced without any understanding of what is law. An approval by court of law or legislature was sufficient to elevate any condition to the status of its being a law. There was no need to explain rationale behind any particular law on the basis of natural course of events. For example during the last century relationship between a doctor and patient was reduced to a contractual relationship between a service provider and service recipient with a patient having all the rights and authority of a consumer. So by the stroke of a judicial pen the age old relationship of trust was reduced to a commercial relationship. No consideration was paid to intrinsic nature of relationship, dependence of patients on the skills and knowledge of their doctors for their welfare and ability of patients to appropriately use the legally conferred authority. Numerous instances of legally perpetuated social imbalances are on record. Even judicial interpretation of same set of laws is known to vary from time to time.
In formulation of laws governing any society, natural course of events has often been ignored. Terms, conditions, procedures etc. which should not have been defined as law have been defined as law. This has introduced legally perpetuated chaotic elements incidental to human living. Not only chaos, in many situations “might is the right” is the only law that prevails.
Even in nature a law is a mandatory condition that has to be satisfied to meet specified goals and objectives. For example to call a piece of matter as living matter it has to satisfy all mandatory conditions that are incidental to life. Therefore, howsoever diverse organisms may be and whatever may be their conditions of existence, an organism can exist as living being only if it is able to meet all the mandatory conditions necessary for being alive.
However, nature is hierarchically organized and applicable rules vary from one hierarchical level to another. Moreover different contexts or set of circumstances may also make it obligatory to meet specified goals and objectives in different ways. Therefore formulation and applicability of any law is limited by nature and context of things and events. Hence no law can ever be absolute.
Author: Dr Mahesh C. Jain is a practicing medical doctor and has written the book “Encounter of Science with Philosophy – A synthetic view”. The book begins with first chapter devoted to scientifically valid concept of God and then explains cosmic phenomena right from origin of nature and universe up to origin of life and evolution of man. The book includes several chapters devoted to auxiliary concepts and social sciences as corollaries to the concept of God. This is the only book which deals with origin of nature and universe from null or Zero or nothing. Chapter – 34 of the book defines law, describes chief characteristics of law and identifies some general laws of nature.