The law is not important in evolutionary terms. Since we have evolved without laws until we formed communities it is important to recognise that the law is not an absolute. Democracy gives us all a chance to participate in government, which is a good thing. However, it must be recognised that when the law is prosecuting someone, in reality that person is accepting democracy, they are not continuing to violently rut or do as they wish as creatures in nature. They do not fight to the death on every occasion and that should be respected with a cool approach to compassionate justice.
For an example of tempering imposition of one’s defence against threats, look at the Namibian desert squirrel, a social animal living in groups, which I will use as the analogy of our civilisation. When threatened by a cobra some of the squirrels will use their bushy tails to goad the cobra. The squirrels are fast and can dodge the strikes of the cobra which treats the teasing of the squirrels like a red rag to a bull. This is how nature shows us the perfect way to deal with criminals “killers” in the community, eventually the cobra gets bored with its own failures and leaves the squirrels in peace. This is why the penchant for executing murderers in some human societies is wrong. There is no justice in nature, the cobra indeed may be very hungry and a sense of justice might incline one to believe it s entitled to a meal. In a zoo, for instance, the keepers would be considered cruel if they did not give the cobra a meal as and when would be natural. This is partly why zoos are not the answer to preserving species on the planet and why it is wrong for there to be more tigers in the US as zoo exhibits and pets than there are in the wild. If you have read the page “the Omega course” in this site you will understand that I believe God is trying to destroy the evidence for evolution in order to promote his books of the traditions of Abraham, the Koran, the Bible and the New Testament. All these focus on justice but are they righteous. I would contend not. The Namibian squirrels do not need a bible or Koran for them to realise that their cooperative society works and can deal with threats. Humanity does not need the Koran or the Bible or the New testament equally. It needs the example of the squirrels in the wild, observed by compassionate science, to show that the justice God is seeking you to believe is wrong. If you kill others you are as bad as them at the best level.
The mongoose does kill snakes but humanity should, in order to be humanitarian, emulate the best it observes in nature. By restraint murderers can come to understand the error of their ways. All criminality has a similar potential to learn. The problem often for us is that religious people use the word justice when they mean revenge or an even more infantile “See I told you so” when they think about what will happen to those who rejected their fantasies of the after life. Uniquely, Buddhism requiring its adherents to believe in compassion to all living things, does not do this, but does have moral codes which might create societies such as the squirrel community described above. The squirrel community has evolved and adapted, human moral codes can develop through observation and discussion
The Bible indicates that “the lion will lie down with the lamb” but that will only be if no lions are in the wild. Like tigers in the US will lie down or shower with their owners. This may look good and fulfil prophecy but the lessons of nature are lost. If we lose the lessons of nature we may lose the struggle to survive. We will certainly be very easily tricked into believing what is not true in an “environment” where the nature of the planet we have evolved in has been destroyed.
So if you have faith in the Koran or the Bible and rely on the God behind it to inspire you with his gifts of law and justice remember the experience of Troy and beware of Greeks bearing gifts. It is my contention that these books are Trojan Horses and what emerges will ultimately destroy most truths education should be imparting to young minds. The current US religious right wing focus on intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinian science does not surprise me.
At the fundamental level, just as might is dominant in the jungle, for instance when a monkey competes to be the owner of all the females and all the other monkeys have to do without, as the life-cycle is for a species in India, so in truth we could all be indifferent to a determined dominant male killing the representatives of the law, policeman, judges etc. That we are not indifferent is a sign that we recognise things work better if we all cooperate. That does not mean people can start claiming that God has laws or that God should be the judge or that a religious society, (theocracy), is necessary. We have evolved, we have formed a society where certain behaviours are deemed acceptable and we vote along those principles.
A classic example of why the right wing, despite for so long being regarded as a champion against autocratic communism, loses arguments at elections these days is because a typical supporter will take a Darwinist stance and challenge people to answer their question “Why should I care about someone in Africa when I have my own family to care for?”. Religious arguments against such an attitude tend to fall as they cannot be proven, (which might explain why a lot of right-wingers hide behind the Bible), so the only reply is to ask “Why should anyone believe in religion if that is your attitude?”
The Bible may say “Thou shalt not kill” but the French revolution was a response to the assumption of those in power that “Thou shalt not let die” is not intrinsically a part of that commandment. Remember too that Jesus said “All power comes from my father”, so it was safe for the revolutionaries to assume that the French aristocracy were given power by God. Therefore revolution will always be fostered where the rich assume they have no obligations. Part of this is because they are making a mistake in taking survival of the fittest as revealed by Darwin to mean the selfish wealthy and powerful are the fittest, which is very amoeba or insect like and ignores the co-operative success of, for instance troupes of apes, which while respecting an alpha male will expect that male to fight a challenge for resources from an alpha male baboon on their behalf. In other words an alpha male chimpanzee takes responsibility which right wing humans do not, so in some ways a chimpanzee has more moral fibre than right wing humans. (A recent science study has shown morality appears to be hard-wired in monkeys). So government must have compassion.
Buddha said “There are Gods but there are no Gods”. One of the ways of interpreting this is that if we all believe in certain laws, such as when a society aggregates around a religious text like the Bible, we can bring about the existence of a God who Buddha appears to assure us will not last forever. It is like voting for a president by default, except that our minds are being mounted like horses in a race and the God, who is probably just a person who has access to the spiritual world, can take advantage of our trusting neural networks, (brains), just like some politicians take advantage of our trusting votes sometimes in the material world. Jesus of course said “Woe unto he that complains about my burden for my burden is light”. However, one would have to say the truth is light and the truth is most sincere people would rather know what science has told us about our evolution and also be clued up as to what exactly is going on in the spiritual world and who is ruling there and why those rulers think they have the right to rule. The spiritual world probably needs a US, French or European constitution or something like that, but it can never have this as the nature of that world is beyond that which we should seek to control with laws. It is Buddha’s compassion which is necessary.
It is better, I contend, that the spiritual world evolves with conscious compassion.
Just as my ancestors left Africa and the Middle East for a better future with hopes and fears, so individuals from the human race must step into the spiritual world with some confidence and precaution. Since the emergence of modern humans 60,000 years ago it has been a long journey to democracy. Equally it will be along journey to sufficient compassion in the spiritual world to overcome the bullying nature of such a God as Christian Protestant preachers of fire and brimstone might hope for.
Above all I should caution that a safe option, belief in a God or Messiah may not be all it appears. Only compassion to all things offered to beyond death overcomes the urge to judge, which soon drags the soul or spirit into the realm of the junkie. Freedom in the spiritual world from the desires of the material world, the latter which I would concede may may be necessary in this world as Darwin teaches, is the best way to see true roles for man and woman as being of one nature and mutually supportive evolving spirituality.
Also be wary of cursing your ancestors by believing. You are invited to believe that the laws in the Bible, or Sanskrit texts or the Koran are absolutes of a God who has always been there. If you follow that, then you deny your ancestors had any justification for killing. The truth is that many of our pre-human ancestors would have fought for food, females and territory to the point of killing. They existed before laws but they cannot be judged. I actually doubt if anyone can be truly judged even after the instigation of laws because of the multitude of factors that affect us all. I am however cautioning believers not to bite the hand that fed them by denying evolution and the competition that gave rise to life as it is today. I am also advising that one should be wary that the God who claims to be the creator is in fact fully aware that Darwin is the truth and is determined to dominate you either by craft or proxy, but without you realising what you are surrendering to.