Compassionate Crimes

— learning from considerate criminals

trash Is it possible for everyone to follow the rules?

We were at the park when I noticed a young boy gathering sticks. My husband told me the same boy built a fire when he ran into him the day before.

“We can do that here?” I wanted a fire.

When the boy passed, I asked if fires are allowed in the park. He was reluctant to answer but I explained how I wanted to make a fire myself.

“There’s no one patrolling here. As long as it’s small and doesn’t get out of hand–I don’t see why not.”

I saw his point. If everyone were responsible, perhaps we wouldn’t have so many laws in the first place. Some people ruin it for the rest–laws had to be set in place. But if you’re conscientious, why not?

Conscientiousness doesn’t just involve making the fire, or whatever you’re doing against the law, an inconvenience for others, but also it concerns those who enforce the law.

If it becomes known to law enforcement that a law had been broken, it becomes inconvenient. Being conscientious is about making sure you don’t get caught.

I’m sure they’d rather not find out some boy was making a fire. There are probably more interesting things than reprimanding him. On top of that, they’ve got to keep the public happy. Everyone’s looking at them: “are they doing their job?”

It’s a problem for everyone if you’re caught.

After meeting the boy, I recognized that people break laws all the time. There’s probably a lot of laws being broken at any second.

Law’s need to be enforced because unlike law of physics, they’re not based on real things in this world that would prohibit you from doing it. These laws require incentives to obey and they also change over time. As much as laws would like to have the reputation of being based on something real, moral–they’re not.

Would you be an advocate for crime if it were compassionate and conscientious?

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