that I want to do.
[This post is available in audio form at this link.]
I want to study, and learn about lots of things. Some things, just for the sake of knowing them, and more things to be able to do them.
Things like, getting around to the books that are still waiting to be read, to learn about the Great Ice Age. Or to read about the history promised to me, or to make plasma at home, to things just like, re-learning integration and differentiation before it is her turn to be examined on it and I will be unable to do much more.
I want to garden and grow flowers and fruits and vegetables, even if not to eat the latter, but just because it’s fun. I want then, to cook to eat, to cook to look at it and also to feed people.
I want to learn the languages of the world and to travel, to actually be able to polish my Chinese into something beyond whatever I have now.
I also want to carve pumpkins and figurines, make kimchi and sourdough bread and harvest yeast.
Maybe write a whole book, do home chemistry, construct a lever system at home for the laundry or build a robot. The kinds of things that Phineas and Ferb would do in the 104 days of summer vacation.
Also, to, of course, earn money and eat sushi.
The things that I want to do and where they overlap with the things that I need to do. The things that I want to do, they start and end somewhere.
I’d also like to fly an aeroplane, but that sounds like we’ll be flying into a climate catastrophe, so I will be quite happy building a bicycle of my own, and having such a bike.
But what does it mean to ‘build’ a bike? To start with a wheel, or to begin with growing a rubber tree? Only the rubber tends to be synthetic, so then here comes home chemistry.
There are enough things here at home to occupy me for at least a few years if you closed me up inside, plus with my laptop I’m sure there will be no shortage. There are at least a thousand books, plus plenty of math questions over the years and textbooks!
To learn and re-learn the things that the education system certified I knew. Strange, isn’t it. Knowing that I don’t know so many things that I knew, or I must have known at some point in time.
If I had infinite time and no deadlines, I would start by sleeping a lot first. I think we come back to this thought much too often.
Of the things that I want to do, revenge is one of the things that flits across my mind – on most days it doesn’t cross it, and on others I just think that it would be a waste of time.
On other nights like this one, I remind myself with honesty that we are weak-willed to our own ferocity. I was taken as a fool it seems. I will not forget that, and I will not forgive you for it.
You may spend the rest of this life away from us for I will not trust you again – that is simply my self-protection mechanism.
Then I am weak to the sound of our own sorrow.
A repeal that I did not know I hoped for or cared for. A repeal that came within, after all, our lifetime. The next milestone is to remove this idea that only heterosexual couples can raise kids or have kids or that more broadly bringing new lives into a world like ours is the greatest good.
Your honour, none of these things logically follow.
The things that you are denying to those other people, I do not know how to explain or to characterise that loss but if you would humour me and think about it for the while, what does it mean for you if the law says thou shalt not marry.
I do not know how to describe that since I have no strong emotions on marriage.
To not have strong emotions, or to be afraid of strong emotions.
I’m sure I have some of them, and I know that I have some of them – like anger, and an all-consuming desire that sometimes, creeps its way up my spine like I was rearing up to (breathe).
To compartmentalise these emotions, and to sometimes, sometimes, want to smile, or to let you see this portion of us which is so vulnerable.
With J and manga, or with N and confusion, or Y with just weakness.
Or that I am afraid, again, that if I leave these emotions to find a spot inside me, then I will become accustomed to discomfort.
It’s a bit cold in the library, but this doesn’t bother me very much because I have a jacket that I can wear if I wasn’t feeling a bit too lazy.
The cold that creeps up my arms and sinks into my collarbones – wondering if maybe there was something else I could get from this world.
It was just a little bit of gravel. Not sand, from stone, but just a bit of gravel in my shoe, enough to make me feel uncomfortable.
And the question that was posed was “Which imperfections are you most willing to live with”: in relation to legal positivism and natural law theory.
To lay down what I do understand of these two things:
- Legal positivism aims to describe law without evaluating it. They are suspicious of morals as a basis of legality and are more concerned with where the law derives its power from. Mainly, the people or institutions in a society that have this ‘power’ to make a law. By empirical research, they want to find as a fact, the laws that are obeyed. They want to find as a fact, the source of these laws that are obeyed. There is disagreement, but we were taught the Sources Theory of Raz. If it is law, coming from the source, then ‘law can be about anything whatsoever’, and we have to obey the law.
– This runs into the problem of laws where the sources are just bad, or unacceptable. Since the control of the law and the contents of the law (which they think are unimportant), fall to the authority, there’s not much to be said in the face of a bad regime that wants to kill people.
– Or I guess since they just want to describe laws, then they have succeeded in divorcing themselves from what is law and whether it is good law. Only this doesn’t work, because what they describe as law, has to be obeyed.
– I think I don’t mind accepting that they want to describe the law objectively or as they please. But I can’t accept that anything that falls into their definition is something that must be obeyed. The response, was “then let us be in breach of it.”
– If what makes law, law, is the fact of social obedience, then that’s the key, rather than the source. Or the other way: a challenge – Not all words from a source survive in being obeyed. If a ‘law’ is disobeyed, then it will be not be a ‘law’. But, if we take this to be the case, then the law is made by the people who have the power to command obedience, in any way, shape or form.
— So, the purest form of describing law is to content yourself to surveying each country and taking a poll to see what are the things that people obey. This is fulfilling in the way a biologist catalogues a new species of frog in a rainforest, and I have no issue with that. To then use this as a basis to say that this law must be obeyed, and going back to the definition of ‘all that is law is that which is obeyed’, I can accept that. After all, in response to the biologist, if they are correct, then they are and it is a frog. That does not mean that I must love this frog.
— Suspiciously, I do not know why, but I find my brain putting in place the caveat that my constant refrain will be “then let us be in breach of it”. But this refrain is not needed if the definition is, that as a social fact, the law is that which is obeyed. Because our breach of it, will render it ‘not law’.
— What sort of breach can the status of ‘law’ survive? This goes to the question of how they even established a fact. I don’t know. There is some inconsistency I still have to address if we are to accept this view of legal theory. My feeling is that we can’t, even with all of these alterations and reframing.
- Natural law theory aims to identify laws from the morals we have in nature. Four types of laws have been identified by a famous man whose name eludes me. Divine laws, eternal laws, natural laws and human laws. He was a religious person, so aptly, divine laws came from scripture. Eternal laws are those that cannot change across time, but are also from the divine being. Natural laws come from innate morals. Human laws, are laws made by man in accordance with the natural laws. The central idea of natural law theory is that all law has a basis in morals, and is justified. Morality and legality are inseparable, that kind of idea.
– Instinctively, this feels a lot more palatable, but logically, the problems are even clearer, like, well, what are morals? Whose morals, and what morals? And then, how can these big ideas turn into laws? Also, well, we are not religious, which makes the original premise a little bit…
– Nevermind, it makes the original premise unsustainable. We really can’t go very much further than this. For a law to be law, some moral has to be identified in it. This is a good system for judging your own laws, or I guess it’s a good framework for you to think just about what you think about laws, but it can’t really make anything binding on other people.
— I’m not sure how I could deduce a natural law from nature, or how we pluck morals from thin air. Maybe it is because I do not know definitively what morals are, or maybe I do not believe in morality.
— Strange, I didn’t think it would come off as sounding like I don’t ‘believe’ or that I don’t have my own inner sense of morality. But I can’t define it for myself, much less for anyone else. A flexible kind of morality that I could be convinced to ah, set aside if there were good reasons. But I don’t have a basis beyond my own emotions for why these are my morals.
— That’s a shaky basis on which to create law. I’m quite happy to respect your beliefs in anything other than what I believe in. This kind of divinity grounded argument makes me uncomfortable.
— The reply is, that is your morality. Not mine, and certainly not the universe’s. In search of a universal morality.
Somewhere along the way I
Meandering though the readings,
the dreams and meadows,
like the hiccups
the aches and growing pains of
making it to twenty.
What is all of this really,
really, really, about,
if it wasn’t fatigue or
stress or some combination of
If I were happy, then I wouldn’t be in
a writing mood.
This kind of emotion
that takes over my better
The realisation has hit me like a
of lightning out of the blue
I don’t ()
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