"The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death,
but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy."
John Quincy Adams
(1767-1848) 6th US President
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
When today's laws (rules) are made by the four branches of government (don't forget the P.R. branch - the media), fain claiming the creation of wisdom, virtue, and/or happiness, they are merely masking the tyranny of their deceit.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    The purpose of the law should be to set limits on behavior, so that others might be respected, and not to make a man happy.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
    Absolutely! I am not wiser, more virtuous, or happy while driving the speed limit-- Nor am I more wise, virtuous, or happy when I don't. The law doesn't "protect" anyone-- it exists to punish an agent who has used his freedom to act outside its bounds. The existence of such laws that will derail others (those with criminal intent) from encroaching on my freedom (by means of not wanting to be punished) and liberty give me a reason to be joyful; however, the law is still not my source of joy-- I find wisdom, virtue, and happiness in being sovereign, and the knowledge I gain by means of my daily work.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
    Rosenthal, why do you so vehemently agree with the quote and use a thumb down to rate it?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I agree with the first clause, and find the second one irrelevant to the topic of the first. If the law is not designed to make anyone happy, what is the point of criticizing the law for failing to do so?
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
    It seems everyone has forgotten the meaning of law and wants to use the current tyrant's, media's, and power monger's definition. The laws of man or man's law differs greatly from that which is ultimately 'law'. The finite entity 'law', is nothing more than a definition of an actor's act. It does not bind, punish, or control. Those attributes are more closely attributable to justice. Corporeal man can create a rule and call it 'law', but it doesn't make it so (by way of example: the government can say that all babies are to die by statutory law, consequently there will be no mass suffocation). Further, it is clear and set certain (res judicata) that a rule passed by government, contrary to original constitutional writ and intent, is not a law (ab initio) even if the de facto democratic oligarchy sets forth punishment for violating its edicts. The United States does not have a government of laws, it suffers under tyrannical dictums of immoral rule.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike: I would not advise using that explanation in court.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
    David, lol, actually, I have used variations of that definition in court and found very different results. The more honest, fair, and lawful the judge, the further the argument went.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    The law's only purpose is to protect the rights of the people -- not to promote certain behavior (which is a socialist doctrine). The laws do not tell us what to do -- they define the jurisdictions and the governmental powers. To twist the law to enforce politically correct behavior is a foundation of fascism.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Anonymous      
    Better to look to our peers for guidance on behaviour than to politicians
     -- John R Bacon, Richmond, England     
     -- jim k, austin tx      
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