The Advantages of Religion 2

The Advantages of Religion 2

The Need for Regulations in the Society

As the results of the activities of individuals are linked with one another and since everyone wants to benefit from them, forcibly, inconvenience and conflict of interests are indispensable elements of this contact and constant relation.

It is needless to say that material benefits are normally the source of all kinds of differences, animosities, and loss of sincerity. In order to maintain sincerity among people, society requires a series of regulations, the observance of which prevents disturbance and chaos.

It is self-evident that if no laws and regulations for the management of the society exist, there will be a chaos in which human society cannot survive even for a single day.

Certainly, these rules vary from one society to another based on the extent of civilization or savagery of tribes and nations, and the level of understanding of societies and their governments. In neither case is a society free from the need of a series of traditions and regulations which are at least respected by most of its members. In the history of mankind, never has a society evolved without possessing common rites, traditions, and regulations.

Man is Not Free Against Regulations

As man performs all his actions with his own free will and choice, he feels a sort of freedom of action for himself. By considering this freedom of action as "absolute", that is, "unconditional", he wants total freedom and escape from any restriction.

For this reason, man suffers from any prohibition and deprivation inflicted on himself. Finally, he feels compelled and senses failure whenever a restriction is imposed on him. Therefore, no matter how small the number of social regulations, they are against man's freedom-seeking nature because they limit him to some extent.

On the other hand, he finds that if he disagrees to forfeit a part of his freedom by abiding by the laws for the sake of the protection of society and its order, a chaos will result that will suddenly annihilate all his freedom and peace. This is just as if he seizes a morsel from others when others will undoubtedly seize morsels from him. In like manner, if he oppresses others, they will oppress him as well.

Therefore, in order to maintain some freedom for himself, he dispenses with a part of his freedom and inevitably respects social regulations.

Weak Point in the Implementation of Regulations

As mentioned before, there is a kind of conflict and incompatibility between man's freedom-seeking nature and social regulations. That is, laws are like chains that are linked to man's feet and he constantly tries to break them and set himself free from captivity. This is the greatest danger which always threatens social regulations and shakes its foundations.

In this regard, alongside practical regulations and duties, there are always other regulations intended to punish offenders which frighten and prevent them from opposition, and to encourage people to abide by the laws by making them confident of receiving rewards and prizes. It cannot be denied that the subject matter (i.e., fear of punishment and eagerness for receiving rewards) aids the enforcement of laws to some extent, but it cannot fully prevent violations and safeguard the influence and domination of laws.

This is because penal codes, like other laws, are vulnerable to violation and are constantly threatened by the freedom-seeking nature of man, because those who have full power and capability can overtly oppose them without fear and fright, or they can force judicial and executive organizations to act according to their desire, by using their influence.

And those who do not have adequate influence and power can take advantage of the negligence or weakness of the authorities to fulfill their oppositions covertly. They can attain their ends through bribery, mediation, or by way of friendship and relationship with the influential sector to disrupt the working order of the society and to paralyze it.

The best evidence for this subject is that every day we observe thousands of these types of oppositions and violations against laws in various human societies.

The Original Source of the Weakness of Laws

We must now find out where the original source of danger lies and how to subdue the unyielding and freedom seeking nature of man in order to prevent his opposition to the law.

The source of this danger, which is the main cause for penetration of corruption in a society and which cannot even be prevented by regulations, is that the ordinary social methods which have brought the laws into existence consider the material aspects of individuals and ignore their spiritualities and instincts.

They only aim at providing harmony, maintaining order, and balancing the actions of people in such a way that will not result in discord and conflict. Social laws demand adherence of their articles and tend to control the actions of people. Such laws ignore men's innate attributes and innermost feelings which instigate their actions and which are the internal enemies of regulations.

Whenever the freedom-seeking nature of man and hundreds of other instincts (such as selfishness, voluptuousness, which are the main causes of corruption) are ignored, there will be chaos and disturbance and the scope of differences will become wider day by day.

Since all laws are always threatened by the attack and invasion of powerful rebels and the night-time attacks of ingenious robbers springing from these instincts; therefore, they fall short of preventing corruption and differences.

BY: Late Allamah Tabatabaei

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