…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World
Where we live dictates what laws we have to live by, and where we live is often dictated by where we were born, and this we have no control over. We have no control over what laws were in place prior to our birth, and probably little control (on an individual level) what laws are imposed on us since our birth. I think I am correct in saying that laws that are laid down in a democracy are decided collectively, where the majority wins, although we are also told occasionally by some clever-clogs that just because the majority of people say one thing is right, doesn’t mean it is right.
When we visit another country we have to respect the laws of that region (or risk being punished) – those laws can range from the subtly different to the widely different, and punishments for breaking laws can differ also. It’s not only laws that dictate how we live but customs and other standards can too – these could be labelled as (but not only) moral or religious. What laws, customs, moral or religious standards we may be accustomed with may well dictate how we behave in a foreign language where those laws, customs or standards aren’t laid down/expected.
In this way, having the freedom (as I think we should) to travel to other areas affords us the freedom to avoid the laws that govern us back home, or perhaps we may enjoy the restraint certain laws impose on its citizens making us realise how (too) relaxed things are back home.
There may be some acts that are not specified as illegal in a particular country where they are back home and we may well see the moral implications for this – we may be drawn to raise awareness of this and try and change the mindset of the people who live there. I believe we have the right to do this if we so wish, but I don’t think we can impose our views on other people, no less inflict our laws on them.
The reason I write this topic is because of a BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show topic this week about the law that makes prostitution (the paying for sex) in Northern Ireland illegal (Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, but the law currently only exists in that part of the UK). There have been calls to (somehow) make it illegal for a citizen of Northern Ireland to pay for sex in another country, even if such a law doesn’t exist in that land – they could potentially be prosecuted (if found guilty) when they return home. I believe that, irrespective of the views on prostitution, such an imposition is not only virtually impossible to impose, but counter to one’s rights (as I explained them above).
To make the world a better place, as we see fit, should begin close to home; to guide through example, and then the good example we lead will radiate out and illuminate those we encounter. That’s my little idea anyway.