Rus Articles Journal

Law and/or conscience? Sherwood, “the Island Locke“

In the novel of our contemporary and compatriot Tom Sherwood “the Island Locke“ is the head devoted to life of piracy community. The power in the person of the governor of the island successfully “settles“ the numerous conflicts and punishes guilty persons on the basis of testimonies of monks which have one surprising feature: they never lie. Therefore their certificate (and they see everything because it is their work) is equivalent to a sentence.

Such here at them there a power vertical. Of course, monks, this walking conscience of the island, are pleasant to nobody. But pirates are not idiots. They understand that they differently will slide in a lawlessness where winners will not be.

Human relations are governed by external requirements - laws, ethical and the precepts of law issued in the form of the codes and precepts developed by mankind, and internal requirement to correspond to them (conscience). Deficiency of internal is usually compensated external. Simple example: use of video cameras on roads and in public places, certainly, reduces number of offenses and simplifies work of supervisory authorities. But strengthening of external control - the compulsory measure caused by weakening of internal regulators. It is a deadlock way because, in - the first, it is impossible to control constantly all, in - the second, any equipment it is possible to deceive, in - the third, in the monitor not pathologically honest monks, but ordinary people look.

To the person who does not have internal regulators, the law is opposite as a muzzle or a cage - to a predator. Internal regulators weaken when the importance of ethical bans when ideas of the good and evil, the general for all cultures and religions are washed away decreases. A mismatch between external and internal regulators of behavior - the reason of the intra personal and interpersonal conflicts. Violation of thin balance between internal and external regulators of behavior of one person is capable to lead to the personal tragedy, everyone - to the tragedy national, and then and universal.

The conflict nature between the law and conscience in the middle of the last century was investigated by the American psychologist Lawrence Kolberg, the author of the theory of moral development. Kolberg considered that till five years the child has no ideas of morals. At a stage of moral realism (5-7 years) children judge morality of an act, proceeding from its next and obvious consequences - awards or punishments - thanks to what are put ideas that it is good and that it is bad.

At this level there are also adults whose acts are defined by fear of punishment (reprimand, a penalty, deprivation of the rights, criminal penalty, etc.) or desire to receive an award (gratitude, an award, an award, etc.) .

At higher step of moral development of people arrives as it demand written (law) or unwritten (public opinion) of the rule. Theoretically this level is achievable for teenagers 12 years are more senior. In practice to it it is far even many adult.

At the following level of people makes the moral choice on the basis of the internal beliefs which can not coincide with public opinion or the law even if it is necessary to pay dearly for this choice. Kolberg considered that he is reached only by the elite to whom carried Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and probably itself as did not differ in law-abiding behavior. The idea of the conflict between the law and conscience arose not from scratch: in World War II Kolberg risked the life, transporting the Jewish emigrants from fascist Europe to Palestine.

In healthy society the law and conscience do not contradict, and support each other, giving rise to effect of a synergy.

The subject of the law and morals lifted by Kolberg is developed by domestic researches according to which all people can be divided into three groups on character of their relation to bans (Naumov A. V., the Russian criminal law). The first group is made by citizens who do not commit crimes because it contradicts their internal beliefs. The second group includes citizens who do not commit crimes just because are afraid of criminal penalty. The third group is formed by persons who commit crimes, despite threat of punishment and existence criminally - legal bans. The number of this group steadily increases. Such people were meant by Charles Dickens, disproving an educational role of the death penalty: “From hundred sixty seven people sentenced England to death, only three did not see the death penalty“.

Nearly daily we hear about murders, riots and acts of vandalism which occur, apparently, in the safe countries. Whether William Golding, the author of the most gloomy anti-Utopia of the 20th century conferred in 1983 the Nobel Prize “For novels in which address essence of human nature and a problem of the evil“ tried to warn us about it?

On the island which is thought up by the English writer there lived not the murderers and robbers disappearing from justice, but children from respectable English families. That the prompt ozvereniye of the people who threw off “civilization fetters“, these “silly and to nobody the necessary norms and rules“ is more terrible. The name of the novel “Lord of the Flies“ (the name of Beelzebub - the master of hell, an evil embodiment is so literally translated) sends us to an eternal plot of a temptation freedom and the power.

The paradise island where there is everything for happy and carefree life, efforts of colonists turns into hell because not rescue, but race for power becomes the purpose of existence.

Golding showed what waits for mankind which will lose humanity. Perhaps, the sense of prophecies just also is in that they did not come true?