The Definition of Law against Corruption

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dreamer11O6
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Report Thread starter 6 years ago
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A definition is the key towards a true comprehension of knowledge. But Philosophy equates knowledge with practice. Socrates said something like, “You only really know something when you can do it.” Now, there are things which are more important to learn than others. One of them is Law. Law is necessary to maintain the good in the world. Because of this, it is what is used to resolve the strains in society. Corruption is the illegal act of a government official who unlawfully and wrongfully uses his station or character to procure some benefit for himself or for another person, contrary to duty and the rights of others. Simply put, it is ‘to be served, not to serve.’ But, in practice, it seems that, though there are many laws against corruption, they all seem to fail to help. Why? Maybe Law is not really useful at all. Or more probably, people don’t really know ‘what Law is,’ to begin with.

As a researcher, I believe that Cicero’s true definition of Law is relevant to re-introduce in this situation. In their war against corruption, people need a guiding principle which would not let them stray from and which would help towards their good purpose: Law. As defined by Cicero, Law “is the just distinction between right and wrong, conformable to nature, the original and principal regulator of all things, by which the laws of men should be measured, whether they punish the guilty or protect the innocent.”

Cicero determined Law as just, as a distinction between right and wrong, as natural, and as a standard. As just, Law must be in right reason. Being right reason places Law above base commands and prohibitions because it must be infallible. This is, of course, a property of God endowed to man as he searches for wisdom. As a distinction between right and wrong, Law is moral. Law becomes something “we most need to direct us in our conduct.” It is a distinction of the right from the wrong and is short as a judgment so it could be esteemed as much as morality. As natural, Law is entrusted as a common property to be recognized by all men from nature. By the way, it is more authentic and full in its naturally unwritten form than its legibly written form while Cicero deems both as two expressions of the same thing. As a standard, it is applied to qualify the human laws’ authenticity according to origin, essence, and true rule.

Only a true comprehension of something would render the realization of the good it brings. Therefore, a definition of Law would bring about the good it is made for. Cicero has given both an ideal and a concrete definition of Law which could be a guide to the Filipinos. Corruption should be defeated by such a realization of what true Law is. In rediscovering the real meaning of things, people would understand things as they really are. If people know something, they would know it’s opposite. If people know what Law is, they would recognize what only seems to be a Law. Corruption, then, cannot be a norm politicians follow, as it seems to be the practice. It could only be a breaking of the rule. It cannot be accepted; as people are sure that the Law is on their side.
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