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Philosophy and the law

quotation
Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty.

Jeremy Bentham
--Principles of Morals and Legislation
WHOA THERE! 13.Mar.2003 05:29

Mike stepbystepfarm@shaysnet.com

You must not present a one sentence quote like that out of the context of the paragraph in which it appears.

Now I don't recognize it, so I can't quote the context. But knowing something about Bentham (an early Utilitarian reformer) I am willing to make a small wager that the context would go something like ...... and so the only laws that are justified are those which prevent or alleviate some greater evil affecting a larger number than those whose liberties are restricted by the law.

Point is, Bentham would NOT be considering the rights and liberties of individuals to be supreme but "the greatest good for the greatest number".