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Matter and Antimatter

Module by: John Bosco. E-mail the author

     
Matter and Antimatter annihilates each other. So does a permission and a command. Although it is legal for a motorist to drive through a green light. It is legal because it is mandatory not because it is permissible.

     
Why is it not both? Why can it not be said that a Lawmaker issues a permission allowing a motorist to drive through a green light and a command ordering a motorist to drive through a green light? Why cannot "Thou may drive through a green light" and "Thou shall drive through a green light" coexist?

     
Driving through a green light is the affirmative polarity of conduct.

     
Viewing this affirmative polarity of conduct in the 'context' of the METAPHOR of Lawmaking, a Lawmaker can be either "hands on" or "hands off" with regard to it. A Lawmaker cannot be "hands on" and "hands off" at the same time. Holding the opinion that a motorist is both commanded and permitted to drive through a green light is saying that a Lawmaker can be "hands on" and "hands off" at the same time. Impossible.

     
Viewing this affirmative polarity of conduct in the 'context' of the OPINION of a Lawmaker, a Lawmaker either possesses a desire that the affirmative conduct be done or lacks a desire that the affirmative conduct be done. A Lawmaker cannot possess and lack a desire simultaneously. Holding the opinion that a motorist is both commanded and permitted to drive through a green light is saying that a Lawmaker can both harbor a desire and lack a desire at the same time. Impossible.

     
Viewing this affirmative polarity of conduct in the 'context' of the VEHICLES a Lawmaker uses to convey her opinion, a Lawmaker either issues a command that the affirmative conduct be done (Affirmative Regulation) or issues a permission allowing the doing of the affirmative conduct and the doing of the negative conduct (Deregulation). Holding the opinion that a motorist is both commanded and permitted to drive through a green light is saying that a Lawmaker can issue both a command and a permission with regard to the same polarity of conduct. Impossible.

     
A Lawmaker always addresses both polarities of conduct in any permutation of a law. Those who maintain that "Thou may drive through a green light" and "Thou shall drive through a green light" can coexist, ignore this principle. There is no such thing as a half permission. Either a Lawmaker delegates the decision whether to go or stop at a green light to a Source doing conduct via Deregulation or reserves the decision for herself via Regulation. There is no in between.

     
There is a real difference between a command and a permission. A permission is not a command and a command is not a permission. Sadly, our law schools do not make this distinction clear and, hence, many lawyers do not fully understand the difference.


John Bosco
Project Director
The Legal Literacy Project

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