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The Evolution Of Statutes Analyze The Morals Of Hammurabi, The Jews, And Dracon (And Possibly Solon) With Respect To The Modern Era And Its Morals

1290 words - 6 pages

The Evolution of StatutesIt is often said, and quite accurately at that, that history repeats itself. One might say that every day is a new day, and rightly so. What we misinterpret is not that we enter into a new day, but that because it is a new day everything is new. Therein lies our fault. Today might be a new day, but the statutes and morals that make the day are anything but new.One must realize that the statutes (laws) of Hammurabi, the Jews, and Dracon will probably not apply to us because their culture was greatly different from ours. For example, the ancient custom of a dowry for marriage is no longer practiced in American society, although gifts are given. This is because our ...view middle of the document...

Commandment 8 of the 10 Commandments states, "Do not steal"; under Dracon's rule of Ancient Greece theft was a capital offense. Hammurabi also prohibited theft, making punishments for those who would not obey his law. Western Culture, more specifically the US, forbids theft in law and value due to the overwhelming Christian roots of our founding fathers. Because virtually all the founding fathers were Christian, they modeled a government after their morals (which matched those of Ancient Jews) and ideals they took from the Bible. Today it is illegal to steal because society and the government have deemed it so, being taught from youth that stealing is wrong. What we find here is that we are not the first to say stealing is wrong, but the idea is as old as law itself.Additionally, the laws of our country prohibit murder, polygamy, discrimination, and personal-right violations. As stealing was wrong throughout Ancient Law (referring to the law of the Bible, Dracon, Solon, and Hammurabi), so was murder. Society today shares this same view, the roots of which were planted by these such as Thomas Jefferson, who in turn took them directly from the Bible. The concept of murder is shown in the 10 Commandments, as well as in Dracon's court and Hammurabi's laws. All believed that murder is wrong. From this we find that different societies view this the same way regardless of their culture, thus making it an ordinary standard to live by.Although many of our laws are identical to many of those of ancient cultures, many are dissimilar due to the changing of circumstances. A change, such as technology, improves our way of life, therefore affecting our culture. Most laws of Hammurabi do not apply today because his culture greatly differed from our culture, therefore one can reason that the circumstances have changed. A rather specific instance is portrayed by Hammurabi's 35th law, "...or take away from the captain a gift presented to him by the King...shall be put to death." Today we do not have Kings, but democracies (with the exception of England who has a figurehead King). Thus, having this law in our Constitution and government could not apply to anything that goes on in our modern world. The absence of this law in our government would neither be benevolent nor malevolent, but merely irrelevant because the times have changed.Modern law emphasizes/exercises separation of Church and State. Dracon of Ancient Greece closely tied religion (the Greeks' polytheism) with their government (by saying the Gods rule everything). Under Dracon, sacrilege was a capital offense. Rather,...

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