Laws Are Needed to Restrain Wickedness

Cheon Seong Gyeong 2219

Your loyalty will be immortalized by your descendants, and when you go to the spirit world, you will be commended for your merits of your efforts. The age of indemnity has now passed, and from now, you will be able to establish a bright tradition commensurate with the level and extent of your activities. This will become your estate. Let us devote ourselves to our task with utmost sincerity, knowing that we are placed in such a point in time. (38-126, 1971.1.3)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1655

Don’t you all claim to like love? Aren’t you looking for it? The question is: what path would you take as the most direct way, the shortcut to love consistent with the fundamental formula of the universe? (184-58, 1988.11.13)

What is the origin of the universe? God is an absolute being who has power. Yet power is not the origin, any more than knowledge is. Then would it be money? As viewed from the next world, people who try to make money for themselves look like they are collecting garbage and useless things. In other words, saving money is the same as collecting waste material. People like me may have money, but I am not going to use money that has been collected like this. (191-18, 1989.6.24)


Law and Punishments

GOVERNMENTS ENACT AND ENFORCE LAWS to protect their citizens, restrain evildoers, and promote the general welfare. God is the origin of law; He created this universe to function according to the laws of science and implanted a conscience within each human heart to know right from wrong. The constitutions and statutes that constitute a nation’s laws approximate the heavenly law; that is why we they usually are in agreement with the dictates of conscience.
Laws are needed to restrain wickedness. People who do not follow the dictates of conscience, by which they ought to govern themselves to do right and avoid wickedness, are restrained by the law’s sharp distinctions between right and wrong, what is permitted and what is prohibited. In this sense, people who cultivate their character to become people of conscience do not need the law and are unlikely to run afoul of the law.
Laws prescribe punishment as a deterrent to crime and to establish justice. The government in meting out punishments is a co-worker with God, who is the final dispenser of justice. Indeed, one can regard hell as a vast prison in the spirit world to restrain evildoers from trampling on heaven’s domains. Punishment can serve as ‘indemnity,’ an opportunity for the criminal to pay the debt of sin.
On the other hand, there should always be an element of mercy in the criminal justice system, should the criminal repent with sincerity and turn his life around. Father Moon teaches that the chief purpose of prison should be education and rehabilitation. This was, in fact, the core idea of the twentieth century movement to convert prisons where inmates languished in cells into ‘penitentiaries’ where they could be rehabilitated through work and education. The two poles of justice and mercy form the perspective from which to view ethical issues such as the death penalty

  1. The Law’s Noble Purpose

When Marduk commissioned me to guide the people aright and to direct the land, I established law and justice in the language of the land in order to promote the welfare of the people.
    The Code of Hammurabi

The Creator… projected that excellent form, Law. This law is the controller of the ruler; therefore, there is nothing higher. So even a weak man hopes to defeat a stronger man through the law, as one does with the help of a king.
    Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.14 (Hinduism)

As ruler and president… you must in everything reverence the statutes and proceed by them to the happy rule of the people. They were the reverence of King Wen and his caution; in proceeding by them to the happy rule of the people, say, “If I can only attain to them.”
    Book of History (Confucianism)

Laws are partly framed for the sake of good men, in order to instruct them how they might live on friendly terms with one another, and partly for the sake of those who refuse to be instructed, whose spirit cannot be subdued, or softened, or hindered from plunging into evil.
    Plato, Laws 9 (Hellenism)

He who renders true judgments is a co-worker with God.
    Mekilta, Exodus 18.13 (Judaism)

By justice a king gives stability to the land.
    Proverbs 29.4

If punishment is properly inflicted after due consideration, it makes all people happy; but inflicted without consideration, it destroys everything.
If the ruler did not, without tiring, inflict punishment on those worthy to be punished, the stronger would roast the weaker, like fish on a spit. All barriers would be broken through, and all men would rage against each other in consequence of mistakes with respect to punishment.
But where Punishment, with a black hue and red eyes, stalks about, destroying sinners, there the subjects are not disturbed, provided he who inflicts it discerns well.
    Laws of Manu 7.20-25 (Hinduism)

He who distinguishes good deeds from evil,
Who shows the results of karma—he is called
a king.
Ordained by the host of gods, the gods delight
in him.
For the sake of himself or others, to preserve
the righteousness of his land,
And to put down the rogues and criminals in
his domains,
Such a king would give up, if need be, his life
and his kingdom.16
Golden Light Sutra 12 (Buddhism)

 Every one had better be ruled by divine wisdom dwelling within him; or, if this be impossible, then by an external authority, in order that we may be all, as far as possible, under the same government, friends and equals.
    And this is clearly seen to be the intention of the law, which is the ally of the whole city; and is seen also in the authority which we exercise over children, and the refusal to let them be free until we have established in them a principle analogous to the constitution of a state, and by cultivation of this higher element have set up in their hearts a guardian and ruler like our own, and when this is done they may go their ways…
    What shall he profit, if his injustice be undetected and unpunished? He who is undetected only gets worse, whereas he who is detected and punished has the brutal part of his nature silenced and humanized; the gentler element in him is liberated, and his whole soul is perfected and ennobled by the acquirement of justice and temperance and wisdom.
    Plato, The Republic 9 (Hellenism)

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