There is a monster under my bed. And it’s not Hudud

“Call it what you may, but convention has it that God does exist if He is so perceived by the majority. Under the circumstances, you could be held in contempt should you swear upon God that an alien zapped your wife into dust. Unless you can verify with an absolute degree of certainty that the alien exists and did what you say it did, you’d be deemed a liar in the eyes of justice for making a mockery of the judicial system”

THE THIRD FORCE

“There is a monster under my bed mom!”

So screamed Tommy every night as his mother tucked him into bed. Like every five-year-old, he was consoled by her proximity and panicked the minute she left the room. Left alone to ‘fend’ for himself, the realm of the unknown began to pervade his thoughts as he imagined monsters and evil looking clowns. Yes, “the creatures of the dark” were very real to Tommy and posed a very serious threat to him.

And that is how it has been with humanity since the dawn of civilization. In the early years, man feared the heavens and looked upon lightning with panic and terror. As the centuries progressed, that terror gave way to the idea that an “all-seeing, all-knowing God” had created the Heavens and controlled all the elements that were in it. It wasn’t long before he referred to lightning as “the weapon of Zeus.”

“He is almighty,” the Greek said.

Such was man’s intellect, he assigned elements of mysticism to everything he could perceive but not explain. He learnt to stop fearing the moon and referred to it as “the twin sister of Apollo.” When it came to the sun, he settled for the idea that the ancient God of creation, Amun, resided in it. The earth, the stars, even the seas – every unknown was laced with mysticism in ways that narrowed his fears to that of God.

Over time, that fear helped shape his conscience and along with it articles of convention. It brought forth the idea that man was limited in his ability to discern right from wrong, that he was dependent upon the almighty to guide him towards the path to righteousness. Such was the convention, rulers would compel subjects to swear upon God as a measure of their conviction towards telling the truth.

An oversimplification, perhaps, but no less a summary of the gradual assimilation of mysticism into systems of justice. Every time you hear a suspected felon swear upon the Bible, be assured that he (or she) is helping the courthouse reinforce its conviction towards the existence of a God. Accordingly, modern systems of justice are governed by mystical conventions dictated upon by the human collective.

These conventions brought about a general acceptance of attitudes and practices that legal practitioners are currently upholding. Unless these practices are revised, as centuries progress, those upholding them would do so blindly without stopping to think of the irony that exists.

Yes, if a man in the witness box were to swear upon God that an alien from outer space shot his wife, the court would probably require him to undergo a medical examination given the convention that aliens do not exist. However, should the same courthouse be told that Mr Smith wasn’t entitled to insurance coverage as the tornado that destroyed his home was “the act of God,” it would be construed a valid argument even if the judge has no proof God exists.

Hypocrisy?

Call it what you may, but convention has it that God does exist if He is perceived to by the majority. Under the circumstances, you could be held in contempt should you swear upon God that an alien zapped your wife into dust. Unless you can verify with an absolute degree of certainty that the alien exists, you’d be deemed a liar in the eyes of justice for making a mockery of the judicial system.

And yet, you have guys in the DAP whining about the dual system of law practised in Malaysia. Tell me, what difference would it make if the jurisdiction of our Syariah Courts were to be expanded? Aren’t our civil courts already subject to the dictates of the “all-seeing, all-knowing God,”and wasn’t it the DAP that insisted “God is Allah, that Jesus is His son?”

Even Tommy grew up to embrace the collective wisdom of society and stopped fearing “the creatures of the night”…

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