society without laws would have no way to solve the social issues which arrive within their collective arrangement. That is because such a society would neither have a legislative branch nor a judiciary branch.

The purpose of legislation is to either restrict or promote a set of habits within society. We accept an official body to determine our standards of acceptability. As a result, we have a sovereign body or a set of rules to appeal to, of which can manifest in either procedural, remedial, or protective regulations. This allows for us to assign legally ordained interpreters of the law, known as judges and lawyers.

The purpose of the judiciary is to interpret law, establish law (rarely), and resolve issues amongst citizenry, especially in cases which require an administration of punishment or allocation of resources. Typically a judicial system would hold trial and appellate courts – learn more here: (The Different Types of Courts).

So, life without laws would have a great deal of uncertainty around social issues. The law would not be around to authoritatively end contentious issues which arise from the relativity of social customs.

What are relative social norms? Well, relativism is defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as:

“the view that truth and falsity, right and wrong, standards of reasoning, and procedures of justification are products of differing conventions and frameworks of assessment and that their authority is confined to the context giving rise to them”.

What this means, with respect to the problem of uncertainty, is that there are no objective standards to reference when it comes to settling social issues. Of course, within a group of people, there are agreed upon norms; however, in large societies, the beliefs are quite diverse.

For example, within America, there are variations in religiosity by region: non-religious views are highest in Vermont (34%), while lowest in Alabama (6%).


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