Former military and CIA officer claims society is at risk when the law exclusively determines right and wrong.
MIAMI – When the law solely itself, and not convention or one’s moral compass, determines what is right or wrong, Michael G. Merhige fears the risks become inherent. Thereafter, whatever the powers choose to define is legal, society is left only to accept. What results is that the law allows one to break many of the rules society finds unacceptable, behooving “the governed to understand that legal is not always right nor right always legal.”
Instead, in Thoughtful Pauses, Merhige argues that society’s convention should be included to impose the guidelines, not exclusively the law, based upon conscience and mores of behavior, which are the principles that keep most of society civilized. He believes the law should be a reflection of society and not the driving force. Otherwise, the assumption is that conscience, that right or wrong, is exclusively the prerogative of a select “legal” entity. And ethics takes a back seat.
“When right or wrong, good or bad, are decided only in a vacuum by law, it becomes a weapon for abuse and power, not for justice,” explains Merhige. “Like French politician Frederic Bastiat wrote, ‘the law is more beneficial when employed as a last resort than as a panacea for societal control.’ Not to be ignored, conscience and convention also play their vital roles.”
Merhige knows that elements of his book will not find favor with everyone; he hopes to tweak readers’ interest about the role and function of government, the law, and society.
Thoughtful Pauses can be purchased online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other retailers. For more information about the book, visit www.ThoughtfulPauses.com.
About the Author
Michael G. Merhige played semi-pro high school baseball in the Ben Johnson League for two summers in Kansas. He received a scholarship to the University of Alabama as a baseball letterman. He served in the US Army as an officer attached to the Navy and Marine Corps during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the Caribbean. He was also a CIA officer in the Far East (official cover) and in South America (non-official cover). He retired as a Corporate Development Executive in private industry. He now resides in Miami, Florida.