Title: Morality and the Law
MARGARET: Father, that man’s Bad.
MORE: There is no Law against that.
ROPER: There is! … God’s Law.
MORE: Then God can arrest him.
ROPER: Sophistication upon Sophistication !
MORE: No, Sheer simplicity.
The Law, Roper, the Law.
I know what’s Legal, not what’s Right.
And I’ll stick to what’s Legal.
ROPER: Then you set Man’s Law above God’s !
MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact … I’m not God.
The Currents and Eddies of Right and Wrong, which you find such plain sailing,
I can’t navigate. I’m no Voyager.
But in the Thickets of the Law, Oh, there I’m a Forester!
I doubt if there’s a man alive who could follow me there, Thank God …
ALICE: While you talk, he’s Gone!
MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he Broke the Law!
ROPER: So now you’d give the Devil Benefit of Law?
MORE: Yes. What would you do?
Cut a Great Road through the Law to get after the Devil?
ROPER: I’d cut down every Law in England to do that!
MORE: Oh? And when the last Law was down, and the Devil turned round on you,
Where would you hide, Roper,
the Laws all being flat?
This country’s planted thick with Laws from coast to coast …
Man’s Laws, not God’s … and if you cut them down … and you’re just the man to do it …
D’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
Yes, I’d give the Devil Benefit of Law, for My Own Safety’s Sake.
dialog between Sir Thomas More
and his family members
from “A Man For All Seasons”
WHAT THIS MEANS TO ME:
Man’s Law is not capable of perfectly following God’s Law
Because Man is forced to write down and codify
That which most folks SAY is God’s Law.
And we name Man’s Law, “the Law.”
But Man recognizes his own imperfection at judging his Fellow Man
And in order to account for his Human Frailty,
This causes Man to need to be less certain to find Guilt,
This sometimes results in Man’s Law
finding “Not Guilty”
a man who, under each individual’s understanding of God’s Law,
is known by everyone to have broken God’s Law.
and while this is not a desirable result,
no one has yet found a better system.