Rules and Laws are Secondary

Rules and laws are only secondary to their creators: intentions and goals. This concept is often lost in blind obedience. People become so attached to the rule of law that they forget the real reasons behind why a particular rule is in place. Rules should not be followed in every single situation. You must understand a rule and law before you follow it, not after. They should be treated as a heuristic, not a command.

I have to know why a rule is in place before I can follow it. I notice many people do not care to do this, maybe out of apathy or faith. You can make this situation complicated, especially in the case of where an individual does not understand the system they are in enough to be an effective decision maker. The only issue I can see beyond that, is the issue of time (life is short ya know?). It is quicker to assume a rule is right so you can move beyond it. I am so confident enough in my abilities to quickly understand the intentions of a rule that I completely lack faith in any rule presented to me. A rule is only a conclusion. In many cases, rules lack a description of their premise(s). Every action or inaction you take must be analyzed to its root. Rules should not be hard limits until they are broken apart and fully comprehended; only then should they act as a shortcut.

Here is a simple example: "Never lie"
A rule that is often taught to children is to 'never lie'. This sounds like it makes sense and is often used to simplify the child's ethical system. I would like to argue that these types of rules, over time, complicate the system unnecessarily. It causes the rule creator to create many sub-cases where it is OK to break a rule. In this example, I immediately think of a few specific use cases where this rule has to be amended. 1. Humor, such as sarcasm or exaggeration. 2. Telling a fictional story. 3. Protection from evil (such as telling a genocidal militant that no one of their targeted race is in the house despite them being hidden in the attic). This list could go on and on.

The Problem: This concept of a nearly infinite amount of specific rules and laws is the primary cause of things like governmental bureaucratic bloat (e.g. America's tax laws) and the confusion and anger that erupts from the existence of so many different belief systems despite their almost exact intentions (think about the actual differences between Christianity's many denominations. Does any difference exist except exact rules derived from specific use cases (historical 'facts' and methods of worship aside.)?).

Conclusion: Our guiding social systems need to design their form of control around goals and intentions and not by simply blacklisting or whitelisting an infinite amount of specific (in)actions.

Solution: Sounds like a good education is all that is needed. How about we extend the school hours and add in a study of ethics, epistemology, and decision making?

What do you think?