Official Legal Definition of Contradiction Term Paper

Pages: 15 (4563 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

¶ … official legal definition of contradiction is that there exists between two ideas an incompatibility and evident opposition of two idea which share the subject of one and the same proposition. In simpler words, this means that when a party who is accused of a crime contradicts himself, it is presumes that he is guilty, since by definition truth will not contradict itself, being always consistent. On the other hand, falsehood is generally inconsistent and therefore the truth of some facts, which are known to be true, will in turn contradict the falsehood of those, which are not true. Contradiction in any form will essentially weaken the cause, the case or the situation, and as it is seen, can even weaken the truth. If two issues are directly opposed to each other, the contradictions must ultimately be reconciled. If this cannot be done, then the more improbable of the two statements is rejected summarily. Unfortunately, if both are entitled to the same credit, then the matter will be as if no proof had been given in either case.

The burden to the law is therefore a powerful one. Why then are we so often in today's laws met with so much legal contradiction. In this paper I will review three elements of society in which much legislation and moralization has been passed, and will attempt to define the reality of each situation from hype. The three subjects I will undertake are 1) the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco 2) the effect of violent movies and media on children and 3) pornography. I will attempt to present the facts of these issues outside of emotion and moralization.

We are now two years into the holding of enemy noncombatants in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. This prison was built to hold those individuals captured during the United States; preemptive strike against terrorism by the war in Afghanistan. This prison holds about 600 people, and yet these people hold no legal status within the United States. Because of this, the current administration has been able to legally support the denial of any kind of legal protection under the law to these individuals. These individuals are imprisoned by the same law which gives them no status and prevents them from contact with legal counsel, with family members, and even with human rights groups, it is this kind of perverse contradiction which has made a mockery of the American legal system. Instead of using facts and thoughtful contemplation to make our laws, instead of using hard science and study, we use gut reactions and easily wave away our civil rights in the hope for safety to shop at Home Depot without worry of a terrorist bomb.

To date, any legal action taken on the part of the Guantanamo bay prisoners have been essentially unsuccessful. It appears that the only hope some of these people have is having their case tried in the media, which may be worse for them. To date, only the International Committee of the Red Cross has been the only group from outside to be in to observe prison conditions. Rather than winning hearts and minds, the ICRC was vocal in its' condemnation of the management of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and joined in support with human rights groups such as Amnesty International to denounce the management of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay Prison.

Some people feel that is impossible for the legal system to be impartial. I deny this is so. I feel that there just needs to be more careful considerations of laws which would seem to fly in the face of fact and common sense. Do we make laws to please the public or to provide for the common good? Another good example of this is the issue of drugs and alcohol. Let us first set out minds to the legal drinking age, which in the United States is now 21 in every state. This law was meant to reduce incidents of underage drinking and the problems that come with underage drinking. It was a hipshot reaction, based in part on a moral code. But into this law came no thought of common sense, basically the idea that drinking, as such, will probably always take place in the youth of America, whether the age is 21 or not. Prohibition did not work in the 1920s and it will likely not work for us now.

Human nature is human nature. What is forbidden to us is always likely to be that which is the most tantalizing. The element, which makes alcohol forbidden, is perhaps part of what makes it so interesting to adolescents in the first place. It represents adulthood, a right of passage and a stab at parental independence. Yet we will allow a child to buy a pack of cigarettes at age 18. He or she may even buy pornography or go to see a movie rated NC-17, meaning the content is so excessively sexual or violent that it is not considered appropriate for those who we still consider children. But not a pack of cigarettes, since that may spoil his or her health.

In truth, studies show that those who begin to smoke in adolescence are more likely to continue smoking for a lifetime and have a harder time trying to quite when they do quit. Every day, it is estimated that almost 5,000 adolescents (aged 11 to 17) smoke their first cigarette. It is also estimated that as of January 2005, almost 4.5 million adolescents in the United States smoke cigarettes on a regular basis. While ninety percent of smokers begin to smoke before age 21, over 350,000 Americans die prematurely each year from the effects of smoking. Studies have also shown that the prevalence of smoking is higher in those who have from 9 to 11 years of education compared to those with 16 years of educations. Each day, it is estimated, that more than 6,000 children under age 18 try a cigarette and half of these will become daily smokers. If this level of smoking trend continues, then about 5 million people currently under the age of 18 will eventually die from smoking related illness. The statistics are not the same for those who drink under age 18. And what element of smoking makes it okay to do after age 18? There is no scientific evidence, which holds for the reduction in morbidity or mortality secondary to the use of tobacco products in those who are more than age 18. So why are cigarettes then legal after 18, when they are no better for you than when you were 17?

The argument is then made that at age 18 an individual has the right to make decisions on his or her own. He is essentially and in the eyes of the law considered to be "an adult." He or she may vote, sign up for military service and marry without parental consent, watch the aforementioned pornographic movie or buy pornographic material.

Yet, the same individual may not drink alcohol. We essentially say that these adults are old enough to kill and at least think about sex and violence, but not to drink. To date, I have been unable to find any kind of scientific evidence which may demonstrate some kind of biochemical change in brains of the adolescent which makes them more susceptible to alcohol at age 18 and yet not at age 21? What is the rational basis for this kind of law? This is the kind of issue that I plan to research in depth during my Masters' studies.

Everyone had heard that tobacco and big tobacco companies are vilified for their involvement in the distribution of products which have been scientifically proven to be hazardous to the health. Is it not for these reasons that each cigarette package holds the warning that the use of this product has been shown to cause cancer, low birth rate, etc. The Surgeon General's first report on smoking and health was released in 1964. Since that time, about 10 million people have died from disease related to smoking. It is also estimated that should the current rate of smoking continue, about 25 million more will die from smoking related causes. The original package warning stated that smoking "might" be hazardous to health - perhaps a failure to commit at that point, or perhaps an effort to avoid law suit.

Nevertheless, based on continued scientific study, some on the part of the tobacco companies themselves, the warning was modified in 1967 at the request of the Federal Trade Commission to "dangerous to health and may cause death from Cancer and other diseases." The advertisement of smoking and cigarettes via television and radio ads was prohibited in 1969. Yet in 1981, the FTC was to issue a report to Congress which stated that the health warning labels had little to no effect on public knowledge and/or attitudes about smoking. Congress again attempted to legislate surrounding smoking by… [END OF PREVIEW]

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