John Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy Adams, (1767-1848) 6th US President

John Quincy Adams Quote

“The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.”

John Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy Adams
~ John Quincy Adams

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

When today's laws (rules) are made by the four branches of government (don't forget the P.R. branch - the media), fain claiming the creation of wisdom, virtue, and/or happiness, they are merely masking the tyranny of their deceit.

David L. Rosenthal

The purpose of the law should be to set limits on behavior, so that others might be respected, and not to make a man happy.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Absolutely! I am not wiser, more virtuous, or happy while driving the speed limit-- Nor am I more wise, virtuous, or happy when I don't. The law doesn't "protect" anyone-- it exists to punish an agent who has used his freedom to act outside its bounds. The existence of such laws that will derail others (those with criminal intent) from encroaching on my freedom (by means of not wanting to be punished) and liberty give me a reason to be joyful; however, the law is still not my source of joy-- I find wisdom, virtue, and happiness in being sovereign, and the knowledge I gain by means of my daily work.

Mike, Norwalk

Rosenthal, why do you so vehemently agree with the quote and use a thumb down to rate it?

David L. Rosenthal

I agree with the first clause, and find the second one irrelevant to the topic of the first. If the law is not designed to make anyone happy, what is the point of criticizing the law for failing to do so?

Mike, Norwalk

It seems everyone has forgotten the meaning of law and wants to use the current tyrant's, media's, and power monger's definition. The laws of man or man's law differs greatly from that which is ultimately 'law'. The finite entity 'law', is nothing more than a definition of an actor's act. It does not bind, punish, or control. Those attributes are more closely attributable to justice. Corporeal man can create a rule and call it 'law', but it doesn't make it so (by way of example: the government can say that all babies are to die by statutory law, consequently there will be no mass suffocation). Further, it is clear and set certain (res judicata) that a rule passed by government, contrary to original constitutional writ and intent, is not a law (ab initio) even if the de facto democratic oligarchy sets forth punishment for violating its edicts. The United States does not have a government of laws, it suffers under tyrannical dictums of immoral rule.

David L. Rosenthal

Mike: I would not advise using that explanation in court.

Mike, Norwalk

David, lol, actually, I have used variations of that definition in court and found very different results. The more honest, fair, and lawful the judge, the further the argument went.

E Archer, NYC

The law's only purpose is to protect the rights of the people -- not to promote certain behavior (which is a socialist doctrine). The laws do not tell us what to do -- they define the jurisdictions and the governmental powers. To twist the law to enforce politically correct behavior is a foundation of fascism.

John R Bacon, Richmond, England

Better to look to our peers for guidance on behaviour than to politicians

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

As it is written:

" For I was alive without the law once: but when then the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
And the commandment, which was ordained unto life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me and by it slew me."

~ Romans 7:9-11

Ronw13, OR

Vanity is an evil of its own self, ( Ref: Romans 7:21,22) therefore judge nothing before the time. ( I Corin 4:5). The laws of man cannot instill the fruits of the Spirit. " For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. for if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." ( Romans 8:5,6,7,8,12,13) 
I thank God our founding fathers walked after the Spirit of Truth and Liberty, seeing some of them were made stewards of the mysteries. The truth is brutal to the carnal mind, comforting to the Spiritual minded walk.  


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