GRE Issue Essay - 7


It is possible to pass laws that control or place limits on people's behavior, but legislation cannot reform human nature. Laws cannot change what is in people's hearts and minds.


Law means a body of rules and regulations in the form of judicial opinions, or in the form of constitutions etc. Law is used by the governing bodies to control the behavior of a society. The functions of law vary for different societies or countries. However, legal laws are different from the moral behavior or the traditions of societies. The laws are formed by some authorized body like court while customs and traditions are made by the members of society. It is very important to understand here that both the things are made to run the society smoothly.

However, I agree with the statement that although laws can place limits on people's behavior but they cannot alter or convert people's heart. There is no second thought that very strict laws can sometimes have negative effects on the society. Usually laws help to give a peaceful life to people. It plays an essential role in maintaining stableness and development of society. It infuses a fear in the public that if they do some illegal activity, they will be punished. If this fear will not be there, then the instances of terrorism and crimes will increase that will make the life of the members of society unstable and disturbed. Laws make our lives comfortable. Hence, it is required to have laws that have positive impact on people's behavior.

However, in history, we have many examples where laws had negative influence on the society. The laws made by some of the kings were so cruel and inhuman that they had bad effect on the human nature. However, it is also true that although laws are used to make people's lives easy and secure, laws cannot change what is in people's heart. Despite many strict and cruel laws, feelings of hate and disobedience keep growing in the hearts of public, if the laws are not changed according to time. Many revolutions in the history of humankind are the evidence of this statement. Russian revolution and the freedom fight of India are the best examples of the outcry of public against the laws and legislations of the government.

Laws should be changed according to the human nature. Hence, it is true that laws and rules reflect the human nature but these cannot change the way people think. Although laws should not be altered at every outcry, they should be modified according to human nature that reflects people's minds and hearts. It is essential to make people respect laws. Otherwise, there will be more and more instances of people not following laws. You cannot ignore the fact that some degree of freedom is required for a balanced society. Without people obeying any law, it will be like an empty law. Hence, the social attitude towards laws should be considered while making a formal law. If the authorities want to use the laws to control or alter human nature, then they have to make the laws more flexible.

Hence, it can be concluded that the laws that control or place limits on people's behavior cannot reform human nature.