The emergence of law and order from murder and manslaughter
The zealous lawyer does not even think about the causes of terrorism, he shortens the PLO to a terrorist organization, and Arafat appears to him as a forerunner of Bin Laden. Where there is so much confusion, it is astonishing that Dershowitz wrote a book before September 11 that deals with fundamentalism in quite a differentiated way. The Europäische Verlagsanstalt has brought this work to the German-speaking market under the title “Die Entstehung von Recht und Gesetz aus Murder und Todschlag”.Believers read the Bible as a divine revelation, others take it as a piece of world literature. The American criminal lawyer and lawyer Alan M. Dershowitz, who teaches at Harvard Law School, uses a third reading that does not deny its Jewish origins.
He takes the Bible as Holy Scripture, but ignores the question of whether it has a supernatural origin. And he also does not ask how to think of God and into which world view he fits or does not fit. Judaism, he states succinctly in his introduction, …is a religion in which pure theological teaching is not as important as the observance of the commandments.Dershowitz looks at these commandments with the eyes of a criminal lawyer. He asks how they are justified and whether God must not adhere to them himself. He picks apart the familiar stories from the first book of Moses, the Genesis, like a lawyer’s arguments of the opponent. But that’s how he really unveils the meaning of the stories.
Do you understand the laws of God?
The half-closed eyes of a pious reading, on the other hand, escape this meaning. For a pious reading tries to interpret or reinterpret everything that is somehow contradictory in itself, compromising the belief in God or offensive according to Jewish or Christian moral concepts. Gershowitz does the exact opposite. He lights it up brightly and shows it around. But this does not happen out of disrespect. Even as a child, he took Genesis very seriously.
Even for a 10-year-old, reading this book means questioning God’s notions of justice. What child would not wonder why Adam and Eve are punished if they disobeyed God’s prohibition not to eat from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” when they did not even know what was good and evil. What bright child could accept God’s decision without contradiction to destroy the innocent, first by the Flood, later by fire and brimstone? How could Abraham be praised for being willing to sacrifice his son?
I read the book of Genesis as an invitation to question everything, including faith itself. It taught me that faith is a process and not a consistent inner condition. The book of Genesis shows that faith wants to be earned, even by God. Jacob makes his faith dependent on God fulfilling his part of the agreement. That is one side of the consideration. The other pursues the emergence of the right from injustice. Right, writes Alan M. Dershowitz, is the answer to a misconduct.
Another way to read the Bible
The great thing about the book of Genesis is that it describes in detail the history of civilizations in the time before the development of formal legal systems. It shows us a world without rights, but not without laws. In a way, this book is the beginning of law and justice. Situational commands … form the basis of many commandments and prohibitions, which are codified in the following books of the Bible.
Therefore the Genesis, which is considered a code, contains stories. In the author’s eyes, these stories provide the reasons for the laws. In his legal-philosophical view, laws are not based on logic, but on experience. They are reactions to injustice experienced. For Dershowitz, injustice is the biggest problem of all, a problem that even God fails. In his analysis of the book of Job Dershowitz states succinctly: It is easier to create a universe than to provide justice. Dershowitz analyses ten known reports, from the Fall of Cain and Abel,.