[法学] 中国与西方法治文化的差异

Simplified 看《法治理想国》时,作者周天玮在书中对这问题开宗明义举了个两段历史轶事,以历史上西方和中国两个知名的"案例"比较分析,对比西方和中国对法治文化与法律的定位:

苏格拉底

公元前399年,苏格拉底被雅典政府控告荼毒雅典青年人,后强迫服毒自杀。本来他的学生安排他逃走,但他拒绝。苏格拉底坚持留下的理由大致内容:

He has acquired an overwhelming obligation to obey the Laws because they have made his entire way of life, and even the fact of his very existence, possible. Importantly, however, this relationship between citizens and the Laws of the city are not coerced. Citizens, once they have grown up, and have seen how the city conducts itself, can choose whether to leave, taking their property with them, or stay. Staying implies an agreement to abide by the Laws and accept the punishments that they mete out. And, having made an agreement that is itself just, Socrates asserts that he must keep to this agreement that he has made and obey the Laws, in this case, by staying and accepting the death penalty.

在苏格拉底眼中,人民和政府所定下的契约是自愿的(this relationship between citizens and the Laws of the city are not coerced),那么既然我有权利享有雅典政府给予我的生存,我就有义务遵守它的法律,即使是恶法也是法。也就是说,如果我一开始就不认同雅典政府的法律,我应该尽早和它断绝关系,另觅他乡。

在这种"坚持"下,后来苏格拉底与亲朋高谈纵论哲学后,坦然饮鸩而死。

孟子

孟子《尽心上》第三十五章,记载了孟子和学生桃应就"窃负而逃"这个议题的讨论:

桃应问曰:"舜为天子,皋陶为士,瞽瞍杀人,则如之何?"
孟子曰:"执之而已矣。"
"然则舜不禁与?"
曰:"夫舜恶得而禁之?夫有所受之也。"
"然则舜如之何?"
曰:"舜视弃天下犹弃敝蹝也。窃负而逃,遵海滨而处,终身欣然,乐而忘天下。"

大意是说:桃应问孟子,如果舜的父亲瞽瞍杀了人,舜怎么办呢?孟子不能说不抓瞽瞍,因为瞽瞍毕竟犯了法;但又不能让舜眼睁睁地看着瞽瞍去坐牢。面对这个两难的局面,孟子设想了一个解决的办法:舜的天子之位不要了,偷偷把父亲背上逃走,在海边快快乐乐地住一辈子。

或许在孟子讨论议题当中,有其伦理意涵,但从法治观点来对比这两个例子,"法律与政治"所以缠绕不休,倒是可以看出个梗概。

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