The Legal System in Hofstadter-land

(or ``Why Douglas Hofstadter is not a practising lawyer.'')

Does it state in some ancient tome,
``All these laws are true'' ?
Or do lawyers assume that that is known,
By all but me and you?

(If there is no law of such a kind,
Then is law just a waste of time?
Could we to our horror find,
That perhaps all law is crime? )

But if such a law is somewhere seen,
Then why do we believe it?
Much has changed while it has been,
Shouldn't that change how we perceive it?

Perhaps we should add another law,
``All laws since are true'' .
And later we might add some more,
So we'll call that ``New Law 2''.

But we don't know yet, you must agree,
Whether ``New Law 2'' is true,
So we'll make a ``New Law 3'',
That says ``New Law 2 is true.''

But now that we know a little more,
We may ask about ``New Law 3''.
Do we now need a ``New Law 4'',
To state the truth of three?

And then we need a ``New Law 5'',
To confirm the truth of four!
And keep it on while we're both alive,
For we'll always need one more.

Unless, of course, we think ahead,
For this New Law might do!
Perhaps New Law Forty reads :
``Every New Law is true.''

But until this law has had it's passing,
There is no completed list.
How can you make laws on things,
That do not yet exist?

Even if that law had a different name,
That wouldn't help a bit:
You'ld still need another just the same,
To state the truth of it.

So perhaps we should never ask,
Whether a law is false or true,
(Finding out might be quite a task,)
But let us hope that lawyers do!

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
If a bill were passed with legal stealth,
``Unlawful are all rules,''
Would that law include itself,
Or would that make us fools?

Suppose, perchance, we passed a law,
That said, ``All laws are false'',
How could one stand against or for,
In such a merry little legal waltz?

- Please,  I'm just offering advice - don't take my comments personally.  
- I understand.  I'll take them as part of a corporate entity.

Greg Baker 30.3.93

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