We only need 7 laws

So, the wife and I were talking this morning and realized that we must have 10’s or 100’s of thousands of laws on the books. So so so many are redundant and worse, many were created to curb behavior.

So we thought what if we got rid of ALL the laws and just had the basic fundamental laws without all the wishy-washy stuff in between.

Here is what we came up with, which pretty much covers just about everything there is. Without getting redundant, can you think of any more?

  1. Killing/Murder
  2. Rape
  3. Assault
  4. Property damage
  5. Lying
  6. Stealing/Theft
  7. Trespassing

How about reckless endangerment?

That would cover things like driving while under the influence, running red lights, firing guns into the air in the city, etc… I think it is acceptable to curb dangerous behaviors before they are allowed to escalate into worse crimes like property damage or death.


Also the Lying law will be quite hard to enforce and easy to abuse. Who gets to decide the truth? Though I would love to see a law against politicians who intentionally or negligently fail to tell the truth.


As much as my response maybe unpopular but , no. People can do what they want as long as it doesn’t break one of the 7. If you drive drunk and hurt no one nor break anyone’s stuff, it shouldn’t matter. If it “escalates” into one of the 7 then you broke a law. You hit it on the head, “worse crimes” they still are under the 7 laws. I’m not saying that the “penalties” for the 7 should all be equal.

Lying would be meant to enforce defamation, which hurts a person. LE would still present evidence to a DA which would be referred to a Grand Jury and so forth.

These are good thoughts @Shamrock … These are some of the things we have thought of to maybe add an 8th or 9th but still , we thought of Arson, but that falls under property damage.

PS. By definition, there is no negligently lying. Lying is “Knowingly telling a falsehood”


In point of fact, not even the DOJ actually knows how many laws are on the books in this country. Not only are there federal, state, city, county, municipal laws, and regulations, but there are also laws from foreign countries incorporated into US law by reference. So it seems that under some circumstances we can be held criminally liable for violating the laws of any and every country in the world, laws which were only mentioned as being included in the US code but not enumerated in any specific way.

This is why you don’t just need a lawyer, you need a GOOD lawyer.


Would definitely disagree on the not enforcing the reckless endangerment. A man is driving down the road swerving all over the place. The cops have seen him do this every day for the past week so they say “Well he’s not breaking any laws. We’ll just follow him until he runs over those kids playing on the side of the road.”

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This isn’t a religious response, but it looks like it in the beginning. Please hang with me for a moment. :slight_smile:

The former pastor at our church was asked in seminary to summarize his theology. His answer: “Love God. Love people. Serve both.” That summarizes the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ response when asked by the Pharisees which is the most important commandment.

We could do worse than use that as a guide. When my daughter was in grade school, our church’s kids program had four rules:

  1. No running around.
  2. No talking when the leaders are talking.
  3. You know better than that.
  4. Have fun.

For years, we were able to achieve a certain amount of peace in the house by asking our daughter, “what’s rule #3?”

I know I’ve thrown a lot of church and religious references in here, but there is a point about laws I’d like to make with those illustrations as a foundation. We don’t need a theocracy; we don’t need the Ten Commandments inscribed in every courthouse.

We need judges with the stones to ask one question and give one statement

  • “Did you treat the other person well?”
  • You should know better than that.

Any law worth enacting should ask the question. Any sentence should start with the statement. I realize it’s a pipe dream to think we could simplify any legal system down to 13 words. I know people who want to will try to bend and break rules because they think they can get away with it. More’s the pity.


I don’t think that willful ignorance should be a defense against lying. When a politician says we can pass another $10 trillion giveaway package because it will only be good for everyone and have no negative impacts, they are lying even if they don’t understand how bankruptcy happens.


We originally thought it was closely tied to the 10 commandments as well. But not all people in the world are of the same religion, so it kind of knocked a few out. The religious laws should/would not be enforced through government.

@Shamrock I’ve brought this topic up with folks verbally in the past and the drunk driving issue is very passionately argued by most people. You are definitely in the majority here and I understand and sympathize with your argument. But they still did not hurt anyone nor cause property damage. So, what about the aged person who drives worse than the drunk driver, what about the young NEW driver, or just the crappy driver? I have no doubt that there are drunk drivers out there that can out perform crappy drivers.


If the young and old drivers are behaving in a way that is likely to lead to death or severe bodily harm of another they should be treated the same as drunk driver. It may simply be a warning, some refresher classes or a requirement to wear glasses but allowing people to repeatedly threaten the lives of others is also reckless endangerment.

I value the fourth amendment so if the drunk driver is driving normally they shouldn’t be pulled over or stopped at DUI checkpoint so they wouldn’t face consequences until they posed an imminent threat.

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What about relaying information one believes to be true but is easily falsified by known and available facts/experience, particularly when one has made no effort to verify the information. Lack of due diligence can be described as “negligence”.

Also consider statements which cannot be proven to be true or false by any objective measure? For instance, I live my life according to certain principles which I hold to be true and and are supported by my personal experience. I can’t prove that any of these principles are true, but neither can a third party prove that they are false. Am I lying when I tell someone else about my principles? Or am I only lying if someone else takes my word for it, adopts my principles, but doesn’t achieve the same result as I do?

In a third instance, am I lying if nobody discovers the lie? In other words, am I innocent as long as I don’t get caught? How about if I lie to someone and the lie is discovered, but the person to whom I have lied suffered no definable damage attributable to the lie? What if the lie actually helped them achieve an outcome better then what could have been expected without the lie?

Finally, for a legalistic example: What if I am lied to, take actions predicated on the lie, suffer (or cause) damage as a result of these lie-induced actions, can subsequently prove that the statement made to me was a lie, but can’t prove that the person I claim to have lied to me actually ever made the statement?

My brain is starting to hurt.



@David38 - I’ll bet your parents thought you were fun as a kid when you got caught. :slight_smile:


I was their favorite!


Of course, you were. :wink:


Prove I’m lying! :innocent:


I believe that Fizbin is stating that “drunk driving” or “DUI”, as it has been changed to (as there are numerous drugs people take that impair one’s physical abilities), is not a crime in and of itself. Reckless driving, as you pointed out is the crime, the cause is not relevant, but it still needs to be addressed. Just like threatening someone with great bodily harm or death also needs to be addressed. We all believe in our right to self-defense, therefore, we are not going to wait to be killed to react to the imminent threat. The same applies to reckless driving, it is an imminent threat to anyone in the path of that vehicle (not suggesting shooting the driver or otherwise harming the driver).

I recall several years ago driving down I-95 late at night, there was a vehicle coming up behind me, swerving through the lanes, and greatly varying its speed. It was one of the worst driving experiences I have had. I had my wife call the police to report the vehicle giving our location and direction. The vehicle eventually overtook us, and I tried to stay as far away from it as best I could as it passed. After about a half-hour or so later, we got to our exit. We never saw a police response, nor passed any, which was odd in itself, as one usually passes several or more in the median looking for speeding. So I can fully understand and agree the threat of great bodily harm or death, be it “reckless driving” or some other cause, should also be part of those rules.

I also see where someone’s interpretation of an incidence might not be as the rest of us perceive it; whereas one sees a threat of great bodily harm or death, others see someone who is not a real threat to anyone, such as an panhandler getting up close and personal, wanting you to give him/her money.


There’s a book titled “Three Felonies a Day” in which the author argues that there are so many laws on the books, that you can unwittingly become a criminal just by living your normal life. Prosecutors use this to their advantage; if they want to target you for one crime, they might be able to get you on something else.

There’s some debate as to the degree that this is true, or how much is hyperbole. But to the original point, we have a lot of laws on the books. I wish laws would automatically sunset after a certain period of time unless the appropriate legislative body validated them.

Of course, if people weren’t such jerks, we wouldn’t need any laws.


I’m still good either the 10 commandments.


About 45 years ago, I had a copy of this book, You Can’t Eat Peanuts In Church And Other Little Known Laws. I remember it being an amusing read at the time.

If you’re interested in these laws that should have come off the books long ago, the book is available on the Internet Archive to read:


@Dave17, I think you and I are on the same page. And I agree that there can be some problematic interpretations of what is an imminent threat. But I believe @Fizbin ‘s stand is that people cannot be stopped until after they have done damage or maybe when they are caught in the act of intentionally breaking one of the 7 laws? Not for acting in a way that will likely lead to those laws being broken.

I think this is a very non “conservative” approach. It allows people and companies such as drug or pesticide makers to do things that are likely to do great harm with impunity until they are caught harming a lot of people. While protecting people’s freedoms is vitally important, people also have the right to be free from the harmful actions of others. I believe we have an obligation as members of a family, community and society to take reasonable actions to stop people who are clearly putting innocent people in danger. It doesn’t necessarily need to involve an arrest and punishment but in some cases it may need to.

I like Fizbin’s simplified laws but firmly believe that actions that are very likely to result in those laws being broken need to be stopped.