One of my wonderfully erudite correspondents passed along: Ian McEwan: the law versus religious belief, The Guardian (September 5, 2014). McEwan is a highly regarded British novelist. His writing is stunning both for the clarity and beauty of it. In this essay, McEwan examines the difference between law and religion, and the similarities between novelists and judges.
In particular, McEwan quotes British Appeals Court Judge Sir Alan Ward in case where the court authorized the killing of one infant in order to save another: “”This court is a court of law, not of morals, and our task has been to find, and our duty is then to apply, the relevant principles of law to the situation before us – a situation which is unique.” In the context of my earlier post about factual innocence and the death penalty, McEwan’s gentle but penetrating piece struck a chord with me. Give it a read.