An Example of Someone Missing the Point.

I ran into this book today, Genealogies of Legal Vision. It’s apparently a “history of ideas” book, and the idea he’s interested in is the transition between Law as founded on God, and Law as founded on political agreements.

If you click on the above link, you’ll see that he uses as an example an old print (from a founder of the firm) which he discovered in a law office, with an all-seeing eye illumining the world and proclaiming that “Omne patet, nihil latet.” He says this is a political statement about law being all about political transparency to the State, and owing nothing to “a good old god’s good old laws” (unlike the image of the goddess Justice).

Now, flip back to the page preceding the linked one, and actually look at the print.

You were probably already suspicious about the all-seeing eye. But what do we see? An all-seeing eye inside a triangle — which, as all US citizens should know, is a representation of the All-Seeing, All-Knowing God the Trinity. It’s often a Deist symbol, but even then, it is only used by Christian, Trinitarian Deists. (Unless you’re dealing with total idiots who don’t understand their own symbols.)

So the author literally doesn’t get the point. The law office’s ancestral founder and his print proudly proclaim that lawyers work for God’s justice, according to God’s laws, and under God’s all-seeing eye. The print says the opposite of what he thinks it’s saying.

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