more from Lao Tzu

Single Idea 6326

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 2. The Law / a. Legal system]

Full Idea

The better known the laws and edicts, the more thieves and robbers there are.

Gist of Idea

The better known the law, the more criminals there are


Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching [c.350 BCE], II.LVII.132)

Book Reference

Lao Tzu: 'Tao Te Ching', ed/tr. Lau,D.C. [Penguin 1963], p.118

A Reaction

Nice. I link this with my favourite moral maxim from Democritus (Idea 519). The idea is that continual emphasis on what you should not do fills the mind with evil possibilities. Moral perfection must start by taking goodness for granted.

Related Idea

Idea 519 One must avoid even speaking of evil deeds [Democritus (attr)]