Captain Vere's Argument Analysis

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Here we have the classic dilemma between the spirit and the letter of the law, or, as Vere frames it, the conflict between conscience and law. Because laws exist to support the integrity of a society and because laws receive their strength from those who enforce them, logic calls for the equal and firm application of those laws. Traditionally, people think of justice as being blind, and for good reason: once the adjudicator begins to base his judgments on mitigating, particular, or personal circumstances and considerations, he threatens the very fabric of the law and, by extension, the very fabric of society. However, the firm application of the law means little if that law itself is unjust. Despite the logic of Captain Vere’s arguments, especially
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