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I'd make sure to leave those books out (religious texts as well)...

Other civilizations have got by just fine without them, and maybe without tainting influences, the survivors will do better next time.

Heh. You don't get to choose who decides to bring along their moral capital, something that I'm glad to see people in this discussion realize is just as important as any other of these areas, and I would argue more important, in that without it, you aren't going to get very far with anything else.

E.g. too many of these things require fixed assets and a framework where nomadic raiders are kept from totally despoiling those and the people working on them, the classic example being agriculture and farmers. Sans that, you might have something called "civilization", but it won't support very many people, and it won't be pretty. Or you might collapse all the way down to small, hostile to each other bands of hunter-gatherers. I seem to remember reading in Guns, Germs and Steel that the Australian aborigines came from a civilization that farmed....

Take a look at Blacks. Legal dictionaries are not moral works. The language of a legal system does not dictate how that system is used. It doesn't define what is legal or not, or set punishments. All it does is provide a framework, a common starting point for building upon.

There is a lot of implicit baggage there still, for example in saying that punishments are a thing courts can do, and that they are a response to crimes.

The paints 'civilized law' as authoritarian, vengance based, and using primitive means to try to alter behavior.

Your logic is off. Punishments are a response to crimes as part of the definition of "crime".

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