We lead our daily existence by constantly ‘negotiating’ two sets of limitations.
For instance we people cannot fly unless we somehow deal with the law of gravity, obey air-traffic rules and observe the on-board etiquette.
Apparently the first, the natural law/unavoidable reality that “any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them”, is more important than the second, a collection of rules/customs imposed by the people who run the air industry, by those who ‘police’ the skies and by the passengers themselves.
In fact, their importance born out of us becoming aware of their existence.
Humberto Maturana, an evolutionary neuro-scientist turned philosopher, aptly observed that we humans are not merely conscious but conscious of our consciousness and also that “all knowing is doing and all doing is knowing“.
As long as we don’t try to fly it doesn’t really matter for us that things tend to stick together. In fact most of the time ‘this is good for us’: objects stay put, air stays around the planet….
When we made up our minds that we wanted to fly we found a way – we used what ever other natural laws we had noticed until then that could have helped us in our endeavor. And immediately after we ‘took of ‘ the day to day human interaction related to the act of flying gave birth to new, man made this time, rules.
The way I see it when it comes to ‘natural laws’ the onus is on us becoming aware of them, not on their mere existence and when it comes to humans dealing with other humans the important thing is their willingness to cooperate, not the ‘rules of engagement’. These can be altered to fit the situation but if the people involved refuse to cooperate even the friendliest of the encounters can easily degenerate into an all out extermination war.
There is precedence though. No matter how hard me might cooperate among ourselves in order to ‘negotiate’ a ‘new set of rules’ we’ll never be able to overcome the natural ones. We might ‘bend’ some of them (we ‘invented the GMO’s , didn’t we?) ignore others (global warming) but the hard reality sooner or later catches up with us. Sometimes with a vengeance.