(This blog originally posted 5/20/2005.)
The civilization of a society is not measured by the number of laws it writes, but in how few laws it has.
The notion of a 'responsible' society is one where some individuals deem themselves responsible for the actions of other individuals. When that happens, people who feel that burden of responsibility are forced into some VERY uncivilized actions against other people (resulting in lots of laws) to mitigate the weight of their conscience.
The end effect?
The more responsible a society deems itself the be, the less civilized it has become.