Laws Versus Principles: Insights from Las Vegas Elevators

Small minds embrace laws; big minds embrace principles. — Robert John Stevens, July 31, 2015

Inside the elevators at the Carriage House Hotel in Las Vegas are permanent plaques that say, “Maximum capacity 2,500 lbs” and paper signs that say, “No more than six people allowed.”

So which is correct? And if your party had more than six people, would you require them to split up?

Without explicitly stating the relationship of these two signs, it is uncertain which law to embrace. For example, the staff’s true intention could be, “Maximum capacity 2,500 lbs or six obese humans.”

A smart person may realize the unlikelihood that the combined weight of six people would exceed 2,500 lbs, and calculate each person would need to weigh an average of 416.66 lbs. A quick glance around could ascertain one’s risk.

If the average weight of males in the United States is 191 lbs, then it would require more than thirteen males to surpass 2,500 lbs.

Would the elevators break with 2,501 lbs? Or did wise elevator designers build them for a higher capacity such as 3,500 lbs?

Another elevator sign said something like, “No jumping in the elevator or you’ll be responsible for the damage.” Does that suggest an unstated history of known mechanical problems or was that sign created by a person practicing unrighteous dominion?

To me the thought of dividing our eight-person party to ride in two elevators was absurd but two relatives were adamant about obeying the six-person limitation even though all but one of us were thin and our party included a five- and seven-year old.

Should we obey man-made laws or God-given principles? A clever person could short-circuit that answer and say, “It depends.”

My observations in life conclude that small-minded people will quickly embrace laws, and given an opportunity enforce them upon others, while large-minded people will favor sound principles unless penalty or immediate danger is obvious.

Two Related Generalities

  • No unconstitutional laws should be obeyed—period.
  • Homeowner associations were created in hell