More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you - where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast - man's laws, not God's - and if you cut them down - and you're just the man to do it - d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.
Tradition may be unfair, and confining, and absolutely Not Fun. Cultural norms may be arbitrary and unpleasant and unobliging to your own person sense of necessities and right conduct. But both are grown by the organic operation of societies in motion, laid down by the steady beat of ancestral heels, such that those paths which eroded away were abandoned, and those paths which cut impassable bogs were let to go to wrack and weed. Culture and tradition tends to keep to the passable routes, and proper tradition-drawn law then laid down down macadam over those least worst social by-ways.
When our uncles and aunts threw down all the fences and hedge-rows and went counter-culturally off-roading, they left a trackless maze of muddy ripped-up lawns, ruined fields, eroded hill-sides. The current generation is getting ready to lay down gravel on some of those wayward new folk-ways, and the feminist press is whinging about just how roundabout, unpleasant, and ill-directed a New Social Road-Map their cartographers are being presented by the gravellers.
Well congratulations, sunshine. The old roads were hard, coarse, and indirect, but at least they got where we were going: marriage, family, children, continuity. I'll be damned if I know where these new roads are going, but it certainly looks like no-where I want to be.