Q & R: Adversarial systems

Here’s the Q:

I have just finished reading your book “Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?” and it was good and challenging in the right way. You point out the problems hostility produces and my question is this.
In the United States, and probably many other places, the legal system is based on an adversarial relationship. For instance, prosecutors and defense attorneys are adversaries. Would the existence of this kind of system be corrosive to a non-hostile community?
Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Here’s the R:
You raise a really important question. Rather than answer it, let me rephrase it and then pose some related questions.
1. Could we imagine a legal system based on a common pursuit for justice rather than an adversarial pursuit of “wins?”
2. Can we imagine an economic system based on the common good, sustainability, and creative collaboration rather than ruthless competition?
3. Can we imagine a political system based on civility rather than wedge issues and dishonesty?
Those are the kinds of questions that get us dreaming of the “commonwealth of God.” And for those who are thinking – “Yea, that’s realistic!” (insert sarcasm) – remember that centuries ago, a few daring people asked …
Can we imagine a political system where every person got to vote and we replace kings elevated by primogeniture with elected public servants?
Can we imagine a system where women were considered equal to men?
Can we imagine a world where domestic violence was not acceptable?
Can we imagine a world where all children had a right to free public education?
Can we imagine a world where slavery did not exist? Where segregation/apartheid did not exist? Where minorities had equal protection under the law?
As the saying goes … another world is not only possible; it is already under construction. That’s a great paraphrase for “The kingdom of God is at hand.” We’re on a journey into ever-greater justice, reconciliation, and peace … we make the road by walking.