He never sentenced anyone to death, so I’m not sure what you are talking about.
As dignified as the death penalty.
Hey! We agree on something!
Why do we need things like ceremony to reinforce our notions of importance, solemnity and respect? What is the psychological basis for this phenomenon?
We humans perform these rituals for all sorts of events: funerals, marriages, puberty, baptisms, people being sworn into office or testifying before courts, etc.
These ceremonies demarcate transitional states; separations between past states of being and new states of becoming.
Our rules of law originated back in Europe with the Divine Right of Kings and when the Roman Catholic Church claimed ultimate authority. Lying in a court of law was the same as lying to god. Swearing to tell the truth on a Bible, which occurs to this day in American courts, is a remnant of this. Our court system, which is supposedly secular, still carries an understated and implied religious tone.
Maybe this is what EN is sensing.
I think in part it goes with the saying: set and setting. In this case with a link between the two. Establishing a cultural-psychological space where certain norms of behavior are enforced. Sort of a “this is serious, pay attention.”
But I’ve always wondered what “oyez” means.
It means “hear!” or “listen up!” You can pronounce it with or without the “z”. It goes along with your “this is serious, pay attention” comment.
Psychologically, we have a hard time focusing. We were used to dangers like big animals and bad weather, but subtle emergencies like standing in front of a man with power who could totally destroy your life weren’t so easy to identify. So we have the dress, the pageantry, the pomp, to impress you with the idea. Like the oaths that people take on solemn occasions - “this is important”. Otherwise, we might miss it. It makes an impression. We are impressed with impressions. We remember. It’s not the usual course of business. Without this stuff, I don’t think we could have a workable society.
Now, could we dispense with ties? Please, absolutely. But some pomp is needed - otherwise, it turns into a frat house.
Definitely no ties. I’ve long thought that one of Einstein’s greatest accomplishments was shifting the dress code for physics professors.
Changing the dress code for concert pianists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3zqu4XETEo
It was a necessary demonstration of countenance.
It was a do thing that involved intricate get-ups and orchestrated and synchronized movements that were carried out without giggles or farts. It showed the snorting yokels that their officials were composed, self-possessed and worthy of carrying out their roles.
Maybe the question about how ritual serves the community is best examined by considering how ritual serves a person. For myself I have little interest in things like weddings, funerals, graduation ceremonies, birthday parties and all manner of other calendar commandments. Still, I have my own rituals and celebrations and observances. They are fairly quiet and often go unnoticed by others but I must acknowledge that I don’t want to be without them. And possibly could not function without them. I know many nuclear families rely on scheduled events as social glue. Many people need formal observances to process grief. It’s been noted that many elderly and terminal people seem to hold death at bay in order to celebrate one last Christmas or witness a birth. There is probably a larger, enfolded definition of ceremony that is ubiquitous or even identical to culture. We may not all mark reverence the same way but we mark it.