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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    22 Dec '15 12:57
    By "Law" for the purpose of this thread, I am referring solely to statutes promulgated by this relevant authority of a State.

    I'd like to start with a few basic questions for discussion:

    Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?
    Are there valid reasons to disobey Law?

    Of course, I intend to tie this in with prior discussions of Natural Law/Rights theory to answer these and other questions according to my belief system but I'm curious to hear what others say regarding the above.
  2. 22 Dec '15 13:17 / 1 edit
    I don't feel obligated to follow the law. However, I follow it in general for two main reasons, even if I do not agree with the law itself.

    1. To avoid possible sanctions. Self-explanatory I suppose.
    2. Because I am mature enough to realize I don't always get what I want and the appropriate way to change laws in a democracy is through my vote, not through anarchy.

    In cases where a law is fundamentally unjust (e.g. banning people following a certain religion from traveling to a country) or where it does not meet its intended purpose not following it may be justified.
  3. 22 Dec '15 13:21
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    By "Law" for the purpose of this thread, I am referring solely to statutes promulgated by this relevant authority of a State.

    I'd like to start with a few basic questions for discussion:

    Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?
    Are there valid reasons to disobey Law?

    Of course, I intend to tie this in with prior discussions of Natural Law/Righ ...[text shortened]... tions according to my belief system but I'm curious to hear what others say regarding the above.
    We should obey Law in my opinion so that society will function smoothly. Yes there are valid reasons to disobey Law. Law is written by imperfect people. If the law does not conform to the constitution and conflicts with their rights or the rights of others as outlined in the constitution then it is invalid. I believe conscientious objectors against war should not participate, especially given the history of the use of forces for purposes that had nothing to do with the defense of the country. The rights of the unborn are seldom taken seriously by many, and that is why there has been a reclassification of the unborn as non persons so they have no rights and can be killed. To many this is murder but it is legal.
  4. 22 Dec '15 13:25
    It seems that we have a fairly low standard here for when we are morally justified for not following the law. One person believe a religious restriction on immigration, another person abortion... Is there a more complex standard than you deeply object to a law therefore you are morally justified in not following the law.
  5. 22 Dec '15 13:35
    Originally posted by quackquack
    It seems that we have a fairly low standard here for when we are morally justified for not following the law. One person believe a religious restriction on immigration, another person abortion... Is there a more complex standard than you deeply object to a law therefore you are morally justified in not following the law.
    You missed the part about the law needing to conform to the constitution respecting the rights of others. If that is a low standard, then can you give some examples yourself?
  6. 22 Dec '15 13:46
    Here's a funny compilation of what happens to people that feel they don't have to follow the law, here in the US they call themselves sovereign citizens, in Canada and the UK they say they say they are a free man on the land and claim laws don't apply to them.
    Only trouble is they do.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCozh_vbYdM
  7. 22 Dec '15 13:53
    Originally posted by FishHead111
    Here's a funny compilation of what happens to people that feel they don't have to follow the law, here in the US they call themselves sovereign citizens, in Canada and the UK they say they say they are a free man on the land and claim laws don't apply to them.
    Only trouble is they do.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCozh_vbYdM
    I couldn't stomach the second one in the video. One side or the other should have taken the screaming child into consideration and stopped the nonsense. Putting up a youtube link will put you at odds with the Duchess you know.
  8. 22 Dec '15 13:57
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    You missed the part about the law needing to conform to the constitution respecting the rights of others. If that is a low standard, then can you give some examples yourself?
    No, abortion has been legal for over four decades. The standard you gave is the law needs to conform to an individual's particular interpretation of the Constitution. Once you allow people to unilaterally interpret the Constitution you have a because "I think so" standard.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    22 Dec '15 13:59
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    By "Law" for the purpose of this thread, I am referring solely to statutes promulgated by this relevant authority of a State.

    I'd like to start with a few basic questions for discussion:

    Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?
    Are there valid reasons to disobey Law?

    Of course, I intend to tie this in with prior discussions of Natural Law/Righ ...[text shortened]... tions according to my belief system but I'm curious to hear what others say regarding the above.
    ===Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?===

    Aside from avoiding sanctions, I think that most mature people realize that law is necessary for people to live in peace and security. Therefore, I think we're morally obligated to follow the law. (I don't mean ultra-literally: there's nothing immoral about driving 66 in a 65 zone.)

    ===Are there valid reasons to disobey Law?===

    Yes:

    1. When the law is invalid because it violates rights.

    2. When a greater good demands that the law be ignored.

    Both judgments must be made in good faith by the individual and, IMO, should have to pass both subjective and objective tests to be a valid decision. Also, I can see why people would choose to obey the law in either situation to avoid sanction or other consequences. That is not the same thing as acquiescing to the validity of the law.
  10. 22 Dec '15 14:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    By "Law" for the purpose of this thread, I am referring solely to statutes promulgated by this relevant authority of a State.

    I'd like to start with a few basic questions for discussion:

    Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?
    Are there valid reasons to disobey Law?

    Of course, I intend to tie this in with prior discussions of Natural Law/Righ ...[text shortened]... tions according to my belief system but I'm curious to hear what others say regarding the above.
    If I'm in power and I "want to get things done" I simply ignore the laws that may constrain me. I justify this by saying that the ends justify the means cuz my goals are so darn righteous. Laws are merely living breathing ever changing words that conform to the task at hand
  11. 22 Dec '15 14:13 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    I couldn't stomach the second one in the video. One side or the other should have taken the screaming child into consideration and stopped the nonsense. Putting up a youtube link will put you at odds with the Duchess you know.
    I don't see how the police could have done anything but follow through with the arrest, it was up to the moronic parent to comply instead of struggling and traumatizing his kid.

    THIS video of a "sovereign" getting tased is so awesome even Duchess should watch it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia5pQ5yUS5g
  12. 22 Dec '15 14:30
    Originally posted by sh76
    ===Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?===

    Aside from avoiding sanctions, I think that most mature people realize that law is necessary for people to live in peace and security. Therefore, I think we're morally obligated to follow the law. (I don't mean ultra-literally: there's nothing immoral about driving 66 in a 65 zone.)

    ===Are there valid reaso ...[text shortened]... ion or other consequences. That is not the same thing as acquiescing to the validity of the law.
    Laws are only as good as those who enforce them.

    Naturally, those who enforce the laws are bound to violate natural law, but usually don't pay the price for doing so. The less checks and balances within government ensure more of this.
  13. 22 Dec '15 14:38
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    By "Law" for the purpose of this thread, I am referring solely to statutes promulgated by this relevant authority of a State.

    I'd like to start with a few basic questions for discussion:

    Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?
    Are there valid reasons to disobey Law?

    Of course, I intend to tie this in with prior discussions of Natural Law/Righ ...[text shortened]... tions according to my belief system but I'm curious to hear what others say regarding the above.
    Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?
    Because there are trade-offs to be made in the quest to obtain security and freedom, and neither will be obtained without some degree of respect for one another's desired balance of these two fundamentals benefits of living in a society.

    Are there valid reasons to disobey Law?
    There are, when someone uses the Law to prioritize their own security and freedom over that of their fellow beings.
  14. 22 Dec '15 16:23
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    By "Law" for the purpose of this thread, I am referring solely to statutes promulgated by this relevant authority of a State.

    I'd like to start with a few basic questions for discussion:

    Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?
    Are there valid reasons to disobey Law?

    Of course, I intend to tie this in with prior discussions of Natural Law/Righ ...[text shortened]... tions according to my belief system but I'm curious to hear what others say regarding the above.
    this should perhaps be broken into smaller threads.

    is the state truly democratic? is the law created in a democratic manner? is the law clear and/or doesn't contradict other laws?
    there are a lot of questions that need answering to properly tackle your questions but i will try to answer them assuming the law is just and properly designed.1

    "Why should we feel obligated to obey Law?"
    obeying laws is how society works.

    "Are there valid reasons to disobey Law?"
    if the law is democratic and doesn't contravene with fundamental human rights, there is no reason to disobey the law.
  15. 22 Dec '15 17:33
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    this should perhaps be broken into smaller threads.

    is the state truly democratic? is the law created in a democratic manner? is the law clear and/or doesn't contradict other laws?
    there are a lot of questions that need answering to properly tackle your questions but i will try to answer them assuming the law is just and properly designed.1

    "Why sho ...[text shortened]... ic and doesn't contravene with fundamental human rights, there is no reason to disobey the law.
    Democracy is a dangerous standard. If 51% of an electorate votes to violate the basic human rights of the other 49%, then democracy fails miserably.

    As can be seen in most of the comments, almost everyone has some kind of justification for disobeying some laws. From the 66 or faster in a 65 mph zone, to conscientious objection to various legal practices, some laws are obeyed on the basis of the likelihood of being caught and sanctioned, while in other cases it doesn't seem to matter. In most cases the law breaker knows the cost and is willing to pay it.

    I think it is valid to question whether sanctions are valid and proportional to various legal impositions. Are sanctions strong enough, or too strong? Are the laws enforceable? Does that enforcement actually contribute to a more civil society? Of course these consideration, are supposed to take place in legislatures, but often are in crisis situations which often results in what can only be characterized as panic law.