View Poll Results: which laws?

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  • abortion laws

    7 18.42%
  • animal cruelty laws

    1 2.63%
  • both

    7 18.42%
  • neither

    4 10.53%
  • all laws

    17 44.74%
  • no laws

    2 5.26%
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Thread: legislating morality

  1. #181
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by tecoyah View Post
    By using moral opinion to set law...we justify penalty.

    Thus we gather multiple opinions of said morality through vote...or through those we vote to represent us.

    It is obviously imperfect....but, it is the best system humans have come up with as of yet....IMHO.
    Laws based on morality will almost always be unjust laws because they will be based on somebody's idea of what morality is.

    The only justifiable law is to secure the unalienable rights of the people among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and/or promote the general welfare, meaning EVERYBODY'S welfare and not a targeted group or demographic.

    Making it illegal to intentionally hit a person with your vehicle falls within the concept of the unalienable right of the pedestrian to not be intentionally harmed or killed. Some might attach a concept of morality to that but it mostly falls within the concept of one person's rights ending where another person's rights begin.

    Jay walking laws fall within the category of promoting the general welfare. The authorities measure the inconvenience to the person who has to go to a cross walk to cross the street legally against the inconvenience and traffic jams that result when motorists try to avoid hitting pedestrians if pedestrians can legally walk in the street just wherever. In that case the practical need to keep traffic moving in an orderly fashion justifies a small amount of inconvenience to the pedestrian. Morality has nothing to do with it.

    But if there is no consequence for breaking a law, then too many people will not be inclined to obey it when it is inconvenient to do so. So the fine or legal action resulting from violation of the law is not a 'punishment'. It is a consequence for disobeying the law.

    Certainly laws that do nothing to secure our rights or promote the general welfare should all be questioned. And the federal government should only be passing the laws that are necessary for all the states to function as one cohesive nation--all others should be left to the states, counties, and local communities.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

  2. #182
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    Re: legislating morality

    If a law is just then it is a moral law.
    Last edited by Moot; 05-06-14 at 04:53 PM.

  3. #183
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Moot View Post
    If a law is just then it is a moral law.
    But whose morality? Most of us do not embrace most components of Sharia Law, for instance, but those who advocate Sharia law would describe it as not only as just and moral, but the only righteous way. Would a very rigid fundamentalist Christian define justice in the same way as a fanatical tree hugging environmentalist? Do you want either writing your laws?

    Far better to adopt a principle that secures our rights and/or promotes the general welfare that all can embrace and then adopt laws and regulation that enforce that principle and leave morality out of it.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

  4. #184
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    But whose morality? Most of us do not embrace most components of Sharia Law, for instance, but those who advocate Sharia law would describe it as not only as just and moral, but the only righteous way. Would a very rigid fundamentalist Christian define justice in the same way as a fanatical tree hugging environmentalist? Do you want either writing your laws?

    Far better to adopt a principle that secures our rights and/or promotes the general welfare that all can embrace and then adopt laws and regulation that enforce that principle and leave morality out of it.
    I would say laws are based on the morality of whoever or whatever is in charge, in general. Here in the US, it is the morality of the majority (of either the legislatures or the people, or you could say both) but it is checked by the moral beliefs enshrined in our Constitution (which requires the approval of a supermajority rather than a simple majority), those that guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all and make several promises of treating people fairly under laws. The Constitutional guarantees we have are based on a belief that it is right to treat people equally and that it is wrong to have some people treated better than others just due to arbitrary conditions (someone is born a king, some people own more than others, some people are of a certain race, religion, or sex/gender, and many more).
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

  5. #185
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    I don't see the difference between "justify" and "based"
    The northern border of Kentucky is based upon the Ohio River. It could've been 50 miles north or south either way, you don't need need the Ohio River to justify Kentucky having a northern border. Two very different things. Basketball is based upon the idea of throwing a soccer ball into a peach basket. But that has nothing to do with justifying its place as a global game. Again, two very different concepts.

    Saying "We need this law because x is immoral" is both justifying and basing the law on morality.
    Saying "I think it's a good thing that private property is protected, so let's create a law to do that" is basing it on morality. You can justify it in a multitude of other ways, but that's how it came about.

    I feel like you're arguing against religion in law and I agree. I'm pretty much amoral in general, anyway, but just because I'm not a huge fan of morality doesn't mean it's not what a society (any society's) laws are based upon.
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
    -GK Chesterton

  6. #186
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by tecoyah View Post
    By using moral opinion to set law...we justify penalty.

    Thus we gather multiple opinions of said morality through vote...or through those we vote to represent us.

    It is obviously imperfect....but, it is the best system humans have come up with as of yet....IMHO.
    I honestly don't care.
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
    -GK Chesterton

  7. #187
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    Jay walking laws fall within the category of promoting the general welfare.
    What is and isn't general welfare is very much a subjective thing, depending on your moral viewpoint. So even jaywalking laws are based in morality. If you didn't care whatsoever about people getting hit by cars, you would be totally ambivalent to the idea of a law against jaywalking.
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
    -GK Chesterton

  8. #188
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    What is and isn't general welfare is very much a subjective thing, depending on your moral viewpoint. So even jaywalking laws are based in morality. If you didn't care whatsoever about people getting hit by cars, you would be totally ambivalent to the idea of a law against jaywalking.
    Again it is a matter of focus. If you believe that it is an immoral act to hit somebody with your car, and that is the only reason you choose not to do that, then it is a matter of morality.

    But if your rationale for not allowing people to hit people with their cars is to secure an unalienable right to life, that can involve no moral considerations whatsoever. You might think it the moral thing to run down that scumbag or person you believe to be evil, but you value recognition and security of unalienable rights more.

    And the term 'general welfare' is not at all subjective if it is interpreted as the Founders intended it.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

  9. #189
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    Again it is a matter of focus. If you believe that it is an immoral act to hit somebody with your car, and that is the only reason you choose not to do that, then it is a matter of morality.

    But if your rationale for not allowing people to hit people with their cars is to secure an unalienable right to life, that can involve no moral considerations whatsoever.
    Do you think it's immoral to prevent someone from having an unalienable right to life?

    You might think it the moral thing to run down that scumbag or person you believe to be evil, but you value recognition and security of unalienable rights more.

    And the term 'general welfare' is not at all subjective if it is interpreted as the Founders intended it.
    Do you think they defined it and wanted it in the government because they thought it was morally right? If not, why did they include it?

    I don't think you're understanding that your idea of what rights are and should be are based upon your own morals.
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
    -GK Chesterton

  10. #190
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    Do you think it's immoral to prevent someone from having an unalienable right to life?

    Do you think they defined it and wanted it in the government because they thought it was morally right? If not, why did they include it?

    I don't think you're understanding that your idea of what rights are and should be are based upon your own morals.
    You cannot take away a persons unalienable right to anything. You can only infringe on or prevent that person from exercising that right. An unalienable right is ANYTHING that does not require participation or contribution of any other. It is something the Founders believed in and valued because recognition of and security of unalienable rights is what liberty is. Liberty is what each wanted for himself and they all understood that only by recognizing and securing everybody's unalienble rights could any enjoy the blessings of liberty.

    You may consider that morality based. I see it, and I believe the Founders saw it, as basic human desire--something we naturally cherish and seek and part of what being human is.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

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