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%
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Thread: legislating morality

  1. #191
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    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.
    I'm not trying to be difficult, but I don't see how that difference applies here. I do see how they can be different, just not in this case.



    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.
    Saying "it's a good thing" doesn't necessarily imply morality to me. In some cases "good" can mean nothing more than beneficial.

    And I do acknowledge that there is a moral component to our laws, I do not think their purpose is in any way to ensure that people behave in a moral manner. I think the preamble to the constitution does a pretty good job of describing the purpose of our legal system and nothing in there can be described as saying the purpose of the law is to ensure that people adhere to a particular moral code.
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

  2. #192
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    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 don't believe in unalienable rights at all, and I find it to be a very moralistic way of thinking. But look at the words you use to describe the concept. They're telling.
    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

  3. #193
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    I'm not trying to be difficult, but I don't see how that difference applies here. I do see how they can be different, just not in this case.
    Just because something was the initial reason doesn't mean the effect is perpetually dependent upon the cause.

    Saying "it's a good thing" doesn't necessarily imply morality to me. In some cases "good" can mean nothing more than beneficial.
    But "beneficial" is a subjective thing. If something is "beneficial" to helping a rapist get away with is it beneficial to the victims? No.

    And I do acknowledge that there is a moral component to our laws, I do not think their purpose is in any way to ensure that people behave in a moral manner. I think the preamble to the constitution does a pretty good job of describing the purpose of our legal system and nothing in there can be described as saying the purpose of the law is to ensure that people adhere to a particular moral code.
    Except that what rights are guaranteed and what aren't is very much a moral stance. If I think I should be able to infringe/negate your "right to life" is that immoral?
    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

  4. #194
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    I'm not a huge fan of morality
    Is morality a bad thing?
    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Hah. If someone put me in their sig, I'd never know. I have sigs off.

  5. #195
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MadLib View Post
    Is morality a bad thing?
    I find it to be a crutch when it comes to debates about any type of policy, just because it's subjective. Kind of a waste of time unless you're talking about what's gonna play as far as popular opinion goes- not necessarily related to what's effective at all.
    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. #196
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    But whose morality?
    Laws that are just are based on reason and ethics. Ethics are derived from natural law and natural law is moral law. e.g. don't murder. Laws that are unjust are immoral laws. e.g.: slavery

    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?
    Well, if I had to choose, I guess I'd choose the tree huggers because their ideology is more in accord with natural law. Protecting the environment that we all depend on to live is natural and moral. For example, trees are a finite resource, so protecting a forest for the common good is moral ...whereas destroying an entire forest for the short term gain of a few without regard to others or the future is immoral and unjust. See "Tragedy of the Commons".

    So in short, protecting finite resources that many depend on to live is just basic self defense and I think most people no matter what time or culture they live in can agree that self defense is natural law. Ergo...generally speaking, environmental laws fall into the category of just and moral 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.
    Moral is good. Immoral is bad. One doesn't need to believe in God to be moral. All one needs is ethics and reason. Laws without ethics and reason are immoral.
    Last edited by Moot; 05-06-14 at 09:37 PM.

  7. #197
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    I find it to be a crutch when it comes to debates about any type of policy, just because it's subjective.
    Is subjectivity necessarily a bad thing? There are people who argue that reality is subjective; does that mean that reality shouldn't enter into political debates?
    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Hah. If someone put me in their sig, I'd never know. I have sigs off.

  8. #198
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Moot View Post
    Laws that are just are based on reason and ethics. Ethics are derived from natural law and natural law is moral law. e.g. don't murder. Laws that are unjust are immoral laws. e.g.: slavery

    Well, if I had to choose, I guess I'd choose the tree huggers because their ideology is more in accord with natural law. Protecting the environment that we all depend on to live is natural and moral. For example, trees are a finite resource, so protecting a forest for the common good is moral ...whereas destroying an entire forest for the short term gain of a few without regard to others or the future is immoral and unjust. See "Tragedy of the Commons".

    So in short, protecting finite resources that many depend on to live is just basic self defense and I think most people no matter what time or culture they live in can agree that self defense is natural law. Ergo...generally speaking, environmental laws fall into the category of just and moral laws.

    Moral is good. Immoral is bad. One doesn't need to believe in God to be moral. All one needs is ethics and reason. Laws without ethics and reason are immoral.
    Well if you want the people who apply their own personal sense of right and wrong, i.e. morality, in all things, including the enviroment, to write the laws you will be required to live by in your country, go for it. But let me know where that is because I may not want to come even visit, much less live there.

    Any day of the week, I will vote for a legal system based on the principle of unalienable rights ahead of anybody dictating to me what is or is not moral. The first Americans arrived in this country to get away from those who would dictate to them what was and was not moral, what they were allowed to speak, what they were allowed to worship, what they were required to be. They wanted a place where they could live by their own sense of morality, whatever that might be.

    The Founders risked all that they owned of material possessions and their very lives to fight a bloody war to free the people from the dictates of monarchs or popes or archbishops who would dictate to the people what rights they would have and who they were required to worship and what they were required to be; i.e. what they would require to be morality.
    "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. #199
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    Just because something was the initial reason doesn't mean the effect is perpetually dependent upon the cause.
    Yes, but I suspect your'e trying to make a point here, but if so, I'm not seeing what it is.

    But "beneficial" is a subjective thing. If something is "beneficial" to helping a rapist get away with is it beneficial to the victims? No.
    Well, sure. Morality can be just as subjective so on that score it's not superior; it's a wash. And that's why a democratically based system for resolving those issues is used. After all, the maintenance of a civil society requires a certain amount of buy in from the general public and a democratic system helps provide that.

    Except that what rights are guaranteed and what aren't is very much a moral stance. If I think I should be able to infringe/negate your "right to life" is that immoral?
    IMO, the decision as to which rights to protect and which not should be based on its' effect on the maintenance of a civil society and the promotion of the general welfare. There's no "magic formula" that can be used to tell us for certain where to draw the line. That's why we have a political process.
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

  10. #200
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MadLib View Post
    Is subjectivity necessarily a bad thing? There are people who argue that reality is subjective; does that mean that reality shouldn't enter into political debates?
    Does it ever?

    There's nothing more annoying then someone, in a serious discussion with real world ramifications (ie, not here on DP, not something in undergrad classrooms, etc) leading in with what's morally "right" before even investigating what would be be effective with regards to the issue at hand. The latter should always come first, because the former will always simply be subjective.

    I have zero interest in what someone's heart is telling them, in those situations, until after we deal with the head.
    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

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