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Thread: Should the government legislate morality?

  1. #21
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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Well yes and no. Some laws are based on a certain morality code.. murder, rape, child abuse, crime.

    However what I understand by the question is laws like.. sodomy laws, anti-homosexual laws, laws banning porn and so on and so on. Laws that try to force the population into "better morality" based on religious dogma.
    These laws are also based on morality. Perhaps not EVERYONE'S morality, but morality nonetheless.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    Should the government force a person to live a moral life,(if so, who decides what is moral?), or should the government let the individual have the responsibility of living a moral life.
    As a broad idea...yes, the government absolutely should legislate or punish or create consequences for morality. The idea of infringing upon someone's rights being "wrong" is in and of itself morality.

    The fact the government can and should legislate or enforce morality doesn't necessarily mean they should do it at all times in all ways. Some are ones society generally agrees is wrong and agrees its okay for government to act against (Theft, murder, etc). Some are controversial, such as obscinity laws. Some are things people by and large feel are wrong, but feel the government shouldn't act on, like cheating on ones boyfriend/girlfriend.

    But as a general sense, if you were simply to ask whether or not government should be enforcing morality as a broad statement...my answer would be yes.

  3. #23
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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Depends. What do you mean by morality?

    If we're talking about banning same-sex marriage and waging a war on drugs because they make Baby Jesus cry, then no, government should not be involved. If we're talking about deciding together, as a society, that there are certain things we aren't willing to tolerate (e.g. human rights abuses, corporations taking advantage of weak people, being unable to get health care when you get sick), then yes, government absolutely should be involved.
    Essentially you're saying government should operate based on your moral priorities, but not the moral priorities of others. Which I guess is fine as long as you accept that we live in a democracy and if 50%+1 of the population happen to have a different moral standard than yours, you'll live under their moral code. But don't cry when some people want to legislate according to their beliefs in baby Jesus, or Muhammad's law, or the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. I don't see how you can say its OK to legislate universal healthcare on the basis of morality, but its not OK to ban drugs or gay marriage on the same basis of morality.

    I know some people have argued that the libertarian approach to government is also a moral one. And to certain folks, specifically those that come from an Objectivist way of thinking, it is a moral argument. But the reason I want to limit government to preventing people from harming each other or using force against each other to be a moral position. It comes from a much more basic human desire .... self interest. If by giving up the right to harm others against their will, I recieve protection from others harming me against my will, I consider that to be a great bargin wholely within my own interests. I'm free to live as I please without seriously worrying about my neighbors ransacking my belongings if I leave them unattended or even killing me in my sleep.
    Last edited by Psychoclown; 02-02-11 at 02:20 PM.
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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by X Factor View Post
    Yes, because that is the only thing that has moral implications.
    What about lying? We have a law against lying under oath as if that covers it. We're never under oath, yet there's no legal punishment for a liar. Cheating is similar. You might get in trouble for cheating on your taxes, or insider trading, but feel free to cheat your friends and associates because it's not illegal by law.
    There are consequences for adulterating, lying, and cheating, but you won't be arrested because there's no moral law against your action.
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  5. #25
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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    What conclusions of mine do you believe are incorrect, and what theory of political morality do you believe I should invoke in order to support my conclusions? Serious question, not a troll at all.
    I guess I said some. I would say I agree with your conclusions except I am not sure how far you were reaching with drug liberalization. I agree with pot, but I haven't been convinced that hard drugs being legalized will make us better off. However, that is not the subject of this thread.

    Given what you said, that the government should only intervene if someone is taking away someone elses rights I would say a libertarians ethics would be the best fit. In my opinion the most compelling arguments from libertarians come from utilitarianism. Basically you would argue that giving freedom to individuals leads to favorable consequences. Therefore we should support it.

    Here is a good article on something very similar:

    Liberal Ethics

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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    Morality itself is based on logical arguments to preserve a large group of people living together. With that said, the government should police/legislate certain aspects of 'morality' in order to keep some sort of order. What should be measured is the limits of this legislation. It doesn't benefit anybody for us to be able to murder without consequence. It also doesn't benefit anybody to make rape legal. As long as the legislation does not infringe on the man-made rights, benefits etc of others, I do not see a problem with 'legislating morality'.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 02-02-11 at 07:06 PM.
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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    As a moral relativist, no.

  8. #28
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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    Legislating morality would be immoral because it subverts the life and freedom of other beings.

    The one moral the government can rightfully administer is justice, which is stopping people from imposing on the lives and freedoms of others to the point the imposition threatens the continued existence of these beings' lives and freedoms.

    Hence the term, justice system.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 02-02-11 at 10:54 PM.
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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Depends. What do you mean by morality?

    If we're talking about banning same-sex marriage and waging a war on drugs because they make Baby Jesus cry, then no, government should not be involved. If we're talking about deciding together, as a society, that there are certain things we aren't willing to tolerate (e.g. human rights abuses, corporations taking advantage of weak people, being unable to get health care when you get sick), then yes, government absolutely should be involved.
    More than just like, I applaud.

  10. #30
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    Re: Should the government legislate morality?

    Most laws coincide with popular morality, but a good law isn't based solely on morality. The people have a right to chose laws to protect themselves against others in society. If a law doesn't do that but instead meddles in private affairs that don't affect anybody else, it should go.

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