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Do you follow essence of law or the literal law?

 
 
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 05:46 pm
Now this post might go into a bit of ethics but i thought it would be best placed here.

When i think of law i think of the reason the law was written. Most of the laws are completely understandable when it comes to why they were created. The thing is, the law provides for a general rule that will cover every possible negative and therefore even restricting you from at times doing things that you know will not turn out bad. What i mean by this is that the law doesn't have any exceptions and a perfect example of this is when you come to a intersection in a street and no one could be around you for miles, if the light is red, you have to wait even though if you know, can prove, and even if the authorities know that you are not putting youself or anyone in danger any more than you would be following the law. If you run the light, your breaking the law and then could be arrested.

Are you a person that follows the literal law without question to get through life as easily as possible or are you a person that when sees an opportunity as mentioned above and know for certain you will not get caught, you will break it?

If you were to break the law, nothing bad happened or even came close to happening, and no one was around to see it, would you consider that right? Would you consider the law restricting in many cases despite the possible positives that could come break occasionally breaking it when you see fit?

My point is that do your morals strictly tell you to follow the law or to trust yourself to make the right decisions as opposed to the authorities who are at times not always right in what they do, obviously their intentions are always supposedly good.

I know one of the main reasons for this strict and no exceptions law system is to engrave a strong influence into people's decision making and i recognise that.
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avatar6v7
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 05:34 am
@Yogi DMT,
I would probably break the law in that situation, however I would also break a law that I thought was wrong, if I thought that it was the right thing to do, regardless of whether it was witnessed.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 05:58 am
@avatar6v7,
Ide break the law IF..IF has many IFS.
0 Replies
 
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 08:32 am
@Yogi DMT,
Yes, well the question comes to down to do you put more of your trust into yourself or into the government?
avatar6v7
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 08:37 am
@Yogi DMT,
In an immediate singular situation, of course I am in a better position than somebody off somewhere making regualations and laws. They may be a better moral judge than me, but they lack a ringside seat. The solution is to have police and judges with anough flexibility to apply common sense and be leniant in the right situations.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 10:04 am
@avatar6v7,
I dont break the law if i can help it and not very often but needs must.I think i am a moral person so i wont break my own moral code.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 10:19 am
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT wrote:
Now this post might go into a bit of ethics but i thought it would be best placed here.

When i think of law i think of the reason the law was written. Most of the laws are completely understandable when it comes to why they were created. The thing is, the law provides for a general rule that will cover every possible negative and therefore even restricting you from at times doing things that you know will not turn out bad. What i mean by this is that the law doesn't have any exceptions and a perfect example of this is when you come to a intersection in a street and no one could be around you for miles, if the light is red, you have to wait even though if you know, can prove, and even if the authorities know that you are not putting youself or anyone in danger any more than you would be following the law. If you run the light, your breaking the law and then could be arrested.

Are you a person that follows the literal law without question to get through life as easily as possible or are you a person that when sees an opportunity as mentioned above and know for certain you will not get caught, you will break it?

If you were to break the law, nothing bad happened or even came close to happening, and no one was around to see it, would you consider that right? Would you consider the law restricting in many cases despite the possible positives that could come break occasionally breaking it when you see fit?

My point is that do your morals strictly tell you to follow the law or to trust yourself to make the right decisions as opposed to the authorities who are at times not always right in what they do, obviously their intentions are always supposedly good.

I know one of the main reasons for this strict and no exceptions law system is to engrave a strong influence into people's decision making and i recognise that.


Socrates argued that we have an obligation to obey the Law even to the point of refusing to escape from prison when he could have done so, as, as a consequence, he was executed. And Socrates believed that the law under which he was condemned was unjust. On the other hand, Socrates also intentionally disobeyed the law when the law ordered him to stop teaching what he was teaching, and Socrates was condemned to death for that. The question Socrates posed is when are we justified in breaking the law (and committing civil disobedience) and when are we not?
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 03:54 pm
@kennethamy,
Interesting question.

My answer would probably be that I follow the letter of the law. Yes, I'm one of those people who stop at deserted intersections - and I know it annoys some people. For my part, I have two reasons for this:[INDENT]1. Its arrogant and presumptuous of me to assume that I know why these laws are made. If I conclude that I *DO* know, then decide when it's OK to break the law, I'm placing myself into a position of authority that's (1) likely untrue and (2) potentially dangerous.

2. Most laws, whether I agree with them or not, carry consequences for noncompliance. Now, of all the things I value most in this life one of the most dear to me is my freedom. Right or wrong, just or unjust, unless compliance is a BIG moral problem I'll not risk my freedom unless there's a really, really good reason.
[/INDENT]Yes there's a time to take a stand. Yes there are laws that can't seem to possibly have any good reason but by-and-large, the goals of the laws in place tend to be goals I share in; safety, security, due respect of property rights, etc. As far as "loving the government" goes, here's a few thoughts to consider:

  • "The Government" is comprised of people; yes, your people. It's not a bloated, dank and dark monster sitting in some smoke-filled basement. It's a collection of YOUR fellow citizens who generally have the same "issues" as you do.


  • For those elements of government that we can affect and/or influence through civic action we have but TWO choices: Accept, understand and comply -or- Work within the system to change. Those that rail against their local or federal governments because they're just pissed at life in general - yet do nothing about it - spread angst without hope for relief.


But yes; this is an excellent topic and one salient to our daily lives. Thanks
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 07:29 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
Interesting question.

My answer would probably be that I follow the letter of the law. Yes, I'm one of those people who stop at deserted intersections - and I know it annoys some people. For my part, I have two reasons for this:
[INDENT]1. Its arrogant and presumptuous of me to assume that I know why these laws are made. If I conclude that I *DO* know, then decide when it's OK to break the law, I'm placing myself into a position of authority that's (1) likely untrue and (2) potentially dangerous.

2. Most laws, whether I agree with them or not, carry consequences for noncompliance. Now, of all the things I value most in this life one of the most dear to me is my freedom. Right or wrong, just or unjust, unless compliance is a BIG moral problem I'll not risk my freedom unless there's a really, really good reason.
[/INDENT]Yes there's a time to take a stand. Yes there are laws that can't seem to possibly have any good reason but by-and-large, the goals of the laws in place tend to be goals I share in; safety, security, due respect of property rights, etc. As far as "loving the government" goes, here's a few thoughts to consider:

  • "The Government" is comprised of people; yes, your people. It's not a bloated, dank and dark monster sitting in some smoke-filled basement. It's a collection of YOUR fellow citizens who generally have the same "issues" as you do.

  • For those elements of government that we can affect and/or influence through civic action we have but TWO choices: Accept, understand and comply -or- Work within the system to change. Those that rail against their local or federal governments because they're just pissed at life in general - yet do nothing about it - spread angst without hope for relief.

But yes; this is an excellent topic and one salient to our daily lives. Thanks


To address your point on freedom, that can be taken two ways. Like you said you will not be physically free if you choose not to follow these laws but you would also be going for mental freedom if you were free to decide on your own the decision you should make.

Our government is not a direct democracy which means we choose those who are usually the richer more powerful people in this world, to make decisions for us. We do not technically govern ourselves, a select few people will make decisions "for us" i don't completely agree with this sytem but can see why it was implemented. This makes things easier and more convienent and for the most part i can't complain. I'd trust the government to not do something completely unreasonable and that's good enough for me.

Yes you take matters into your own hands to try and directly impact the law but that route may be tougher and more consuming. But i'd say that there's a third option: Comply with the law but if the opportunity arises, use your own judgement. I'll agree the law for the most part is very reasonable but there are scenarios like the one i mentioned first that the government knows cannot be addressed because the law is generalized and not made specific. The government also will try to keep as strict to the law as they can even if it's not 100% right, so that the people may see this and be "intimidated".
0 Replies
 
pinkpanda
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 May, 2009 04:52 pm
@Yogi DMT,
I've often thought of this sort of thing as well. As a society, it seems that our law system could be more closely compared to Kantian ethics in the sense that it simply seeks to judge the act itself and not it's intended purpose. But humans, or atleast most humans, seem to follow more of a Utilitarian thought process as in we're usually willing to bend or break the rules to further the greater good or more likely or own greater good.

With regards to running the light, yes I would probably do it. I feel that the law is intended to protect the citizens of society and if no one is effected by it then what does it matter?
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 May, 2009 08:55 pm
@pinkpanda,
pinkpanda;65743 wrote:
it simply seeks to judge the act itself and not it's intended purpose.
Quote:


Well said, i think you truly hit the point there. And i do understand why our system has been set up like this and it is very reasonable to do so. I maybe am expecting too much out of our law because it would have to be perfect to precisely address every single right and wrong possible. To me, the law seems like too much of a serious matter to not be completely perfect. People's lives and future depend on the law and therefore the situaton needs to be handled with care. Our law is built around the idea that the system needs broad coverage. This because we cannot draw out every possible scenario so we need laws that cover the generalized set of issues. Therefore, since our law is very general it may miss a few cases here and there, and that is what bothers me. You may be resticted in some way for something you are doing that isn't wrong at all, maybe even good, but because the law must be followed literally, your faced with the dilemma.
0 Replies
 
kiuku
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jun, 2014 05:20 pm
@Yogi DMT,
essence, definitely essence. Every time essence.

That's the thing though, I actually know the essence, which is the beyond sometimes too; where laws came from; popular cases in it; the meaning of the law; so I think I can; but I wouldn't advise other people to unless they really think they know the essence of the law. It's just bizarre; I've always known the essence of the law; I can't remember a time when I did not, actually.

I get confronted all the time on literal law too, when I'm breaking it-that tells me my knowledge of the essence of the law is contested by the public generally, so I don't think people know it, or they disagree.

I expect to not be in a Les Miserable play, just to say in Modern America. I expect to not be in one at all actually. It's not the medieval times either; I wish it was sometimes, but it isn't. A lot of these laws come from there though.
kiuku
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jun, 2014 06:04 pm
@kiuku,
I believe that other people are inferior judges of the law, I would never advise them to use their conscience, though they disagree; the frustrating part when they have power in their judgements, basically; because that's just it; ok tell me where I am wrong; basically I'm not! And so, this disagreement causes me a problem. Because they won't just except that I'm always right when it comes to the law. I basically am magic law. No I don't have to go to school for it; I picked it up from my surroundings. And, people keep using their personal power to just disagree when there is no test for it. Very frustrating-I never have wait..nor would I use personal power in a disagreement, but people always do.
0 Replies
 
 

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