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 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 73
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?Page 3 of 9    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)


Yes. Breaking the law reflects badly on you and your sense of morals.

A question for all those that say breaking the law is immoral (or unethical if you prefer), or that we should choose which laws to obey and which not to;

This morning I was driving 80kph (posted speed limit) in the right lane. As I approach an intersection, a driver in the right lane of the perpendicular intersection to my right made a right hand turn directly in front of me. (his or her fault)

There was no time to stop, so I had 2 options;
1) smash into the car, right where the driver sits, probably maiming or the driver and doing thousands of dollars of damage to both vehicles
2) make an illegal lane change in the intersection and avoid the collision all together.

I did not hesitate to go with option 2 and break the law.

Am I to assume that you would have smashed into the car?
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 74
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 3:07:02 PM
[2) make an illegal lane change in the intersection and avoid the collision all together.


Why would you assume that avoiding the accident was illegal? It isn't. The car that created the hazard is at fault.

Or to put it another way... You driving 80kph on a clear road on a clear day and seeing the intersection and noticing a car pulling into your lane but not appearing to be observing posted speed because they were going significantly slower and you continue at your current speed and pass them in the other lane... are you in violation.

Yes... because you were driving in a manner that was unsafe for conditions. Even though you were not violating that particular posted speed you would still be eligible for a speeding ticket.

I wouldn't try to use traffic laws as justifications for morality :)) You will run a red light.
 DuncanRnB
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 75
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 3:17:10 PM
Marijuana and other forms of Drug Abuse: Not immoral, that's the problem our government is trying to make a moral issue out of human one. I don't believe that somebody is bad if they abuse drugs or alcohol. But do I think they have a problem, yes I sure do. I don't personally like smoke either. Maybe if the government actually wanted people to quit using drugs then maybe figure out WHY and WHAT makes somebody want to use drugs to begin with. I mean sure there are those who always want to get high for the effects of getting high but I mean some other people do it as a means to escape life or they maybe using as a form of self-medication.

Violent Crime: After a certain point, if a person commits a very serious crime or series of crimes they loose their humanity.

Prostitution and assisted suicide etc: Once again I don't think it's entirely clear cut. I think in some cases where a person knows they are going to die a slow and painful death then it maybe actually more responsible for their wishes to be respected than just lay there and rot away. As for prostitution, I on a personal level think it's kind of weird (in the negative sense) but I don't think prostitution is immoral if both parities involved did it willingly and had the capacity to make such a decision.

Law of the land: Yes, and no really. After all MLK said something like, "an unjust law is no law at all".

Crimes of passion/desperation: No, I don't think it's a matter of morals here. The person involved in committing this type of crime would probably lack the capacity make good decisions.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 76
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 3:47:07 PM

MLK said something like, "an unjust law is no law at all".


It's a bit older...
http://branemrys.blogspot.com/2008/06/mlk-jr-and-thomas-aquinas-on-unjust-law.html


An act that does any of these things is, says Aquinas, more like an act of violence than like a law; it may share some features of a just law, but it is not a law in precisely the same sense. Thus Aquinas favorably quotes Augustine as saying that it seems that an unjust law is no law at all. The only way in which an unjust law may obligate is indirectly, namely, when it is clear that disobeying it would lead to evils worse than obeying it.



I would like to modify it and add a comma. "An unjust law, is no law at all." Or a law having no laws would be unjust ;) Laws are fallible. That is why they typically have some mechanism in place to challenge them as well as have them modified. When those actions fail is where disobedience comes in. Breaking laws because you do not agree with them is not considered a legal act. It is not considered ethical. In fact it is not regarded very highly at all. So, it takes quite a bit of support to get off the hook for that and that does not make those that enforce the law oppressive or bad. They are doing as they were hired and trained and expected to do.

It is a matter of morals and ethics to follow the laws. If you do not agree with them you are still bound by morals and ethics to follow them. If you really really do not agree with them you are still obligated to follow them. If they themselves are on their face unjust, (such as segregation) you are morally obligated to not follow them. But that is a very big line. The case for pot is not in its uses. It is in the loss of freedom of millions of people over something trivial. Seems a bit more important than blowing smoke doesn't it?
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 77
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 4:51:08 PM


Or to put it another way... You driving 80kph on a clear road on a clear day and seeing the intersection and noticing a car pulling into your lane but not appearing to be observing posted speed because they were going significantly slower and you continue at your current speed and pass them in the other lane... are you in violation.

Yes... because you were driving in a manner that was unsafe for conditions. Even though you were not violating that particular posted speed you would still be eligible for a speeding ticket.


Dunno where that applies, but not in the province of Ontario. I was abiding by the law (at posted speed limit, in right lane except to pass) and the conditions changed in an instant.
In your first statement, you indicate that the other car was at fault. Indeed, it was. But there is no law in Ontario that states that I can violate a law to accomidate someone else's violation, so by law I should have braked as much as possible and rammed into the car.



I wouldn't try to use traffic laws as justifications for morality :)) You will run a red light.

There are several statements above stating that breaking the law is immoral and that one cannot pick and choose which laws to follow. So the law is the law right? or does that only apply when it propounds your argument??
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 78
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 4:59:56 PM
Ok, well if changing lanes meant swinging into oncoming traffic then yes that would be illegal and could get you a ticket.

Anyway, your rules, codes, regulations may vary but I would assume they were similar to this:
http://www.articlebliss.com/Art/483613/252/4-Instances-of-Negligence-in-an-Auto-Accident-Case.html

As for "statements above stating that breaking the law is immoral." That is covered somewhere also as being 'reasonable'. If you cannot reasonably follow a law you will have every opportunity to explain it to the officer, the judge, and at times the jury.

:) It's built into the system. It's not all TV drama like and they may shut you up before you even speak. However, if there is a reasonable sense of justification you can literally make a case for it.

I think a lot of the assumption here is that because there is a case for 'not following an unjust law' that somehow that opens the door to challenge that law and return home to your couch. It doesn’t. Once you open that door it could get quite uncomfortable. Most of us are not living in hellish police states where we will be imprisoned for the smallest of infractions and indiscretions. We are fortunate to have some sense of reasonability. Not everyone gets that. Keeping it is a good thing also. It doesn't mean that there isn't plenty to change also.
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 79
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 5:39:22 PM


http://www.articlebliss.com/Art/483613/252/4-Instances-of-Negligence-in-an-Auto-Accident-Case.html

Dude,
That's an ad from a lawyer

But the gist of what you are saying is that it's ok (or even required) to break some laws sometimes
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 80
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 6:00:01 PM

But the gist of what you are saying is that it's ok (or even required) to break some laws sometimes


Of course it is. And that in no way takes away from the fact that breaking the law purposly can be viewed as a breach of morality and ethics.

Smoking pot still not justified.
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 81
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 6:39:50 PM


Smoking pot still not justified.


Perhaps not, but what about it makes it any more immoral than drinking a coffee or taking a tylenol or sipping at scotch?

Is it purely the fact that it is illegal?

If so, then it is my opinion that that is silly. You already conceeded that following the law is not always the moral / ethical thing to do thus removing the argument that the legality of something has any bearing on morals or ethics.
 countryoutdoorsman
Joined: 12/15/2011
Msg: 82
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 6:48:28 PM
There are many grey areas and i also see both side of the argumentive spectrum. However if the gov't told you to jump off a bridge would you do it? Laws must be inforced and abided by in the majority of the cases, but nobody knows whats best for me but me. A prime example is the seat belt law, I am not endangering anyone else but myself by not wearing it. Furthermore this brings about the impression of our gov't playing daddy instead of regulating. To many laws and they begin to contradict each other to some extent. We need revised laws and reformation where common sense is applied.
 Damienevil
Joined: 2/22/2008
Msg: 83
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 6:52:35 PM
I live in Canada. The country The UN says has the most pot users on the planet percentage wise.

Canada consistently has one of the highest standards of living in the world. We contribute to things all over the world in all sorts of different things. In canada weed at most gets you a fine unless in massive quantities. Massive being over a pound or more.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 84
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 7:32:29 PM
Haha,

No point in going in circles. It is not justified to smoke pot based on anyone’s belief that pot is ok if it is illegal in your part of the woods. That does not mean that you would/should/could get struck by lightning. It is a simple fact of life that if you were placed in front of a judge the judge would consider the law of your area. He may consider your prior acts. He may consider your circumstances. He may even consider your political beliefs and have your words as judgment in his pronouncement of your judgment.

That’s all it means. You don't even have to accept that. You can live how you want because there is no authoritarian ruler that will pronounce you a moral enemy of the state and have you executed. We are lucky that way.
 Forereels
Joined: 5/22/2011
Msg: 86
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Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/20/2011 9:28:22 PM

It's really the chicken industry where you see the nasty stuff happen.


Chickens are fowl, immoral beasts. They deserve to have their heads chopped off, feathers ripped out and then dunked in a vat of hot oil until they are crispy and golden brown.
 veevee
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 87
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 10:17:55 AM
Doing anything to your body that changes your mood intentionally because you don't like your native mood has addictive properties. Call it weed, alcohol, drugs, or overeating or even sex. As a smoker I recognize my addiction. After a few hours without a cigarette I'm ancy and on edge. Something feels wrong with me until I puff one. Even if it's 3 puffs then put it out. I am at heart addicted to those cigarettes or at least the act of smoking and ritual.

If you think you are aren't addicted to weed you are in denial. You may not want it at the frequency of a cig smoker but as long as you fantasize about it or look forward to doing it again - you are just as addicted. You like something that it does for you and no one can dispute that it alters your mood even though people claim it isn't addictive.

It's illegal here. I don't want to hang out with people that do it. I don't think it matters if it's morally wrong. It isn't allowed. That means don't do it and I do look down on someone that does it. The same way others look down on me for smoking. I don't want to be worried when a policeman stops us for a blown tail light that you have to hide your baggie now and I could end up in jail for it depending on if you will man up or not to it being yours.

I smoked weed once and drove about 20 mph thinking I was speeding constantly slowing down. I was a hazard on the road and I don't think you should do it and drive for those of you that do it because you think it's an ok law to break. Been there.

People who don't wear their seatbelts are dolts on that topic. You ever see a person fly out of a windshield and crack their skull on a porch? The ground isn't covered in marshmallow, sweetcheeks - good luck thinking you'll survive a real crash. Friend was killed that way hit by someone going 35 mph. Evolution in action if you don't wear a belt or find it too restrictive boohoo
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 88
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 10:54:00 AM
I think your post might make a better read with a minor word substitution or two:


If you think you are aren't addicted to sex you are in denial. You may not want it at the frequency of a cig smoker but as long as you fantasize about it or look forward to doing it again - you are just as addicted. You like something that it does for you and no one can dispute that it alters your mood even though people claim it isn't addictive.

It's illegal here. I don't want to hang out with people that do it. I don't think it matters if it's morally wrong. It isn't allowed. That means don't do it and I do look down on someone that does it. The same way others look down on me for smoking. I don't want to be worried when a policeman stops us for a blown tail light that you have to hide...


Based on this, I guess we're all in trouble eh?
 veevee
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 90
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 11:26:24 AM

Based on this, I guess we're all in trouble eh?

LOL nice editing

HappyMatty you may have it under control but some don't - like me with my driving incident. I was wreckless to do that but it did teach me that perception altered while driving is wrong even if you trust the substance behind closed doors and I see many people poopoo weed like it doesn't change anything. If it doesn't change anything - why are you doing it - zing!

I did just scan the thread - as for the rhetorical questions I did many things that I wanted to do but I didn't KEEP doing them is the key. That's where the addiction factors in to me. For ex. I don't look forward to drinking - majority of the time I puke. Not so fun but at a party I might sip a drink. It doesn't do for me what it does for others so it's not addictive for me. Right now in my cabinet is a bottle of liquor someone got me about 2 years ago and I don't desire it and I'll eventually toss out I suppose because I haven't opened it.

The seatbelts was what prompted me to post, in truth. When you see someone get hurt you want to pass that on to others that danger isn't something to snicker at. Car accidents are about a 1/40 chance. Pretty common affairs.
 veevee
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 92
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 2:15:15 PM
Irregulator - you just justify it all you want. I can see this thread is about arguing for you ~ toodles Another day I might argue with you but today isn't your day.

I also don't like people that partially quote me and leave out the important part like car wrecks are a 1 in 40 chance.

It doesn't matter WHY it's illegal. It is. Noone is concerned with your rantings about how everyone misunderstands weed but you and your group of potheads that see the beauty in it. It alters your mood and actions - I know it, you know it and so does the government. People thought salvia was great too and abused it into outlaw - Was that because of the crap you claim was against weed - NOPE.

Lay off the drugs man, they are messing with your logic.
 countryoutdoorsman
Joined: 12/15/2011
Msg: 93
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 3:05:18 PM
Over analytical much?
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 94
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 3:45:26 PM

It doesn't matter WHY it's illegal.

Actually, that goes to the very heart of the issue under discussion. If we can't question laws then we're subjects, not citizens. Actually, even that's not true as subjects have historically challenged laws. I guess it makes us Borg.

The question is whether illegality and immorality are synonymous. I don't think they are.
 veevee
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 95
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 4:42:17 PM

Actually, that goes to the very heart of the issue under discussion. If we can't question laws then we're subjects, not citizens. Actually, even that's not true as subjects have historically challenged laws. I guess it makes us Borg.

The question is whether illegality and immorality are synonymous. I don't think they are.


Moral is a tricky word and I think people define it differently. You can derive a moral from a personal thought process or from the public good or standards (laws).

Questioning a law isn't breaking it willfully and with intent.
If you pick and choose what laws are ok to break then you devolve the system into your own. You can dislike a law all you want and attempt to change it. As long as there IS a law prohibiting it, you are wrong (ie:morally incorrect) for performing the action - everytime you expect someone else to uphold the law and not steal your things or kill your family when you leave for work and stop protecting them - you are relying on laws. Sequentially calling out for justice when those crimes are committed against you or any that you find unbearable - you state that laws should be in place when it's your turn to be protected by them.

I see instead the opposite with pot smokers, oh it's just personal use, I'm not hurting anyone. You also kept a drug dealer in business. Your interactions to get that weed may have been with some nasty characters in the line, you just don't know it and you keep them wealthy and able. Drug lords killing people that won't pay them aren't your fault though right? You only helped purchase their car and maybe some of the heroin they'll sell to your rockstar friend that dies young and you cry over. To think that someone that only deals in weed doesn't get it from someone that deals in more at times is naive.

Saying I will smoke pot because I think it's ok is breaking the law here - the proper way to go about it is to change laws or move to another area where you can smoke it if it's THAT important to you. It's not illegal everywhere. They started banning cigs all over my state - I just don't smoke where I'm not allowed to - simple process. I wasn't up in arms over it and if it bugged me enough I'd go elsewhere or tell those that have power not this forum. Hell, I might even quit - gasp. lol
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 97
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 5:35:20 PM

As long as there IS a law prohibiting it, you are wrong (ie:morally incorrect) for performing the action

That's where we disagree. Not only is it not morally incorrect to disobey some laws, at times it is morally required.

The obvious examples of hiding Jews or Tianemen Square are easy to recall. But there are laws being enacted that make it a crime to video police now. I'm sure you've heard the term "Work to Rule", but I'm guessing you don't know the origin of the term. In post War Britain, railway workers were forbidden to strike. So the union had no leverage at the bargaining table. What they did instead was follow every rule in the 500 + page manual. The railways ground to a very slow crawl. Following every rule brought the system down.

When the law is an ass (as in the case of marijuana prohibition) it deserves no respect.
 Gertrude13
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 98
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 5:38:39 PM
What an interesting thread/threads. I like the original query. At the most basi level, regardless of the law in question, does breaking a law of the land imply lack of moral fiber?

maybe.

Consider this: I am responsible for smaller humans. If I decide to go get baked, I'm not necessarily violating any moral code. However, if I got caught doing it, I would lose my professional license, my job that feeds the small people, the home they live in, etc. So...By knowingly taking that risk, I am behaving immorally, at least in my view. The act itself - a quick toke and giggle - isn't immoral, but by knowingly violating the law, even one I consider stupid, I risk hurting others badly...

Laws SHOULD be based on Natural Law. Those universal principles that go along with us not killing each other off. Don't kill. Don't steal. Don't lie....Don't hurt other people. But we have a whole bunch of "nanny state" laws in place, too. Seat belt law. Helmet Law. Way to subvert Darwin, fellas...

Drug laws. I think the rationale that decriminalization of drugs would cause a descent into chaos...A bunch of potheads shooting up Walmart or driving waaaaay too slow...is silly. or the harder, nastier drugs...If someone wishes to kill himself, why is is my right to stop him?

But that's not really what the question originally asked, from what I can tell.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 100
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 6:29:22 PM

Laws SHOULD be based on Natural Law. Those universal principles that go along with us not killing each other off. Don't kill. Don't steal. Don't lie....Don't hurt other people.


Real laws ARE based on natural law. That other steaming pile of regulatory ca-ca is mostly for the benefit of a few parasitic slugs who either want to pick your pocket at every turn, or justify their existence as regulators.
 Gertrude13
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 101
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 6:35:13 PM
@ Irregulator - I really appreciate your point about the inherent wrongness of nanny laws, such as the drug laws. I made made the point previously that , even though the act itself may have no moral implications, the fallout can hurt others. Because of this, I agree that those laws should be challenged, questioned, overturned.

However. I saw mention of civil disobedience. This is absolutely necessary an awful lot of the time. Rosa Parks was a hero. OWS folks raised a huge amount of awareness for an issue that is turning the entire globe into a vast banana republic. A sit-in for gay rights, to pay homage to a young man murdered by bigots.

But smoking pot? I must admit, I was never thrilled with it, so I have a skewed perspective, but it seems as if the issue of decriminalization is one that is non-urgent enough to go through more traditional channels, maybe?

I dunno. I do know cancer patients who've gotten amazing relief from it, so maybe...

I guess you'd weigh the effect, yes? For me, getting caught with drugs would wreck a few lives. For someone else, it might not. Laws may be immoral. Someone mentioned Tianamen (sp?) Square. That young man was moral. His act set something in motion that changed a whole country. If I toke it up, it doesn't really benefit anyone besides me...
 veevee
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 102
Breaking the law: A morality issue?
Posted: 12/21/2011 7:03:23 PM
When the law is an ass (as in the case of marijuana prohibition) it deserves no respect.

I get your drift, you are debating that there have been bad laws and we need to be watchful of them, let's play it out then.

Can you state any times when someone was better off for smoking weed at their leisure. Any big scientific breakthroughs from those that smoke other than government conspiracy thoughts. You would agree that there is a paranoia component to the substance, yes? Does it perhaps motivate or energize people to their full potential? It doesn't make them idly sit down watching tv munching on snacks right? Weed has never demotivated someone or given them the munchies. What am I missing that makes you believe it's so helpful other than medical use when it has been possible to be available for those people.

Say you were in front of a committee right now talking about the benefits we would have of having it legal. What do you say? You make it sound like oppression and equate it with that. I am free to smoke oak leaves all day, by law. I can roll up a whole pile of dandelion weeds if I want and obviously those of tobacco - what miracle is this weed that it deserves being recalled from the ban list. I know the reasons it's harmful and the fact that it gets people high. I'd like to be told the reasons it's beneficial and why it has lost your respect. Don't tell me if you smoke or not - it's not important.

How would you convince the world this is a bad law in need of repeal because that is the disconnect between us. I don't see why it's worth fighting for or necessary. I don't see social injustice here - I see some people that want to get high in a nice smooth way - via a joint. Not dirty like those nasty needle users, something clean and wholesome, just a plant right? Here's what I'm thinking, if we legalize weed should we go ahead and legalize crack too since you can smoke it? Basically, anything you can get high from smoking we should legalize because it doesn't leave marks on their arms. I'm really trying to understand what makes this drug different from all others categorized as such and requires some leniency in this regard.

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