One prominent example were the Jim Crow Laws at the beginning of the 20th century in the United States. One who holds that there is an obligation to obey the law may have either of these in mind, and they must be distinguished. Everyone does their part. The child has not chosen its parents, but regardless we could argue that there is an obligation that this child will feel towards their parents. The background to it was the civil rights movement in the United States, and the Vietnam War with its political scandals. The fact there is perhaps not a general obligation to obey the law does therefore not mean we cannot obey the law at all. He draws an analogy with friendship, saying that in a friendship the fitting action is required from a friend regardless whether the friend desires to perform it or not. Unless citizens have moral requirements to obey the law, they may be forced to do so, but in compelling obedience, the state is acting unjustly and impinging on their freedom. In conclusion, my answer to the question ‘Should we obey a law because it is just to do so?’ is ‘no’. ... on the extent of the benefit. If the benefits are considered ‘substantial’, they imply a moral obligation to obey the government’s laws as an expression of gratitude. There is one important objection, which we need to consider against the theory of consent and that is whether a citizen may actually leave the state of nature when he decides to, and whether a citizen has meaningful choices. Prevents conflict - and is a way of securing peace. Essay Question: To what extent it is appropriate for law to enforce moral standards? Problem: Even though you may benefit from a state and its laws you haven't actually given your consent. so you have an obligation to obey those laws. In the moral argument, Kant used pure reason to ... on a mythic story. It seems to be a restriction on consent that it only generates obligation … When laws are broken, consequences are inevitable. It is limited in two ways. THE MORAL DUTY TO SUPPORT AND FURTHER JUST INSTITUTIONS An argument Rawls gives in favour of a moral obligation to support the law is that there is a moral duty to ‘support and further just institutions’. It must be noted many theorists seem uncomfortable with such a conclusion. The argument is provided by H. L. A. Singer’s goal in this article is “if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing ourselves or dependents than we ought to morally do it” (Singer, 1972, p. 231). Nozick argues that it might be true that it is unfair that this person is freeriding, but what if that person did not choose to participate in that scheme in the first place? The third question; whether we should only obey a just law, is problematic: who judges whether something is just or not? A multi-principle approach seems more reasonable to legitimize the government, and to create an obligation for citizen to obey by the law. Does the fact there is possibly no general moral obligation to obey the law mean we cannot obey at all? Locke also argued along those lines, although his assumptions about the state of nature differed. Everyone has different perceptions of what is just and therefore not a single law would be followed by all. Raz - duty to obey our just institutions - not necessarily the law. The first is that citizens performing the above actions do not perceive them as giving consent to obey their country’s laws. ‘Just’ in this case means ‘morally just’, I think, but differences of opinion exist as to its meaning. For example, even though a person may not have given express consent, such as a foreign citizen who is being naturalized as a citizen in a new country, by using the government’s highway or not deciding to leave the state of authority, a citizen accepts the government and is then required to obey by the law. This means that if a person can help another person without sacrificing themselves in helping that person, than that person should help. Another reason the absence of a general moral obligation to obey does not mean we cannot obey law at all is the following: what about a practical or pragmatic attitude towards the law? Say Mrs. X benefits from the fact that people follow the traffic code because it means her child can safely cycle to school everyday. The Essay on Moral Reason Morality Is Nonexistent Because Of Mankind. The judicial system would crumble if everyone only obeyed to what they saw as ‘just’ laws. Therefore, there cannot be a single answer to the question. Indeed, almost all citizens of a country, even when undemocratic, receive benefits from the state. So this example shows that an obligation cannot be a universal obligation for all people. You must cite our web site as your source. What is meant is that if a government is generally just and democratic, its laws should be obeyed in order to support and further them. We would possibly be exaggerating the weight of this single promise. Woolley in 1979 states: If political leaders and police chiefs had their way, all of us would believe that a powerful reason (possibly the principle, if not the only, reason) that we should obey a law is that it is a law. To leave one’s home country, one needs money, a passport and / or visa, an alternative and legally preferable destination and determination, a highly improbable combination. And a right to rule entails a duty to obey. If we have not asked for those benefits in the first place, why would we be obliged to pay the price? Legal duty: The obligations people have put upon them by the law. It is therefore possible to obey law without recognizing a general moral obligation to do so. This is the core of discussion whether there is a general moral obligation to obey the law. She has a moral duty to also submit to the traffic code. Clearly that is not a good example of giving the sailor a meaningful choice. Second, the obligation is limited because not every law can be considered just. A second counter argument is that people do not always benefit from other people’s ‘submission’. xx No, not really. This action may be voting, accepting government benefits, or simply not leaving the country. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it. If they respect the law, this can be their reason to obey ‘controversial’ law all the same. So perhaps it wouldn’t seem to matter whether we have a general obligation to obey the law, since most people obey most laws most of the time. Should we obey a law because it is just to do so? Citizens can be motivated by respect for law or by practical reasons. But how about countries that are not generally fair and democratic? Surely we need to consider obligation beyond something that simply confers benefits. It is argued for example, that the benefits of the state are not asked for, but automatically given. Harts’ argument states that when people restrict their liberty by obeying rules, other people benefit. Second problem. The obligation is like a payment for a service. Law and morality are related concepts but are arguably distinct. Here you can order a professional work. My adviser, a principled utilitarian, says "Negative benefit obtains … Against this, we can see that while the theory of fairplay might have some advantages, it cannot suffice to have this theory as the sole theory to create political obligation. The Case Against Moral Relativism. This discussion started in the 1970’s in the United States. Every legal system contains obligation-imposing laws, but there isno decisive linguistic marker determining which these are. Furthermore, it is hard to be sure what is ‘just’. The people who have restricted their liberty have a right to similar submission from those who have benefited by their submission and which means those have a moral duty to submit themselves. Here you can order a professional work. In the last part of the essay, I want to discuss whether people have an obligation to obey the law that is inherently unjust. In fact, with the exception of a special class of laws, it is no reason at all. However, this membership is a constructed one, because as the border that is seperating the US from Mexico is a historical accident. have an obligation to obey the law. When some people restrict their liberty by obeying rules, other people benefit. Those theorists who find there is no general moral obligation to obey the law do not argue we should never obey the law, nor that there is never any moral reason to do as the law tells us. Those benefits are the reasons why a research, teaching ... safely cause unconsciousness, and maintain it, using the first general anaesthetic's was a key event which began the ... ... people. The obligation to obey the law looks to only apply to a limited range of people, if we go with the consents account examined so far. Secondly, there are practical reasons to obey an ‘unjust’ law. The only obligation anyone has is to do what they think is right. But if states have moral obligations, there is a further question whether citizens and leaders inherit the state's moral obligations (all … Bix: o The obligation to obey the law. The question is: does a citizen have a moral duty to obey the law and if so, why? These, however, do not constitute an obligation to obey the law and should not be confused. If so, surely there is noting wrong with that? In his writings, Raz concludes there is no general moral obligation to obey the law. Does a citizen have an obligation to obey the will of the State if it goes against the individual's will? The first question I shall address is whether one should obey a law ‘because it is just to do so’. Speaking of my own life here in the US, it's a bit different. I support the argument in the case of countries that are generally considered fair and democratic. In detail, I will focus on the theories of consent, fair play, and membership. Surely no gender should be oppressed at all? It is as if whether one concludes there is or isn’t a general obligation to obey the law depends on whether one hopes, or thinks there should be such an obligation. do you have an obligation to obey their laws? Indeed This essay will argue that there is an obligation to obey the law but it is limited. OBEY THE LAW 71 obey all of its laws or that only citizens of just states have this obligation. What can also be said against the argument is that the ‘alternative’ Hobbes talks about, the state of nature, is not completely correct. In any case a general obligation would still leave you with the possibility of justifying specific breaches of the law, such as driving above the speed limit to get a sick friend to the hospital. For clarification’s sake, I shall take the example of following the traffic code. We have a political obligation to obey the law in our society , this belief is backed up by the justifications of fairness, consent, utilitarianism, and morality, but the most compelling arguments found for the justification of why we In the writings of Honor’e, Raz, Smith, Finnis and Bix there are many arguments for and against a general moral obligation to obey. I mean, what if you move to China? A comparison has often been made between the argument of gratitude and the one ... Also, who judges whether the received benefits are substantial? Matthew McConaughey, there is no ‘centrist’ side of racism, I’m A CEO, 50 & A Former Sugar Daddy — Here’s What I Want You To Know, 7 Signs Someone Actually, Genuinely Likes You, The Man Who Predicted the Housing Market Crash Just ‘Went Short’ on Tesla, Noam Chomsky on the Future of Deep Learning, Read the Email That Led to the Exit of Google A.I. First, it is limited because there is not one principle or theory, which can create meaningful political obligation. They thus seem insufficient to ground a general moral obligation. T. Honor’e: o N’e cessit’e Obliged. Surely one can argue that citizens, who were in that minority, had a duty to resist, a duty for civil disobedience. But as we saw before, if I stop for a red light in the middle of nowhere, with no other individuals to either harm or give a bad example to, no one benefits from my behaviour… CONCLUSION In conclusion to these five arguments, I think there is not enough ground to claim there is a general, i. e. unconditional, moral obligation to obey the law. St. Augustine wrote that an unjust law is no law at all. A famous example is that of someone driving alone in the middle of the night with no other traffic in sight. One recent example of a moral ... to the government proposal ... argument. Mature thinkers like Max Radin have been compelled to come up to the conclusion that ‘those of us who have learned humility have given up the attempt to define law’. These theorists indeed tried to argue that the moral obligation to obey the law depends on features that ... adopt and from which the benefits depend. According to Huemer, “A valid contract involves an exchange of value, and it cannot include a clause according to which a party to the contract has to exclude themselves from receiving any of the benefits of signing the contract.” There is an irony in him using a moral argument ... theoretical limits of government intervention in the moral lives of citizens25. This argument raises the following question: how does one know what a just institution is? He emphasized on tacit consent as a means to make obligation legitimate. But when applied to rogue states, dictatorships or countries with governments that make what many perceive as unjust laws in general, it is very questionable whether there is more of a ‘state of nature’ with, or without the population obeying law. As we can see, it is inherently difficult to find one principle by which we can universally apply all citizens to obey by. The Term Paper on To what extent it is appropriate for law to enforce moral standards? In fact, I think political obligations are a broader category of duties than strictly legal obligations. Therefore, against the backdrop of this objection we need to look for further theories of political obligation. In these countries, it cannot be said ‘negative consequences to society’ give people a moral obligation to obey the law because the opposite may be true: that obeying the law has negative consequences to society. It depends on the circumstance, and the group of people within society. If you respect the law, Raz says, this gives you reason to obey it. This does not mean we ‘cannot obey at all’. 1981] Obligations to Obey 145 dard attempts-some of which go back to Plato or to Socrates-to derive such a general obligation to obey the law, even in a country whose legal system is, on the whole, just and good. The term“obligation” need not be used, nor its near-synonym,“duty.” One rarely finds the imperative mood. Abstract There are a variety of positions that might be taken concerning the question of whether or not there is a duty to obey the law. Henry Thoreau refers to civil disobedience as a means to disobey laws that cannot be considered just. Oh boy, this is one of the questions I had spent many hours on discussing with my thesis adviser. Is this person morally obliged to stop at every stop sign? One such at It is the idea that for those who receive substantial benefits from the state it is immoral not to respond with the small obligation government asks in return namely to obey the law. We are born into citizenship and therefore, the benefits we receive are ‘forced’ upon us and we might like them non-existent or different… But a stronger counterargument is provided by Raz. ... is an obligation to obey the law.” Another theory which can aid our argument that law’s authority comes from its ability to create a moral obligation to ... be by no means that this simple moral obligation to respect other’s rights would prevent people from having their rights infringed, and thus ... BAD CONSEQUENCES The fourth argument in favour of a general moral obligation to obey the law is that there is such an obligation because of the bad consequences to society if people did not obey. Instinctively, Hart’s attempt to defend his position on the dividing line between a moral and a legal obligation seems to fail and does not serve the cause of the skeptics to affirm there is no moral obligation to obey the law. FAIRNESS The last argument in favour of a general moral obligation to obey the law I shall address is the fairness and reciprocity argument, also known as the ‘necessity and interdependence’ argument. I shall give a synopsis of five arguments in favour of a general moral obligation to obey, and give my own and theorists’ counterarguments. To the question whether we should only obey a just law, my answer is also ‘no’. Explore our Catalog Join for free and get personalized recommendations, updates and offers. Get a verified writer to help you with Socrates on Justice, Law and the Obligation to obey the State HIRE verified writer $35.80 for a 2-page paper He was also accused of corrupting the youth. Secondly, many of them do not have an alternative. Differences of opinion exist as to its meaning obey by the law to its meaning and laws. Or by practical reasons not sufficient to motivate the individual moral reasons not! 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