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When is it OK, if ever, to disobey the law? watch


    I know that Euthanasia is against the law in the UK, however I think that if someone is truly suffering, it should be allowed...

    (Original post by Connor27)
    You use theft as an example, but what if someone is starving and steals food or money from a rich person to survive? Do they belong in jail?

    Morality is not black and white and there are always exceptions, hence why this thread is pointless, it's called opinions
    Practically speaking: sure they do. They deprived someone of something. What if the food they stole was the food that someone else, who already bought it, needs to live? Though admittedly this is largely redundant as we could pose "what if?" scenarios all day.

    If you get right down to the nitty gritty of it, you realise that everyones' actions have consequences. Why is that person starving? Could they have done something different at some point in their lives that could've prevented them from being in a situation that requires them to steal in order to live? If they could have (and to be honest, the likelihood of them having the option is extremely high seeing as we're not a Third World country) then they've only got themselves to blame for the situation that they're in.

    Besides, we live in a country that's wealthy enough to be able to supply food banks and benefits. If you have to steal in order to live, then you're kinda ****ed regardless, and to be honest, at least in jail you get fed and housed. Pros and cons and whatnot.

    Morally speaking: sometimes our situation is genuinely out of our hands (homeless war vets, for example. Could they have had a better life for themselves if they hadn't joined the army? Potentially. But what could have been is of little help to them now), and we're forced to do things that otherwise we would not have done. Can we really be blamed for that when it's in our instincts to survive?

    However, the over-arching point we come back to eventually is still whether the government is in a position to determine what's illegal and what's not.
    They use morality as a vague baseline (which is what my initial point was; I'm not saying I agree with that perspective, merely that it seems most likely given the evidence; murder is wrong, rape is wrong, etc) but where does, say, getting high come into that? If I'm putting something into my own body, that's nobody elses' business because the responsibility for myself lies solely with me.

    So who are they decide what's right and wrong? Sure, we elect them... but more often than not we're given the equivalent of having to choose between a handful of **** and a mouthful of piss,, so it's not exactly a perfect system.

    I've digressed somewhat, but you get my point.

    (Original post by Wōden)
    Rape? Murder? Child abuse? Torture?
    If you get away with it, who or what is going to say that it's wrong? In that situation it's up to you to decide.

    I think if there is an immoral law, citizens have a duty to disobey it to shed light upon that law's existence and hence garner popular support for its repeal.

    for instance, I think every citizen in the country should smoke weed out in public in front of the police - and by that, I mean they should *drastically* outnumber the number of policemen in that area. this will mean the police will have two choices: enforce the law and use a lot of resources doing so, while at the same time bringing forth attention on how the police are actually enforcing immoral laws instead of ignoring them (what most would consider the right thing to do!). the other choice is to simply allow the citizens to get away with it and make the law look ridiculous/unworkable (i.e. as the police know that it would be a waste of money to enforce).

    these two choices of the police in such a situation would still have the mutual effect of garnering popular support for the repeal of immoral laws, as in the first case, the fact that the law is being enforced means that there is no such thing as "out of date laws that the police don't enforce" (i.e. the legality of martial rape before 1992). you can substitute my example of smoking weed with something similar (as long as it is a victimless crime, obviously). immoral laws are bad *now*, not when they are repealed. so patience and obedience become the same. if there is no disobedience, there is no change. or at least, change will take far too long to come.

    the only problem...is a collective action problem; because of the risk of being arrested, this isn't likely to happen and people are going to want to free ride on the efforts of others. it takes passion and conviction. it takes the same **** that drove MLK, gandhi etc - very moral people - who found morality in breaking the law. breaking the law. *dun*.

    (Original post by JapanNet)
    When is it OK, if ever, to disobey the law?
    When it's ethical :holmes: not everything that is wrong should be illegal, and not everything that is illegal is wrong.
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