Why can we get arrested?

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username4867806
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This might sound stupid, but why are we able to get arrested for commiting a crime?

I never signed any contract saying that if I break a law I would go to prison so why is this able to happen? Is this just because I was born within this "society" so am automatically placed into the set of rules?
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S.carter
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(Original post by Treetop321)
This might sound stupid, but why are we able to get arrested for commiting a crime?

I never signed any contract saying that if I break a law I would go to prison so why is this able to happen? Is this just because I was born within this "society" so am automatically placed into the set of rules?
Yes and I’m assuming you benefit from the rules of this ‘society’, like being protected under the law and having roads, emergency services and the opportunity to get a job?
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SMEGGGY
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*Chants* Lock him up
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Vinny C
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You could always opt to become 'outlaw'. That means that the rules protecting everyone else no longer apply to you either.
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username1799249
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(Original post by Vinny C)
You could always opt to become 'outlaw'. That means that the rules protecting everyone else no longer apply to you either.
Except such a thing doesn't exist in this country. I imagine there is a constitutional document that sets out the terms of those born in and those who visit our country.

Interestingly, our police serve us by consent. By contrast, US police are above ordinary citizens and uphold the law by force.
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username4911280
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(Original post by Treetop321)
This might sound stupid, but why are we able to get arrested for commiting a crime?

I never signed any contract saying that if I break a law I would go to prison so why is this able to happen? Is this just because I was born within this "society" so am automatically placed into the set of rules?
S.carter has touched on this already. It's something called the "social contract". In exchange from benefiting from being a member of society (benefits such as protection under the law, property rights, freedom of expression within reason, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly etc.) you agree to give up certain freedoms and adopt certain responsibilities such as following the law and more specifically not infringing upon the rights of others. Failure to meet your end of the agreement will result in the state taking your freedom, either by forcing you to pay a fine or by placing you in jail.

No, you never "agreed" to this contract formally. Nobody handed you a gold pen to sign on the dotted line when you were born, but by remaining a member of the society and using public services like roads, the health service, the police, the judiciary system etc. you are still agreeing to the contract because you're taking what society is offering to you. It's not free. Nothing is. You may say that this is unfair because you didn't ask to be a member of this society, but ultimately that's too bad because it's necessary for the fabric of society to remain in tact. After all, society is a body comprised of the various relationships between individuals at different levels of authority. If we allowed people to commit crimes and break the law without repercussion then society would inevitably fall apart. And I don't think that's good for anyone.

You're not as powerless as you make out. I doubt you will ever be able to change certain laws such as murder or rape, but you can lobby your MP and get politically active in order to try to change the set of rules that you have been automatically placed into.
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S.carter
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(Original post by _polaroid)
S.carter has touched on this already. It's something called the "social contract". In exchange from benefiting from being a member of society (benefits such as protection under the law, property rights, freedom of expression within reason, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly etc.) you agree to give up certain freedoms and adopt certain responsibilities such as following the law and more specifically not infringing upon the rights of others. Failure to meet your end of the agreement will result in the state taking your freedom, either by forcing you to pay a fine or by placing you in jail.

No, you never "agreed" to this contract formally. Nobody handed you a gold pen to sign on the dotted line when you were born, but by remaining a member of the society and using public services like roads, the health service, the police, the judiciary system etc. you are still agreeing to the contract because you're taking what society is offering to you. It's not free. Nothing is. You may say that this is unfair because you didn't ask to be a member of this society, but ultimately that's too bad because it's necessary for the fabric of society to remain in tact. After all, society is a body comprised of the various relationships between individuals at different levels of authority. If we allowed people to commit crimes and break the law without repercussion then society would inevitably fall apart. And I don't think that's good for anyone.

You're not as powerless as you make out. I doubt you will ever be able to change certain laws such as murder or rape, but you can lobby your MP and get politically active in order to try to change the set of rules that you have been automatically placed into.
Yes.
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ThomH97
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The law exists out of necessity. There has been extra stuff tacked on that ranges from "not completely necessary" to "paid for by corporations", but we do need to stop murderers, rapists, thieves etc by force.
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Joleee
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the short answer is yes, we're born into it which is why some legal scholars argue there is no obligation to obey law and others argue there's hardly such thing as democracy.

typically we obey laws we think are just and that benefit us, but laws we think are morally averse or pointless are ignored (jaywalking, littering) especially in the private sphere where no one is there to catch us.

humans benefit by living with each other and working together, but there must be rules so that everyone plays fair. if you're interested i recommend Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract or Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan on political theory.
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Vinny C
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Except such a thing doesn't exist in this country. I imagine there is a constitutional document that sets out the terms of those born in and those who visit our country.

Interestingly, our police serve us by consent. By contrast, US police are above ordinary citizens and uphold the law by force.
It did in the middle ages... you were totally disinherited. Robin Hood for example.
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Napp
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(Original post by Treetop321)
This might sound stupid, but why are we able to get arrested for commiting a crime?

I never signed any contract saying that if I break a law I would go to prison so why is this able to happen? Is this just because I was born within this "society" so am automatically placed into the set of rules?
You dont get a say in it im afraid, its a very simple equation of abide by the rules (whether you like it or not) or pay the price. In this though you do get the benefits of abiding by the rules of society.
Plus, you're more than welcome to move to a non-state like Libya, Somalia etc. if you disagree with the rules here?
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Napp
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(Original post by ThomH97)
The law exists out of necessity. There has been extra stuff tacked on that ranges from "not completely necessary" to "paid for by corporations", but we do need to stop murderers, rapists, thieves etc by force.
in fairness most thieves are simply bounced through the system and released
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