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don't want to go to jail
Reason 1) personal responsibility to yourself and your dependants means that to protect yourself you should do what others say because otherwise they will hurt you.
This is a sensible pragmatic reason.
Mitigating factor 1) It becomes less clear (on a sliding scale) if by accepting and abiding by what others say that you must do, you cause harm to you or your dependants in that way.
to sometimes question, but that is their difficulty.
how much of one you want without the other.
So that is the crux I want to get to, but Its a bit tricky if you just throw it like that, because it is subtle.
Obviously I want protection from violent harm to me and my dependants when I am not there.
Luckily this is a feeling shared by many others.
In fact it is also shared by many who might perpetrate violent harm to others( they would not want it to happen to them or their loved ones......if they do then we term them 'mentally or psychologically or emotionally unwell)
So I could reasonably expect that in a large group of people with a similarish mind to actually look out for each other and organise some sort of protection against violent harm.
This is perfectly understandable, and acceptable to all.
Its where we go after the reasonableness of certain expectations, that problems start to occur.
Many laws when they are introduced were (and would still be, were it not for familiarity making them seem not unreasonable) contentious, they are also generalised and not sliding scale.
For instance stealing from our peers is not acceptable, it is MORE unacceptable when all other things are equal.
However in some circumstances it is not as unacceptable (and this is where laws can also be weak) ......e.g. the oft quoted and famous example of a man being hung for stealing a loaf of bread to give to his starving family.......when there were many people who are very rich who have not laboured for all their money, instead they have found a method to harness others effort and exploit that with opportunity.
Now I am not saying that poor people stealing from the rich is always a good thing, but as Jesus said, a destitute woman giving a farthing to charity is giving more than a rich mans giving millions (bill gates) ((I will discuss the practicalitis of this at the bottom of this post))
The point being that the law is too inflexible when it comes to some things, especially when the law (and lawbreaking) is encouraged to be used as a moral measurement (it often might be so, but it is not necessarily so)
SO the purpose of this thread is to help me get to the bottom of the crux of it all that you have explained in your post .
((Practicality......of course in terms of practicality for the charities millions aenable charities to do more than a farthing, this is purely an individual measurement...............the relative worth of the donatioins millions of the unseemly rich vs the need for such charity if we had systems that were more equitable with reward and effort is another debate.))
it mentioned by people who go to universities and study something or other.
Srsly what is the closest to codifying or laying out the social contract that has been got? has the government (or any government ever signed up to it? Obviously the election manifestos (that persuade people to give parties power) is not an abiding agreement, so i would have thought that at anytime the public should be able to rip up the election result....except they cant.
Can anyone identify when ordinary people are meant to have agreed to it? Is it meant to be 18?
IM sorry i know this is coming across as snidey, but I have to get through the immediate first answers so that I can get to the crux of things.....I need to know how this is all rationalised at the next level, when the participants in the argument have acknowledged the drawbacks and inconsistancies.....Obviously I dont want an abandonment of all the security that the legal system gives, but when the legal system props up that which remains harmful as well, then I want to know how to question that in a better way.
Personally I'm not.
as long as you're happy to face the legal consequences.
but, practically speaking, there's no justification for running the universalisation argument.
is giving a carte blanche to any sort of horribleness, but it is an easy way out of answering my question, and I am sure that you could do better.
saying because B is awful we should accept a compromise of A, I am trying to work out how to question A.
'SHOULD LAWS need to be justified and debated?'
(and please dont say that they do, there is NO proper public discussion on legal matters....or if you think that there is please give an example)
does everyone else think this?
How do you think we could get laws justified and debated?
How can the public debate the law? What are the blockers? How can the public be better informed enough so they can be in a position to debate?
It's the answer.
automatically wins, which is not the case
Or at least, if you think it's okay for you to ignore laws you don't like and expect everyone else to follow the laws no matter whether they agree with them or not then you're basically saying your sense of morality is more valid than everyone else's and you're above the law. I don't agree with either of those two assertions.
there are some things that the people would consensually agree to that have become laws, that limit our freedoms, these things should be done within the framework of the people being informed and the people do not always know when they are misinformed, but as a basis, what the people are happy to limit their freedoms on, seems a good base to not start messing with.
A large amount of law is about stuff which the people know bugger all about and so it should be up for questioning if an instance highlights this, when an instance flags it up the public needs to be informed so that they can help the legal system decide whether it is OK
but that doesn't mean you can start to assume it doesnt' apply to you without assuming other people will choose wich parts don't apply to them.
For example a lot of people would think they're completely justified in ignoring the 2010 Equality Act. Personally I'd rather they didn't.
because THE PEOPLE agree with them.
There are some laws that limit what we can do or compell us to do things that THE PEOPLE do not agree with.
The law is not one thing, it is a collection, some legislature is passed without public debate and so the people do not know about it, for many thoings the people would need to be more educated/informed (i DO NOT MEAN POPULAR MEDIA, WHICH HAS A TENDANCY TO DISTORT ACCORDING TO THE OWNERS WHIMS OR MEDIAS INTEREST OR FOR DRAMA/SALES)
(not on technicalities)
Sorry when I said they have to justify it, I meant they have to be able to justify it successfully.
(and as I have said there is a core of law limiting personal freedoms that the people (as a whole) DO genueinely agree on)
Depend who's judging.
If you're ignoring laws you don't agree with, I'm assuming you're judging yourself. I imagine they'd pass that test.
the justification would be done in a court of law of course, with a jury and all the mechanisms needed to there and then record any possible amendments to the law that might be seen to be needed.
but with the outcome not bound as totally by precedant, so we could have 'guilty according to the current law, but with sufficient justification, that the law be moderated (or other) to allow for blah blah blah'
Certainly that's basically how it works when a new law comes in - the first few cases tried set the precedent and determine how the law should be interpreted in practice.
Obviously the current legal system doesn't allow existing laws to be entirely ignored though, which would be a change.
The problem I'd have with this in practice is that again this would set a precedent so twelve people's decision to overule or accept an existing law may not reflect majority opinion.
but presuming you're replying to me, the answer is, no, not practically speaking, because universalisation doesn't occur in practice; it only occurs in theory.
Effectively, you're arguing, "if everyone ignored laws they don't agree with, then X would happen". A corollary: say I decide not to buy cheap "made-in-China" clothing because I object to sweatshop industry practices and don't want to support/give money to businesses that employ workers on exploitative wages. The parallel objection would be that "If everyone refused to buy these goods, then the workers would get *no* money".
Each case remains a hypothetical formulation. In practice, *not* everyone ignores laws they don't agree with, and *not* everyone refuses to buy those goods. And there's an argument to be made, at the very least, that "being responsible" might mean having to take these facts into account — i.e. the responsible thing might be *not* to universalise the principle, but rather to factor into one's decision-making the fact that the principle *isn't* universal in practice.
Further, in some (many?) cases acting on a principle that you *wouldn't* want to universalise, but which you know *won't* be acted upon universally, is arguably the more responsible thing to do — precisely because that principle contains within it some less formalisable value that *isn't* but perhaps *should be* affirmed more frequently and regularly than it actually is.
but i originally did ask 'Is there a responsibility for YOU?' not a 'what if everyone thought that way'
the problem with the argument 'what if everyone else thought that way' is the argument that has been trotted out to me since school as to why I shouldnt do this or that, and its hard work working out what everybody else wants or what they might do, I tried that for about 20 years
*many responsibilities (e.g. to my family, by way of ensuring my freedom so as to provide for them) to obey laws I disagree with.
*none of those responsibilities is absolute, and so it's always possible that circumstances might arise which compel me — for "ethical" reasons — to suspend any one of the many responsibilities that otherwise constrain me to obey laws that I disagree with.
your formulation seems to imply eg that people who protested the poll tax by non-payment couldn't justifiably condemn tax-non-payment in any instance. what about laws that put people's lives/wellbeing in danger? for instance, do women in countries with strict anti-abortion laws have a 'responsibility' not to have (or provide) abortions unless they're 'happy for everyone else to ignore laws they don't agree with'? you seem to be taking the OP as 'laws you just don't like cos they're inconvenient' instead of 'laws you consider unjustifiable/immoral/oppressive' by whatever standard
and hope either everyone else joins you in solidarity or that you don't get caught. If I lived in a country with strict and harmful laws, there's a strong possibility I would in fact be happy for everyone else to ignore the laws they didn't agree with too.
As it stands I don't think there are any laws in this country at this time that I think I'm morally justified in breaking. Which doesn't necessarily mean that I don't break the odd minor law here and there, just that I wouldn't really have much of a moral case if I got caught.
In those cases, quite clearly lawmakers are ignoring laws they don't agree with so it would logically follow there'd be no responsibility for you to obey laws you didn't agree with.
but: 'If I lived in a country with strict and harmful laws, there's a strong possibility I would in fact be happy for everyone else to ignore the laws they didn't agree with too.' no, you'd be happy for people to ignore the laws that you thought were strict and harmful. you'd be happy for people to ignore abortion or anti-homosexuality laws, but you wouldn't be happy for people to steal from you because they disagreed with private property, or whatever. isn't this 'basically saying your sense of morality is more valid than everyone else's'? or is it acknowledging that some laws are just more valid/necessary than others, and we have a greater responsibility to follow some laws than others? even in an incredibly oppressive and corrupt state, there are going to be *some* basic laws you think that everyone should follow (and in plenty of otherwise fairly progressive/democratic states, there are laws against abortion etc that plenty of us would consider 'strict and harmful'), so it's perfectly possible to think some laws should be broken without being unequivocally 'happy for everyone else to ignore laws they don't agree with'
but i'm sure there are people who would make such an argument. either way, your reasoning seems to be that you don't think there are any excessively 'strict and harmful' laws in this country right now, but there are in other countries so it might be justifiable to disobey laws in those countries. because you disagree with them. which uh sounds a lot like the kinda 'my morals are the right ones' thing you were accusing creaky of above
Which doesn't mean that my sense of morality is more valid than anyone else's but that universal human rights laws should be universal. I'm not going to claim my moral values are superior to EVERYONE else's but I am quite willing to unequivocally state that I believe anyone who believes it's justifiable to breach universal human rights has an inferior moral code to someone who doesn't believe that.
Re the previous post in every incredibly oppressive and corrupt state I can think of, most of the laws I think everyone should follow (not killing/harming others, respect of personal property, freedom from sexual abuse and assault) are being broken, respect of personal liberty. Which is what is making it an oppressive state. So, since I'm suggesting that I don't feel I have a right to pick and choose laws as I don't want them to be broken, it clearly follows if they're broken already then there's no valid reason for that argument to still hold.
Abortion is a tricky example because, whilst I believe abortion should be legal, my entirely unresearched belief is that a lot of people who break abortion laws ( by which I mean by offering abortions rather than by seeking them) may not always have the purest of motives or follow safe medical procedures. So there will unquestionably be cases where a greater harm comes from someone offering abortions even if I disagree with it being illegal. Obviously a qualified doctor in a sanitary medical environment is a different thing but, in any circumstances, I'd personally be very careful about who I did and didn't want to break that law.
it's just, y'know, you kinda just said to creaky that 'you're basically saying your sense of morality is more valid than everyone else's and you're above the law. I don't agree with either of those two assertions.' i guess you could revise that to say that you only agree with those assertions when it pertains to 'universal human rights' which are already international law, but again, access to abortion is by no means recognised as a universal human right - and whatever issues there may be with providers, i don't suppose you'd disagree that a qualified doctor who quietly offers free, safe abortions in a country where it's illegal doesn't have some kind of universalised 'responsibility' to stop doing that. not because the law is violating universal human rights laws, but because it's a law *you disagree with*. now you can argue that there are no comparably harmful laws in this country - i might well agree - but i'm just pointing out that it's an argument to be made on a case-by-case ethical basis, not 'if you think you're justified in breaking a law you disagree with, you have to accept that the EDL are also justified' which is what you seemed to be veering towards above
However clearly exceptions exist where it's a widely-held human right that a particular country is breaking.
Abortion is difficult. I don't think a doctor breaking an abortion law has a responsibility stop doing it but they do run the risk of being caught and only really have their personal morality to fall back on if they get caught doing it so they have to make a decision as to whether they feel their personal belief they should ignore the law is strong enough to risk the legal consequences.. Incidentally you misrepresent my argument. It was actually 'if you think you're justified in breaking a law you disagree with, you have to accept the EDL may well think they're justified in breaking laws they disagree with'.
and the fact that their argument would have little sway with anyone who took a few moment to think it through/wouldn't stand up to scrutiny of other peoples deliberations etc. is relevant. so you can pretty much chuck out the EDL argument.
Clearly they're going to lose any debate on their actions after the event.
My point is more that I don't want them to act in violation of the law on the basis of their beliefs (by, for example, intimidating or assaulting immigrants). And, because I don't want other people to pick and choose what laws they follow based on their own beliefs - save in exceptions where that law breaks a widely-held human rights principal rather than simply their individual opinion - I don't believe I'm entitled to do so either.
and it doesn't have any bearing on people who break the law for legitimate reasons.
I generally agree but I wouldn't frame it as a human rights issue.
is enough of a justification to not follow a law, but that there's scope for making rational moral arguments about *why* you disagree with a certain law and why you don't think you have a responsibility to follow it. some of those arguments will be more convincing than others, and the EDL's arguments will be not convincing at all, and it's not inconceivable to suggest that maybe the EDL could be *wrong* in thinking they're justified while you (whoever) are not wrong (because obviously in some cases people can be justified in breaking laws, especially in important civil disobedience type cases). but idk maybe creaks was just talking about how he wants to get high and dance naked in the streets or something
I think there is a moral principle somewhere to do with divesting your option to just not follow laws you don't agree with and not a case by case ethical basis. I don't think it necessary entails saying 'the EDL are justified' (for a start the EDL can't rationally account for any of their claims or actions and they're porbably too thick to be on baord with whatever justificatory grounding the rest of democracy's got going on anyway).
obvs society is pluralistic and postconventional what have you so the law is needed to stabilise the inevitable conflict of ethical standpoints.
imo, laws are only legitimate if they are democratically derived. but you are going to get situations in which not everyone agrees with the democratically produced norms. however i do think you can derive a moral principle to obey even laws you don't agree with. i'd say only when they conflict with a few basic groundrules/haven't been democratically* produced. otherwise people could just come from other countries and like not pay tax or something idk.
*proper democracy not shit democracy
I do have a bit of a tendancy to do that.
There has also been some high profile cases of gentle well meaning middle class OAPs going to jail for some moral stances (and they would be careful to ensure that they could not be seen to just avoid having to pay as much money) Unfortunately that did nothing to allow for these OAPs personal choice, there was no mitigation by the law, no allowance for their (actual) public spiritedness, no allowing for their obvious good intentions, no allowing for the fact that they had nothing but goodwill to their fellow humans.......no they were bitchslapped by the law, for non-compliance.......the law does not even have the ability to re-adjust when faced with the humanity and subtlety of a situation.
And this is its problem, this is a problem that extends to all of us, If the LAW tells us what is and isnt allowed, then it is demonstrated that those with a lot think that everything that is not expressly forbidden is fair game. The non intervention of the law in dodgey trading and dodgey economic details is what has given people (what they interpret as) carte blanche to do whatever they can, and so they do and have.
Of course having a legal system maintained is so much better than the idea of removing it that it is insane to contemplete not obeying the law, If you think that the whole thing comes crumbling down if you dont abide by it.
Certainty in law is/was a watchword as to one of its good things, it was a bastion against the changing times and protected against confusion......and yet we all know that now it has got to the stage where it does not always cause less confusion.
We end up with parliamentary select committees not being able to demand answers from its own customs and excise department as to its dealings with selling off property to an offshore company that avoided paying tax in the UK because "the customs and excise departments lawyers had advised the customs and excise department not to reveal all the facts to parliament on the basis of COMMERCIAL CONFIDENTIALITY"
So please do not use the idea that 'the law must be certain'
to try to smother what I want to find out from you lot.
Please try to be willing and think about what YOU QUESTION on this subject and please post those thoughts
I didnt want it to go like this.
OK people please FORGET your arguments AGAINST My posts
FORGET that you have to defend the legal system against me
instead TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS on how the law/legal system is flawed.
What areas do you think it is weak on. What are YOUR doubts about it?
pig gelatin. Sounds like BS to me.
I really didnt want to be posting all that text, I wanted to find out what they all thought about how the law (although providing us with what we need from day to day) somehow has proven weak when it comes to protecting us in the long term.
But all they want to do is defend it to the hilt, so I reacted.
I imagine they reacted as a reaction against me, cos they are used to me always behaving like this :(
to muslims and hindus and vegetarians
so is the conclusion that
a) we agree with the law
b) but do what we want, just dont tell anyone about it