50

We are talking about "Appeal to law" fallacy. When following the law is assumed to be the morally correct thing to do, without justification, or when breaking the law is assumed to be the morally wrong thing to do, without justification. It could also be taken as special form of appeal to authority or argumentum ad verecundiam fallacy, in which the ...


37

In the most trivial sense, they are obviously distinct because morality does not disappear when I enter an area with no laws. Similarly, my personal morality does not change as I move between countries, nor is it necessary that my morality be aligned with some particular body of law. We can also look at instances which are simply outside of the law. If I ...


23

I think what you are looking for is called Legal Interpretivism, which, unlike Legal Positivism (which asserts that laws are distinct from morality), asserts that laws are based on morality, and that there is no separation between law and morality, so there must be an interpretation for why such and such is legal or illegal. In which case, the statement if ...


16

They must be different! Otherwise, there would be no such thing as an unjust law. I would not want to be there when the person who claims that legal obligation and moral obligation are one and the same tries to explain this to anyone who has engaged in civil disobedience or who has escaped from government-sanctioned oppression. I would not want to be ...


13

The classic answers to Rawls's work come from his fellow Harvard professor, Robert Nozick. In particular, Nozick's seminal work entitled Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974). It's written as an almost direct critique of Rawls's Theory of Justice, published a few years prior in 1971. In it, Nozick adopts a libertarian approach to justice to challenge Rawls's ...


13

The form of the reasoning is this: Thesis: Punishing X in this way is wrong Rebuttal: Don't do X and you won't be punished On the surface, this is ignoratio elenchi (ignorance of refutation), a.k.a. irrelevant conclusion or missing the point, presenting a possibly valid argument, which is not a proof/refutation in the relevant sense, while intended to be ...


9

This is a heavily debated issue and you are not likely to receive a conclusive answer. The question as phrased amounts to "Which view is correct?", but there are strong arguments from either side. I think you will benefit from doing a little research on the topics of Paternalism and Consequentialist Libertarianism, which are the general terms used in ...


9

Both the English and American legal systems are based in large part on the writings of Social Contract theorists, like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Legally and politically speaking, this is one of the most influential notions to arise during the Enlightenment. The United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence draw heavily from the ...


9

There's several ambiguities in your question that an answer needs to address. First, I am going to assume that your uses of "should" refer to moral rather than legal determinations. Otherwise, this isn't going to fit under philosophy. Second, I'm going to answer in terms of applied ethics rather than formal ethical theories. Third, I will following your ...


9

The presumption of innocence in law serves the same purpose as the null hypothesis in science. The purpose is to produce an accurate outcome in relation to the facts at hand and the seriousness of the question to be settled. Criminal trials begin at the null hypothesis: the defendant’s actions, whatever they might have been, were not within the range of ...


8

How does one tell if attempted murder is actually an attempt at murder or at something else unless it succeeds? Once you give up perfect knowledge of intent (and perhaps even admit that true intent is either ill-defined or not always known even to the agent), all four points shift more heavily against the murderer and a lot of the philosophical difficulties ...


8

Legal and moral responsibilities are subtly different, even if we presume an entirely just legal system. Legal responsibilities are about the scope of a person's authority. It is illegal for me to murder you because your life is not within the scope of my authority. I cannot trespass on your property because your property is outside the scope of my ...


7

This is an English translation of the Latin motto suum cuique, alternatively translated as "to each their own" or "may all get their due". The phrase was popularized by Cicero in De Natura Deorum ("iustitia suum cuique distribuit", justice renders to everyone his due) and later codified in the Justinian Corpus of Civil Law:"Justice is a habit whereby a man ...


6

There is the smell of a paradox lurking here. Let us assume that there is some system of rules that codify what is the right thing to do. (I am attempting to formulate things so that this applies equally to the question as restricted to political philosophy as well as to the more general moral philosophy reading of it.) Let us assume further that there ...


5

The real question, in the context you phrased it, is whether a person has the right to waive their "right to life" through the commission of a heinous felony or euthanasia. I think this concept reconciles the apparent contradiction in position of those who support abortion and/or the death penalty, but not both.


5

Another quick, maybe too quick, comment (or series of comments.) My first impulse, perhaps just an atmospheric tangent, would be to look into certain parts of the Grundrisse, in particular the fragment on machines. He talks about the way in which the machine isn't introduced to make labor easier but rather to intensify and extend it, to latch it onto ...


5

There are philosophical frameworks in which "consensual" activity is still illicit. Consider these two examples: Under the umbrella of deontology, there are a couple different groups that say (for various different reasons) that certain behavior is simply against "the rules." Since they are against the rules, it doesn't matter if the action is consensual. (...


5

You posit that the culpable actions of an individual make the individual forfeit her basic rights. You ask what would be the name of the moral principle equivalent to your posit. The harm principle and the retributive principle suggested by Dwarf and Oke, respectively, might be adequate in many situations of criminal justice, but they have narrow ...


5

You have elevated the risk of death and injury unacceptably Criminal laws exist to keep people from committing actions that society has deemed to be unacceptable. There are plenty of other laws but criminal laws in particular is all about stopping people from doing things we do not want anyone to do. Most of these criminal laws concern damage/injury, to a ...


5

▻'INNOCENT UNTIL PROVED GUILTY' - DEFINITION Under this presumption the accused is to be considered innocent until proven guilty of a criminal offence. This is usually taken to entail that that the accused must be treated as innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt of all questions that need to be answered in order to convict him or her of the ...


5

By way of example, under US laws, slavery was legal and Jim Crow laws were legal, and under German law the Holocaust was legal. However, many people today, possibly including yourself, believe that those policies were immoral. Therefore, there must be a difference between what is legal and what is moral. The larger principle at issue is that sometimes ...


5

A law is a standard that the government uses force to impose. For example, if you murder somebody the government may use force against you to catch you and keep you confined in prison. If you exceed the speed limit and refuse to pay a fine the government will take the money from you without your consent. So the moral standards that should be laws are those ...


5

There is a discussion to be had here but I am not sure it is best framed in terms of an opposition between justice and friendship. Jesus' requirement is that human relations should exhibit and be governed by agape (caritas), which means an attitude of mind and corresponding practice that are primarily and inherently altruistic. A key point here is that ...


4

There is a contradiction if the distinction isn't made between the death penalty as a form of punishment or as a necessary means of protecting society. The former, is indefensible if juxtaposed with the belief in a right to life and the latter, in any society capable of producing prisons keeping inmates in near complete isolation, is nearly never the case. ...


4

Rules are in place for those who aren't capable of being good citizens without some sort of consequence. An example of this would be someone who robs and steals during riots in a moment of weakness in law enforcement or someone who murders because he thinks he can get away with it. In fact, there's no reason to assume there's any higher moral basis for ...


4

Death penalty is a punishment, (in theory) reserved for the most heinous of crimes. While this is often done medically it does not have to be. Firing squads, hanging(thenyc.com has a NSFW Video i am not going to link from syria of mass hanging in last month), and electric chair are still common throughout the world. That said there is no moral difference ...


4

First of all, I just don't believe people are exchangeable in this fashion, because of hereditarian considerations; the exchanging of places before hand would not, in many cases, would not lead to a significant "shake-up" of society, if meritocracy is truly operating — so considering things with a veil seems needless. With respect, I think that this ...


4

Rawls is usually viewed as someone who based his ideas upon the idea of a social contract. But this is odd, because one of the most important ideas behind the Original Position (i.e. the position in which each person hides behind the 'veil of ignorance' to draft justice for society) is that people would come to realize a certain necessity for justice. That ...


4

Sure, those philosophers exist. But they're not nearly as trendy as you might have imagined. The philosophical arguments made against affirmative action now are exactly the same ones that were made by theorists long before race-conscious theories ever existed. It's the writings of anyone who ever encouraged blind justice and universal social equality, from ...


4

I would say that in practise, there are formal (i.e. legal) rights, and informal (i.e. social conventional) rights. The phrase "What gives you the right to [...]?" is often used in the context of interpersonal interaction in circumstances which only the most repressive regimes feel the need to express opinions on; but we certainly acknowledge that ...


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