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52 votes
Accepted

Is there a term for the belief that "if it's legal, it's moral"?

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 ...
jo1storm's user avatar
  • 571
38 votes
Accepted

Why are legal and moral responsibilities said to be different?

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 ...
Harabeck's user avatar
  • 475
35 votes

Could law be written in formal logic?

Yes, it has been done. I believe the first project of this kind was an attempt to render the British Nationality Act 1981 into formal logic, and specifically into the Prolog programming language. It ...
Bumble's user avatar
  • 26.3k
27 votes

Why "guilty" or "not guilty" but not "guilty" or "innocent"?

It is a matter of convention. In many legal systems, the threshold of proof for a guilty verdict is set very high, so if the prosecution fails to attain it then the jury must delivery a not-guilty ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.5k
22 votes

Is there a term for the belief that "if it's legal, it's moral"?

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 ...
SmootQ's user avatar
  • 2,419
20 votes

What is to be understood by the phrase "Israel's right to exist"?

It's referring to the state, not the land or the people, so your example of a pear isn't really applicable. The preamble of the 1988 charter of Hamas (aka "the Islamic Resistance Movement") declares ...
David's user avatar
  • 301
17 votes

Why are legal and moral responsibilities said to be different?

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 ...
elliot svensson's user avatar
17 votes

What are philosophical arguments for the position that Intelligent Design is nothing but "Creationism in disguise"?

Did the court of the law that judged ID to be creationism in disguise employ philosophical arguments to come to that conclusion? ... More generally, are there philosophical arguments for the position ...
J D's user avatar
  • 28.2k
16 votes
Accepted

Besides state punishment, are there any other reasons why one should not do crimes?

You could start by discouraging other people to do crimes if only because you don't want to be the victim of a criminal act. People around you will probably do the same, and this will establish a ...
armand's user avatar
  • 6,710
16 votes

What are philosophical arguments for the position that Intelligent Design is nothing but "Creationism in disguise"?

Reasonnably, you can make a philosophical argument that creationism and intelligent design are close from each other and overlap, or point at the flaws of intelligent design that make it a ...
armand's user avatar
  • 6,710
16 votes

Why "guilty" or "not guilty" but not "guilty" or "innocent"?

Because the defence does not need to demonstrate innocence; whilst the prosecution must demonstrate guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Jack Aidley's user avatar
  • 1,173
13 votes

What fallacy dismisses criticism of a bad law with "just don't break it"?

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....
Conifold's user avatar
  • 43.5k
13 votes

Should I ever be influenced by an argument that I can't understand?

I'm responding because you've brought to light an epistemological matter of great concern, and this is the role of testimony in deciding upon truth and adequacy. Ten years ago, when I first read ...
J D's user avatar
  • 28.2k
12 votes

Besides state punishment, are there any other reasons why one should not do crimes?

Revenge! This can be mathematically modelled. What is the optimum strategy for a society with complete libertarian freedom, i.e. no central authority? (Actually, it was single-celled organisms, but ...
nigel222's user avatar
  • 251
11 votes

Innocent until proven guilty - why?

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 ...
Mark Andrews's user avatar
  • 6,314
11 votes

What is to be understood by the phrase "Israel's right to exist"?

The reason Israel demands that the Palestinians recognize Israel's so-called "right to exist" is that in so doing, they would officially relinquish any and all claims they have on the land they owned ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
10 votes

Besides state punishment, are there any other reasons why one should not do crimes?

This is related to the more general concept of social contracts, states, power hierarchies, and such. There have been several philosophers who have thought a lot about this. A good starting point ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 2,985
10 votes

Why is it justified to break a "bad" law because it's bad?

If you'd like a good philosophical take this issue, you should read Thoreau's "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience". Now, I haven't read that essay for a while, so I can't claim that I'm ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 20.4k
9 votes

What are philosophical arguments for the position that Intelligent Design is nothing but "Creationism in disguise"?

In my view, this question is largely equivocation between a philosophical position that could be called "Intelligent Design" and the fake position advocated in the real world called "...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
  • 1,173
9 votes

Should I ever be influenced by an argument that I can't understand?

It may be helpful to draw an argument map of what you don't understand. Draw a bubble for each claim Conifold makes, and arrows between the bubbles indicating how Conifold is attempting to support ...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.3k
9 votes

Could law be written in formal logic?

No. It's a large question, and the shortest coherent answer I can think of is that, while particular laws may be reducible to logical form, law itself cannot, for the simple reason that it must ...
Alexander Adams's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Who was first to say that justice is "to give each his due"?

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 ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 43.5k
8 votes

Why are legal and moral responsibilities said to be different?

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 ...
David Schwartz's user avatar
8 votes

What is to be understood by the phrase "Israel's right to exist"?

Wikipedia provides a brief history of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181: Following World War II and the establishment of the United Nations, the General Assembly resolved that a ...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
  • 19.5k
8 votes

Can non-agents be moral or immoral?

Children are not denied moral agency, they are usually denied legal culpability. That's a big difference. Children as agents can be engaged in ethics and are ethical beings, but they are often ...
J D's user avatar
  • 28.2k
7 votes

Why "guilty" or "not guilty" but not "guilty" or "innocent"?

One of the difficulties with the logic here is the definitions of "guilty" and "innocent" you're using. There's actually a number of different concepts entailed within those terms, ...
R.M.'s user avatar
  • 1,291
6 votes

Can non-agents be moral or immoral?

Since all morals are relative, the answer depends on the values of the culture in which the wrongdoer is being judged. In some societies a child who murders another, say, might be considered not to ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.5k
6 votes

Could law be written in formal logic?

Precedent is going to be a problem In law, previous decisions made in a case can influence the interpretation and function of a statute. Converting law into formal logic, therefore, involves working ...
lupe's user avatar
  • 379
6 votes

Is the Law of Excluded Middle an allowed argument in court?

Is the Law of Excluded Middle an allowed argument in court? Yes, but admissibility does not imply conclusiveness. The former is a procedural matter whereas the latter is an issue of epistemic nature. ...
Iñaki Viggers's user avatar

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