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 ...


22

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 ...


20

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 that "Islam will obliterate Israel." Hamas also officially promotes "the liberation of Palestine" and the raising of "the banner of Islam over every inch of ...


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 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 ...


11

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 before Israel was founded and from which they were evicted by the Israelis in 1948. They naturally refuse to relinquish those claims because to do so means ...


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 ...


8

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 Special Committee be created "to prepare for consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly a report on the question of Palestine." It would consist of ...


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 ...


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 ...


5

You could probably write an encyclopedia based on various interpretations of the words "right to exist" in relation to Israel. The issue embraces politics, religion, history and on and on. Frank Hubeny's answer discusses some of the legal background. However, many people feel that the British and the United Nations had no right to set aside land in the ...


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

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 ...


4

All of the things you mention are big factors, and to that I would add: Individuals working in the legal systems (especially prosecutors and police) can have personal incentives to "get" convictions because it helps their career. (perhaps the biggest factor) people suck at being impartial. They trust their intuitions and emotions more than cold reasoning. ...


4

Humans love to categorise things, and we may think of categories as dividing things up with borders between the categories. But that isn't actually how we normally do conceptualise our categories - instead we categorise things according to their likeness to archetypes or prototypes, the central most typical examples of a category. This is called Prototype ...


4

I certainly think you could have a coherent, viable moral system based around this principle; in many ways we already do in the concept of free will and recognition of and respect for other people as free-willed subjects. In fact, in the evolution of secular ethics this could be considered a real trajectory. I do not think such a system would be ...


4

Presumably, yes. But this is why Objectivism is not taken very seriously. It opposes such harm, yet also and more ardently, it would seem, opposes the sort of government apparatus that could restrict environmental harms. The whole philosophy starts off with a bundle of simple-minded Aristotelean principles and whenever it runs into conflicts or ...


4

Locke, to whom the doctrine of human rights is often traced, supported the idea that the human rights can be forfeited when a human is "revolting from his own kind to that of Beasts". In other words, in the original conception human rights were not unconditional and "unalienable": "Whosoever uses force without Right , as everyone does in Society, who does ...


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