Monday Morality Poll

The other day I was thinking about the things I do which are illegal (no, I won't list them) and it came to my attention that when I took the JPI few weeks back, all of the "value orthodoxy" questions dealt with life-issues, like euthanasia and abortion. The legal questions (would you smuggle things across the border, cheat on an exam, &c.) were relegated to the "risk taking" category.

Are these tests correct?
[Note that mitigating circumstances are not the question here. I'm not asking which is most important, I'm asking whether they're on the same scale. Voting "they're the same" doesn't mean you'd hand over your neighbour to the bad people if they asked nicely.]

Are legality and morality different categories?
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1 comment:

Rus said...

It is difficult to come up with some legal constraint that is not rooted in morality, so I would submit that legality and morality are two sides of the same coin.

Take the legal constraint against speeding. To speed down a busy thoroughfare is putting other people at risk should there be some catastrophic failure with the machine. It is clearly not "loving your neighbor".

How about speeding on an empty stretch of road? You've eliminated the possibility of hurting other people, but you're still left the possibility of hurting yourself. You are clearly not "loving yourself".

I can't think of any aspect of the legal system which doesn't at some point distill down to loving your neighbor, and loving yourself.