How Law Relates To Morality

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How Law Relates To Morality
How Law Relates To Morality

Video: How Law Relates To Morality

Video: What is the difference between Ethics, Morality and the Law? 2022, December

Law and morality perform the same function - the regulation of relations between people, the ordering of public life. But this is done in different, sometimes even opposite ways.

Belated repentance - the interaction of law and morality
Belated repentance - the interaction of law and morality

Both law, acting in the form of law, and morality are a set of prescriptions and prohibitions, the observance of which is expected from a person living among his own kind.

Differences between law and morality

Moral attitudes are often called "unwritten laws", and this is true. These rules, unlike laws, are not recorded in any documents. The obligation to fulfill them is determined only by their recognition by the majority of members of society.

The law is binding and the same for all people living and temporarily staying in the territory where it operates. Moral principles can be diametrically opposed even within the same family.

Compliance with legal norms is mandatory for a citizen, regardless of whether he accepts them or not. In relation to adherence to moral principles, a person is more free. This is due to the fact that the law has a system of "levers of influence": the police, the prosecutor's office, the court, the system of execution of sentences.

Violation of the legal norm is followed by the punishment to which a person will be subjected, regardless of his beliefs. For example, a citizen may be convinced that stealing a wallet from a wealthy person is not a crime, but he will still have to serve time for theft. "Punishment" for an act not prohibited by law, but condemned by morality, consists in changing the attitude on the part of others, to which a person may not pay attention.

Figuratively speaking, the law acts "from the outside", setting restrictions. Morality acts “from within”: a person sets limits for himself, focusing on the moral principles inherent in his social group.

Interaction of law and law

Despite all the differences between law and morality, they do not exist in isolation from each other.

In some cases, law and morality coincide, in others they do not. For example, murder is condemned by both law and morality. Leaving a child in the hospital is not a crime from the point of view of the law, but a reprehensible act from a moral point of view.

The effectiveness of legislative norms is largely determined by their acceptance by society as a whole and by specific people at the level of moral principles. If a legislative prescription has not become a moral prescription for a person, a person will comply with it only out of fear of punishment. If there is an opportunity to break the law with impunity, such a person will easily decide on it (for example, he will steal a suitcase if there are no witnesses or security cameras nearby).

The fight against piracy in the Russian Federation is indicative in this regard. Its failure is explained by the disagreement of the majority of Russians with the fact that downloading an unlicensed copy of a film from the Internet is the same crime as stealing a wallet or stealing a car. Western social advertising, drawing such parallels, does not resonate with the domestic audience.

Changing legal and moral standards

The law can be changed very quickly, a strong-willed decision of the authorities is enough. Moral attitudes in society are changing very slowly and hard, and yet changes are taking place.

In a number of cases, changes in morality are provoked by the law: having ceased to be prohibited by law, an act after some time may cease to be condemned and even become approved.

This was the reaction of society, for example, to the permission of abortion. In the USSR, the legislative ban on artificial termination of pregnancy was lifted in 1920. By about the middle of the twentieth century, the attitude towards abortion changed from negative to neutral.Currently, many compatriots already approve of abortion, considering it a manifestation of responsibility, and condemn women who prefer having a child. It is logical to assume that the attitude towards euthanasia will change in the same way if it is legalized: over time, patients who do not want to do it will begin to be condemned.

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