Morality By Law

Feb 4, 2014


How many laws would it take to keep people from doing anything wrong? Call it "morality by law." Almost everyone can understand the necessity of law for an orderly and safe society. But at the extreme, where law is viewed as the only effective remedy, there are two serious problems.

"Very practically, how can we know whether something we do is moral or immoral? Morality occurs in the context of relationships. When we intentionally harm or endanger someone or society, that act is immoral. When we do something to benefit someone or society, that act is moral. Sometimes there may arise moral conflict, when if we do one thing, someone benefits but someone else suffers, or hte other way around. In these cases, we usually try to maximize the benefit and minimize the harm."