The Relationship between Law & Morals
Tutor: Mr. Gollup
Tutor: Mr. Gollup
The relationship between law and morals seems to be very complex and this maybe because that at times the two seem to converge and other times they diverge and there are some theories and cases that demonstrate just that. In order to grasp the relationship between the two, first we need to understand what are morals and morality and what law is.
Law can be defined as the body of official rules and regulations, generally found in constitutions, legislation, judicial opinions, which is used to govern a society and to control the behaviour of its members. It is a form of social control that exists to maintain order, uphold morals and deliver justice.
On the other hand, morality can be described as codes of conduct put forward by society, or some other group, such as religion or as a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons. It is a set of moral principles that have been constant over time and have somewhat influenced or guided the establishment of the rules and regulations that we call laws.
A basic set of eight such principles, together with brief annotations, has been suggested by Resnik:
Non-malificence: Do not harm yourself or other people.
Beneficence: Help yourself and other people.
Autonomy: Allow rational individuals to make free and informed choices.
Justice: Treat people fairly: treat equals equally, unequals unequally.
Utility: Maximize the ratio of benefits to harms for all people.
Fidelity: Keep your promises and agreements
Honesty: Do not lie, defraud, deceive or mislead.
Privacy: Respect personal privacy and confidentiality.
All of which are related to the ‘golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.
Laws pertaining to the... [continues]
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