Funds $197 | Needed $160
Like the community? Enjoy reading manga?
Then click on the small donation banner! Thx!

131%

Author Topic: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?  (Read 4241 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline greget

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Renommée: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2017, 05:46:06 AM »
You don't need to follow it. Just make sure not to break it.

That should be fine... maybe...

Offline nikolamef

  • lemyrCafYH
  • J-Recruit
  • **
  • Posts: 31
  • Renommée: 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2017, 02:10:13 PM »
It sounds like both of you agree with David Davis, have you put your money where your mouth is and signed the petition? .

grim_tales

Offline Mamatorinq

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Renommée: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2016, 12:47:23 AM »
As I've always said: It ain't illegal if you don't get caught.

Offline LettuceBoy

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Renommée: 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2013, 02:09:22 PM »
Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline GS9891

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Renommée: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2013, 04:30:33 AM »
Of course you can find any number of respected philosophers on either side of the issue arguing whether there's some innate natural obligation to follow the law. Of course were there no enforcement mechanisms it seems probable most would only follow any law beneficial for themselves. Laws arise as a consequence of communities, as was mentioned above in a community of one no laws are needed. At the end of the day the only real reasons laws are generally obeyed by most are community morals and possible consequences.

Offline Guppie

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Renommée: 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2013, 06:50:28 PM »
Quote (selected)
"And what is good, Phaedrus,
And what is not good;
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?"
 --Socrates

The essentials of what we need to know are in the quote above; the practicals of what we need to know are in the fact that Socrates was executed for disrupting society.

Edit: Quote is actually not a direct translation, but rather a simplified paraphrase of Socrates made by Robert Pirsig

Offline deddings123

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Renommée: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2013, 01:02:51 AM »
A secluded human being would not require law as there would be no social interaction between 'human'. You really just act as you like.

(what I say below assumes people are social creatures and strive to interact with each other, unless otherwise stated)

By adding another person, law (or "house rules" if you like) may be required to ensure the two persons can interact amicably.

By adding ten, twenty, hundred, thousands or more, to ensure amicable relationships law must be in place to uphold the values that these people, or those in power, considers fit (such as peace and security, or war and uncertainty). This is based on the premise that these human beings want and will interact with each other, i.e. formed a social contract to live together in a society.

As part of the social contract, they subscribe to the 'justice' system that is prevailing at the time. (note: 'justice' may be considered subjectively - what is just for one person may not be for another.) Thus, under the social contract one has the obligation to follow what is just, ie the law. Otherwise, you are not part of the contract and you either live in seclusion (you build your own home, hunt your own food in an area not owned by anyone etc -- improbable in the modern society) or be dealt by the regime in power (rule of law, rule by law, etc).

In countries that value democracy, property rights, freedom of speech etc where rule of law prevails, the fact that you reside in that country means you subscribe to the laws of that country, i.e. within the jurisdiction of the country - so you basically have the obligation to follow the law, whether or not you agree to it. Where there are laws that one considers 'unjust', you may fight, protest or otherwise demonstrate your views on the law and there are powers and procedures in place in which you can change it (i.e. presence of substantive and procedural rule of law).

What I am trying to get to is in modern democratic societies it depends entirely on the definition of "law". In the bigger picture, it is law if one find it just and fair in light of the society - the majority will stick to it and those who don't will be punished. It is not "law" if it is not just and fair, as it would be repealed by the regime and/or society. This means that whoever (as a group) has the largest voice (i.e. votes) would determine what is law.

Thus, the question "do we have an obligation to follow the law" is fundamentally flawed as a law is in itself an obligation; the laws that we consider 'unjust' would not be law. Of course, this assumes you live in a country where rule of law prevails.

It must be noted that my view can be reconciled with Martin Luther King's statement, in that what you are doing when you disobey 'unjust law' is to show the law is ready to be repealed - especially when the majority disobeys it. However, note with caution that what he said may have an underlying political purpose - that we should take extreme measures that would lead to a disorder of society if there are laws that are unjust. I believe these actions will only take place when one is trying to untie / reconstruct a social hierarchy/regime/intrinsic value. This draws out the bigger picture of the social contract: you are attempting to recreate the social contract you were once part of in order to re-bind the majority.


From another perspective, 'law' may be unwritten law as well. I'm not talking about negative moral values (ie things that we consider intrinsically we should not do, eg rape), but rather the intrinsic value that we as human beings tend to strive for, e.g. amassing land, resources, power. To do this, modern society has placed 'human rights' and capitalism to the forefront. These may form the constitution, or some other form (talking about the UK), of the country that you are in. So, if we consider capitalism (including the laws upholding such ideals) to be 'unjust', how do we disobey it? By disobeying it does it imply I take positive action? How do I take positive action against capitalism - do I share all my resources equally to everyone I know, and if I do, how does it fit into the social contract where capitalism prevails in which I subscribe to by virtue of my presence? Am I therefore breaking the social contract and thus I do not have to abide by 'law'?

Also, when you do not obey laws prohibiting illegal downloads you fall into the opposite side of social contract (which seeks to promote social harmony), i.e. you are acting egoistically (getting something for nothing for yourself). So basically you have withdrawn from the social contract so you do not really have to obey the law. THe consequences that flow from that is twofold: (1) many people are doing the same thing so you are revoluting as a group; (2) you get punished for it.

Enough mumbling for now - I hope it makes some sense.  :XD: Credit to you if you really read through what I wrote. Please do not plagiarise hahaha but please to point out flaws in my argument, especially i am not well versed in social contract theories

Offline MiraiQ

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Renommée: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2013, 12:24:13 PM »
Think about what would happen without the existence of any sort of rules or system.  There would simply be chaos because people would be free to do anything they wanted.  Laws are created so that this can avoided.  We all have an obligation to follow the law because if everyone strayed from it then the society would simply fall into chaos.  The law only works because almost everyone follows it.  Those that don't are punished according to a system of justice which upholds the law.  Even though not everyone follows it enough people follow it for it to actually mean something.

Offline kosa333

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Renommée: 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2013, 11:27:02 AM »
Law is nothing more than a structure and system that developed over the centuries. There isn't a single society in history that didn't have any flaws, but I honestly believe that laws and the power to enforce them are the only two things that keep civilization from constant state of utter panic. So in conclusion, I do believe that we have an obligation to follow the law even if its a crooked system.
It's an interesting reply. So you are basically saying that if there wasn't a power that enforces the law most of us would be a criminal and if there wasn't a law people would not have sence of what's right and wrong. There is law and power that enforces it uppon us, thus we follow it.
It would be a good debate topic.

In my opinion the expression "criminal act" can be both objective and subjective.
Objective because the law clearly states what's an illegal and what's a legal act.
Subjective because we all have a line determined by our own conscience and fear of the law which tells us what illegal acts are still accepted by the society, like downloading a song or a game which is illegal probably but completely natural for most of us and after doing so we don't think of ourselves as criminals.
And it has nothing to do with a law being unjust. (which is most probably just for someone else)

Offline tkojjang

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Renommée: 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2013, 03:43:18 PM »
Law is nothing more than a structure and system that developed over the centuries. There isn't a single society in history that didn't have any flaws, but I honestly believe that laws and the power to enforce them are the only two things that keep civilization from constant state of utter panic. So in conclusion, I do believe that we have an obligation to follow the law even if its a crooked system.

Offline smartin

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Renommée: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2013, 09:59:28 PM »
Obligation? No, everyone is free to do as they please. Now, depending on where you happen to live, there may be consequences to doing as you please. Laws are in place based on a certain social expectation of citizens and government. Some laws may be enacted by freely elected and duly appointed public servants, while others may be implemented by dictators. You still have the choice of following those laws. The question is, do the laws in place represent the will of the people, or some other will that goes against natural human morality?

Offline littleogre

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Renommée: 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2013, 10:07:45 PM »
Depends on how do you define "obligation". If you mean some moral obligation, certainly not, unless your moral code is aligned to such laws. If you mean legal obligation, yes, you do, it is basically the definition of what is a law.

That said, there are two kinds of laws that are followed. Those that are sufficiently aligned with the moral code of the people who would follow them, and those that can be enforced. Many laws, as copyright laws, are absurd and cannot be realistically enforced and therefore are ignored by most people.

To give you an example, there are in excess of 10.000 federal laws in USA, and in average people violate 3 of them a day without even knowing they exist.

Offline Arachnid

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Renommée: 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 04:44:24 AM »
(I do not speak English well so please erase this post if it is to incomprehensible for you...)

The laws you speak of are laws made by humans for humans in human society, those are usually made (when not by people like Hitler and such...) to keep the society safe.
Taking the actual economic issue for exemple, the first country to sink are the one who had problemes with taxes and such. In normal time, thoses fraude aren't a big deal, but the consequences are.

The Universel Laws like Gravity don't allow us human to fly, as a result, we had create plane.
The Human Laws like dying, in 1400, a weathy person could easeli live for 50 years bur hardly 60. In 2000, one could live easely 80 or even 100 years.

We could say that human always seek more liberty and laws are an hindrance that we want to sweep out of our sight. But... Thousands years ago, the first one choose to live in society, and society need laws to keep herself well. Take the glorious romain empire, at the end, their calendar was full of holydays, and he sink.
Now, our principle object of interest are weath, knowledge and pleasure.
We rebel are downloading tones a things, as a result, maybe our favorite writer, programers, singers and others will not continue, but we don't care, because they are to many person who will take their place.
Laws aren't all usefull for US, but they may be for OTHERS, but we don't care, because we think of ourself in first, always (not actually right, I think I love my cat more than myself...). Whatever, Human is really selfish, but that is allright, because we don't care :D

Oh, I actually download so those who could think a talk badly of them earlier, it isn't right ;)

Offline lycae

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Renommée: 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2012, 12:08:59 PM »
Do you have an obligation to follow the laws? Not really. But if you don't and they find out you'll be punished. That's not the same thing as an obligation. In reality you have no obligations unless you decide you are obligated to do something.

strange topic but  i like it.

 the  law   in theory, is a group of rules for coexistence between people, the men need it otherwise  the world  would be chaos ,  but for  nature of man the law  will be  always unjust.

Men dont follow the law... they follow their law

That last thing you said. Are you implying that there is a law other than man's law?

Offline BlockHead

  • J-Hardcore
  • *****
  • Posts: 965
  • Renommée: 11
  • Don't mind me
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 04:23:58 AM »
It depends on whose laws. Politician always shapes the laws to their fit, or for their benefit  :smwisu:.

Laws are made by humans...  :dragonspell: so don't expect them to be fair, and by the way i think that more than 90% of people's each country doesn't know more than 1% of all the laws written every years.
In the end, how can we follow law that we don't even know?  :huh:

Offline fenrir700

  • J-Recruit
  • **
  • Posts: 32
  • Renommée: 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2012, 03:15:03 AM »
strange topic but  i like it.

 the  law   in theory, is a group of rules for coexistence between people, the men need it otherwise  the world  would be chaos ,  but for  nature of man the law  will be  always unjust.

Men dont follow the law... they follow their law

Offline df006

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Renommée: 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 11:26:58 PM »
*not my true opinion - just an ideal one*

Basically,the law is a set of rules implemented by the government so that every person is satisfied to an extent, and to introduce a modicum of fairness. However we do not follow laws because the government is forcing us to - we follow it because we are ... well, bluntly put, because we find it convenient(and out of social accountability, I suppose, but such individuals are rare). The power in the system we have implemented comes from the people - and their opinion make and break the ones wielding that power.

So, if we're asked , should we follow the law? The reasonable answer would be "ONLY IF IT SERVES US AS A WHOLE - IF NOT GET IT CHANGED THROUGH LEGAL MEANS" because a large number of people openly not following the law is the easiest way to break a system (look at Gandhi) and sends the message "hey, we want to bring down the people we put into power".

(But hey, look at reality. The system and its laws are not really flawed - its the people who are.)

Offline Neobaka101

  • J-Starter
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Renommée: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 01:31:16 AM »
I guess the first thing I noticed when reading the posts by Nadeshiko was the assumption that society exists for the citizens. That point in itself has been argued against and can open a whole new line of discussion.

I have to agree with Jocurryrice in that
... Law is here to prevent society from collapsing, by stating how people should behave. To disobey law is to throw disorder and chaos into society... This is why we need rules if we want to live together...

I'm assuming we're using Western society as our model in this case; don't you believe that we as a society are continually being paradoxical in we want the state to look after us but still want our liberties and freedoms? The state then has to play a balancing act of being able to intervene (or intrude) into a persons life but also maintain their freedoms. Because laws are (supposedly) generally applicable, it may not always reflect the values that reflect or uplift certain social groups/individuals. This seems inevitable given the the differing goals (and corresponding values) that people are going to have within a society. There are two things I want to note though. 1) If an individual does not agree with a law vs a group that doesn't agree; those are two very different issues (the tax example that was given). If you don't agree with a law it doesn't give you the right to ignore it. I don't like red lights, but i still stop at them for good reason. Laws are put there for a reason. You need to present reasons that it may be detrimental to society other then "I don't like it" or "It doesn't benefit me"
2) The ability to challenge the laws in a legitimate fashion. We've come a long ways from the days of Martin Luther King Jr. in that we have legal means of approaching controversial issues. Use them.

BUT I'm not advocating simply obeying the laws blindly. We need to consistently exercise our ability to challenge the rules/laws because we as a society are constantly changing. I heard a line from a movie that basically stated that the job of the young is to rebel. We need to push the boundries of what may be considered right or wrong in order for people to start thinking about the issues.

Er so now i'm leaving room for me to add more or edit x_x

Offline Spores

  • J-Member
  • **
  • Posts: 95
  • Renommée: 3
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 12:04:09 PM »
 :hi:  I believe that we do have an obligation to follow the laws that have been set in place to keep people in line. Yes, it is true that people should do something if a law can trully be called "unjust", however just because you disagree with a law doesnt mean you should just break it. If there is an actual problem with a law then we as a nation must get together and work for a better solution, because comitting outright felonious activity doesnt really spread your message very well anymore. Take a look at the G20 incidents that occured in Toronto, Canada a while back. 

Offline Nadeshiko

  • J-Puppy + J-Maid + J-Sadist + Otome Gamer
  • Gold Dragon
  • ******
  • Posts: 10.440
  • Renommée: 47
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 11:07:30 PM »
*This post may not reflect my opinion*

For what reasons have we agreed to enter the social contract in the first place? Humans agreed to enter the social contract in order to have their life, liberties and properties to be protected. The state's only job is to protect these things. If the state does not protect these things, they have violated and broken the social contract. At this point, the citizens are no longer bounded by the social contract.

If we obey every law the state throws at us just because we do not want to "endanger" society, then we are giving them unlimited authority over us and that is simply oppression. Society is already more chaotic than we can ever imagine with or without laws. People disobey laws everyday whether they're big or small and the state is no exception, but have we truly descended into the "chaos" you are thinking of?

Offline JoCurryrice

  • J-Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1.428
  • Renommée: 51
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 05:35:02 PM »
*This post may not reflect my opinion*

I have to frankly disagree with you on the fact that law is something that uplifts the human spirit and you should be more than happy to obey. Law is here to prevent society from collapsing, by stating how people should behave. To disobey law is to throw disorder and chaos into society. By disobeying law, you are breaking the social contract and engendering society as a whole, even though what you do may look benign. Even if you're unhappy to abide by the law, even if you think that a law is unjust, you have to obey it because it is what makes society viable.
To conclude, I will quote Hobbes : "Man to Man is an arrant Wolfe". This is why we need rules if we want to live together. Those rules are called laws. We may think of them as unjust, and we may want to change them. But if we want to change them, we have to do so by every legal means possible, otherwise we are a threat to society.

Offline Nadeshiko

  • J-Puppy + J-Maid + J-Sadist + Otome Gamer
  • Gold Dragon
  • ******
  • Posts: 10.440
  • Renommée: 47
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 02:33:15 AM »
*This post does not reflect my opinion*

Disobey it "openly" by protesting and yes, refusing to pay taxes if you feel very strongly about it. It doesn't mean you're encouraging others. You may tell other how you feel and they will make their own choice. Coming from a libertarian point of view, if you think about it, don't you have the right to own every single cent you make? What right does the government have to tax off the money you earned with your own effort? Aren't the government the ones stealing money from us? If you really feel that you cannot accept this law at all, then you should disobey it.

Just law is something that depends on your interpretation of just. Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, it is something that uplifts the human spirit. Something you would feel more than happy to obey. A law that respects you and your interests.

Offline JoCurryrice

  • J-Master
  • *
  • Posts: 1.428
  • Renommée: 51
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 11:00:06 PM »
*This post may not reflect my opinion*

We have a strict obligation to follow the law, and here is why.

What you just said about just and unjust laws is wonderful. It really is a good idea to disobey the law openly if you disagree with it, so that mentalities may change for the better. It is wonderful in theory.
Let's take an example. I think the way taxes are calculated is unjust, because rich people can pay less than poor people if they can use flaws in the law. So, according to what you said before, I should disobey the law openly. But what does that mean ? Should I not pay taxes ? Isn't that just theft ? Isn't it worse than abiding by the law, even if you know it's unjust ? Plus, openly ? Does it mean I should tell everyone I don't pay taxes ? More than theft, isn't that asking for trouble ? Just or unjust, I don't think you can really disagree with the fact that I should pay taxes.
The second point that is flawed in what you said is the just/unjust part. What is a just law ? How can I decide whether a law is just or not ? There is no clear line between what is just and what is not. And even if I managed to get the law changed, it probably wouldn't be better. If a there existed a perfect law, it would have been enforced long ago. Laws will always be unjust, there is nothing we can do about it.

To conclude, even though it seems like a good idea to disobey unjust laws, it's actually a fallacious argument to only obey the laws we want to obey.

*That argumentation is so easy to crush, but I can't seem to do much better*

Offline Nadeshiko

  • J-Puppy + J-Maid + J-Sadist + Otome Gamer
  • Gold Dragon
  • ******
  • Posts: 10.440
  • Renommée: 47
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Do We Have An Obligation To Follow The Law?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 08:55:06 AM »
Introduction

Do we as citizens of our country have an obligation to follow the law? Must we obey every law that the state enforces even if we consider them unjust? Even if they're petty laws that we know we can get away with?

Famous African-American Civil Rights Activist, Martin Luther King Jr. stated that there are two types of laws: just laws and unjust laws. Just laws are laws that uplift the human spirit and we have an obligation as citizens to obey those laws. Unjust laws are laws that degrade the human spirit and we have an obligation to disobey those laws. When we disobey these laws, we must do it openly, lovingly and accept the consequences that follows.

My Argument

In conclusion, there are just laws and unjust laws. Just because we live in a country with certain laws, doesn't mean we have to obey them. At times, we may feel that we should our of fear, but that's not true obligation. If we do feel that a law is unjust, we should disobey it openly because we have no obligation to obey laws that treat us unfairly.
Now, what's your take on this issue?