Law vs. morality

Topics: Morality, Religion, Ethics Pages: 3 (731 words) Published: October 15, 2013
Law vs. Morality

Law is a system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by imposing penalties, where as morality is the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. The question circles around just what rules the community/country recognizes and how is a principle viewed as right or wrong. Different countries may have their own definition of morality and their own set of rules; but after looking at several cases in different places and time periods, can one say that law is truly based on morality? And if so, whose morality, theirs or universally? The answer depends on multiple points of views.

Even with the diversity present on this Earth, there are several actions that countries all over the world deem as immoral and consequently illegal. No matter where one goes – in this time period – acts of murder, theft, assaults (all types), and fraud are all met with great consequences. This was not the case in the Holocaust led by Hitler and the Nazis during World War II. At the time, they thought there was nothing wrong with killing the people whom they thought were “immoral” such as the Jews and homosexuals and their actions were not met with any consequence. Here, the idea of morality was influenced by the country’s political conditions. Also, US slavery was legalized until 1864, however immoral it was. Hence, the country plays a big a role in determining what is moral and what isn’t, even if the classification is not true.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures” is a common proverb that we say to justify otherwise immoral acts as okay because of the extreme conditions. For example, murder is always wrong but in the case of killing a person who threatens your life out of self-defense, should the person be judged as equally as a heartless murderer? People disagree, but most of them think it is not immoral in...

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