King emphasizes the fact that one must follow just laws to avoid anarchy and respect the rights of other human beings. However, he and others have a “moral responsibility” to fight against unjust laws for the benefit of society. He states that individual “who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law” as they are adjusting the basic intent of the law to realign with its moral law through the form of civil disobedience. It is important to note that this view is not ‘new’ or radical according to King. Legality is a very arbitrary term within a historical context as King points out that what the Nazi’s did was legal while what the “Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal.
Should the aim of law be primarily focused on the protection of individual liberty or, instead, the normative goals aimed at the good of the society? The question of law and morality is difficult mainly because it needs to be addressed with current social conditions that exist, the morals and values that the particular society has. In general, the laws in any society should not only be focused on regulations, but it should also protect individual’s liberty. Devlin debate was based on deciding whether law should enforce morality. He debated about what the law ought to be and whether morality should be enforced by law to form a good society.
Accordingly, while admitting that it is reasonable and necessary to disobey unjust laws undermines the interests of the pubic, we should also recognize the value of laws, deeply respect it and behave strictly as the just laws. Otherwise, a society without the limitation of laws would undoubted come into disorder and chaos. In conclusion, it is indeed every one’s responsibility to respect and obey just laws. But whether to disobey unjust laws calls for a prudent consideration about whether it is for any higher purpose.
While morality allows for personal choice, the law does not. Through fear of punishment, the law governs behavior; it has enforcing authority and can subject society to obedience. Often, we fail to see the distinction between morality and law. Many times, we indecorously allow one to guide the other. What society morally deems right, or wrong, can simply be a reflection of the law.
Morality do not have standard of right and wrong, it is based on personal conscience. The law can clearly specify whether a person is wrong and punished. The law must be based on morality and only the moral law will make it acceptable to the people. Law can also be used to maintain order and peace in the country. Some ethically unmanageable behaviours must be controlled by law.
Creon and King Henry VIII are thereby acting in accordance with their laws and, although their ... ... middle of paper ... ...as it is primarily their failure as rulers that is highlighted. The incongruity between law and morality is fostered by an individual’s interpretation of the law and its purpose. The conflict in both A Man for All Seasons and Antigone is not a conflict between morality and law, but in the characters’ use of morality and law. Because of this, the decisions that both Creon and King Henry VIII make to sentence Antigone and Thomas More are justified. Each protagonist was making decisions that were in conflict, but were still moral.
Each of the groups ideas of the nature of law contradict each others points. They agree with the law as a system of norms, but they disagree with the relation of law. But before he gets to discussing their points of view, he defines how the natural law theory is understood; which is based on positive law, that was founded by humans for humans; in which humans decide what conduct is right or wrong. They have an universal moral principles that have ethical and legal norms that each human should follow, because it’s a rule. He defines legal positivism, that emphasizes conventional nature of law, that has been socially constructed.
Introduction The jurisprudential question as to whether in a modern constitutional democracy citizens have a duty to obey the law regardless of whether the content of the law is morally just or not has been central to many theorists. Natural law theorists advocate that laws should only be obeyed if they are in line with morality. Conversely, Positivists argue law has the status of law if a recognized ‘Human’ authority makes it in the accepted manner and therefore should be obeyed. Both theories if examined in their simplistic definitions are problematic. However, if one analyses individual theorists there are theorists from both schools who argue credibly.
The American jurist, Lon Fuller, developed a secular natural law approach, which believes that in order for the law to be legally valid, the law must conform to the “internal morality of law”. He rejects Hart’s theory on the strict separation between law and morality. He believes legal system has the specific purpose of “subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules”. In this purposive enterprise, it is necessary to have a connection between “law” and “inner morality”. This is because these fundamental procedures are accepted as something good, as contributing to a good order, hence they are also counted as moral rules.
Immanuel Kant addresses a question often asked in political theory: the relationship between practical political behavior and morality -- how people do behave in politics and how they ought to behave. Observers of political action recognize that political action is often a morally questionable business. Yet many of us, whether involved heavily in political action or not, have a sense that political behavior could and should be better than this. In Appendix 1 of Perpetual Peace, Kant explicates that conflict does not exist between politics and morality, because politics is an application of morality. Objectively, he argues that morality and politics are reconcilable.