When is Breaking a Law Morally Justifiable?

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  twinzplus3 6 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
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  • #177423

    QueenAngie

    When is breaking a law
    morally justifiable?

    Laws and a set of rules for all to follow
    or there are consequences
    of a potential ticket, fine, or jail time.

    Is there ever any instance
    where breaking a law of the state or nation
    is considered morally justifiable (ok?)?

    Could you share any episode
    or event
    that you would consider it ok?

    I am not asking for any confessions here
    or admitting that anyone would ever break the laws of government,
    (as I am neither a priest for confessions
    or an officer of the court,)
    just some examples that would make sense to you.

    #930627

    twinzplus3

    Breaking the law is morally justifiable when the law in itself is immoral or ethically wrong and following the law might violate your conscience.

    #930634

    ljb

    Breaking the speed limit if it is a medical emergency comes to mind…..

    #930704

    twinzplus3

    That’s interesting. I wouldn’t consider breaking the law justifiable at that point. (Justifiable as in you shouldn’t have to bear the consequences bc you were right in breaking the law.)

    #930705

    siageah

    That’s funny because I would certainly consider speeding to get to emergency medical treatment to be something that should not be prosecuted.

    I would consider an animal rights activist trespassing to free animals that are being treated cruelly a law that they could break, morally, but would expect them to be prosecuted.

    If I trespassed to protest something and broke the law, I would feel morally justified but would expect to be prosecuted. But speeding in a medical emergency? Nah, I wouldn’t expect to be charged.

    #930706

    twinzplus3

    I would expect to be charged & prosecuted because a) there are other options generally speaking and b) you are potentially putting others at risk for serious injury or death. If my speeding to save someone in my own family resulted in the death or disabling injury of another’s family I would expect to prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law or vice versa. If my own family member was injured or killed bc you were speeding to save your own family member–I would expect and press for your prosecution.

    As far as animal rights activists go. . .I would not consider freeing animals morally acceptable either unless they paid for them. It’s not trespassing but stealing. ;-)

    #930708

    4GiftsfromGod

    to me it isnt morally justifiable to break the law at all.

    #930709

    siageah

    [QUOTE=twinzplus3]As far as animal rights activists go. . .I would not consider freeing animals morally acceptable either unless they paid for them. It’s not trespassing but stealing. ;-) [/QUOTE]

    Ahhh yes, but they would consider the laws allowing the animals to be “tortured” to be morally abhorrent and unethical and therefore breaking those laws would be justifiable, to them.

    Oh yes, and if my speeding resulted to injuring another, then yes, I would expect to be prosecuted. If it didn’t…then no, I would not expect to be prosecuted.

    #930710

    twinzplus3

    [quote=4GiftsfromGod]to me it isnt morally justifiable to break the law at all.[/quote]

    Really? Never? What about smuggling Bibles into China? That is breaking the law but in my mind morally justifiable. What about the underground railroad? Also was illegal at the time but morally justifiable. What about Schindler who bought Jews? Or the many, many people who hid Jews during WWII? Hiding a Jew was also illegal at the time. So because it was illegal it was morally unjustifiable?

    My pastor adopted a little boy who was left for dead by the Chinese government. He had severe amoebic dissentary and the government told the orphanage not to take him bc he’d never survive. But an orphanage worker disobeyed and nursed him back to health and now he is thriving. That was morally unjustifiable? What about Christians meeting in underground churches accross the world who are breaking the law?

    I think to say that breaking the law is NEVER justifiable is way oversimplifying the issue. There are times, and have been times in history, when breaking the law of the land was simply the right thing to do.

    #930711

    twinzplus3

    [quote=siageah]Ahhh yes, but they would consider the laws allowing the animals to be “tortured” to be morally abhorrent and unethical and therefore breaking those laws would be justifiable, to them.[/quote]

    That’s tricky though bc I don’t think one should break the law simply for the sake of activism. I also think that often times ‘activism’ is ineffective. So I guess I mean to say that if they are truly opposed to the unfair treatment of animals, rather than causing personal harm to let’s say a farmer, pull funds together, support legislation, etc. to stop it. KWIM? But you have a point.

    [quote=siageah]Oh yes, and if my speeding resulted to injuring another, then yes, I would expect to be prosecuted. If it didn’t…then no, I would not expect to be prosecuted.[/quote]

    Hmmmm. . .but I think in order for you to be justified in breaking a law there has to be somewhat of an absolute. If it’s justified, then it’s wholly justified. Not just justified if there are no adverse effects to third parties. I’m not sure I’m being clear–It’s kind of early for this!! ;-)

    #930712

    4GiftsfromGod

    Twinz, I want to apologize for that I wasn’t thinking clearly you must forgive me it is early in the morning I had no coffee and Grace kept me up all night. You are right I agree with everything you just said I agree that there are times when braking the law is morally justifiable.

    #930713

    ljb

    [quote=twinzplus3]I would expect to be charged & prosecuted because a) there are other options generally speaking and b) you are potentially putting others at risk for serious injury or death. If my speeding to save someone in my own family resulted in the death or disabling injury of another’s family I would expect to prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law or vice versa. If my own family member was injured or killed bc you were speeding to save your own family member–I would expect and press for your prosecution.
    [/quote]

    I was referring to speeding, just speeding, not vehicular homicide or negligence.

    Anyhooo – Tons of laws are on the books that are just ridiculous.
    Including:
    In Boston it is illegal to take a bath unless one has been ordered by a physician to do so.

    In New York, A fine of $25 can be levied for flirting. This old law specifically prohibits men from turning around on any city street and looking “at a woman in that way.” A second conviction for a crime of this magnitude calls for the violating male to be forced to wear a “pair of horse-blinders” wherever and whenever he goes outside for a stroll.

    The New York City Transit Authority has ruled that women can ride the city subways topless. New York law dictates that if a man can be somewhere without a shirt, a woman gets the same right. The decision came after arrests of women testing the ordinance on the subways. A transit police spokesman said they would comply with the new rule, but “if they were violating any other rules, like sitting on a subway bench topless smoking a cigarette, then we would take action.” Smoking is not allowed in the subways.

    It is Texas law that when two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone.

    Morally justifable to break these laws?…. yep!

    #930714

    twinzplus3

    [quote=4GiftsfromGod]Twinz, I want to apologize for that I wasn’t thinking clearly you must forgive me it is early in the morning I had no coffee and Grace kept me up all night. You are right I agree with everything you just said I agree that there are times when braking the law is morally justifiable.
    [/quote]

    Now see– I knew you would see if from my perspective LOL! I should’ve suspected ‘lack-of-coffee-itis” :bouncing: (Seriously, no apology needed.)

    #930715

    rfink

    When you consider that laws are made by corrupt, immoral politicians then I don’t lose sleep over breaking them. Traffic laws have turned in to nothing more than an excuse for the local governments to pick your pockets. I say use common sense. If I come up to a red light and there’s no traffic then why can’t I proceed? It’s sheer stupidity to make me stay until the light changes. YOU DON’T NEED TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES WHEN THERE IS NO TRAFFIC. God gave us a brain, let’s use it.

    #930717

    twinzplus3

    I need to remind everybody that we cannot copy and paste into the forums from other websites. Please just post the link. ;-)

    I understood you ljb. . .but I still would not consider speeding. . .even in a medical emergency. . .morally justifiable bc of the potential for danger to other persons.

    As far as the dumb laws go. . .those are not really moral issues in my mind. I think the spirit of the laws for which they were intended needs to be considered as well as the history. . .it’s also illegal in NYC to perform a puppet show in your window btw. ;-) Must run. . .my whole crew is up now.

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