Resolved: Morality and Law Have NOTHING To Do With Eachother

As I see it, “Laws” are rules, made up by men, and voted on in legislatures.
Morality describes individual codes of behavior…which are peculiar to one’s religion/worldview.
Hence, an Orthodox Jew would have different ideas about morality, than an athiest.
Laws, being arbitrary rules, are meant to be “gamed”-that is why (in a court of law), it is totally fair to use any subterafuge, to get around a law. For example, a man sues another man for damages to his automobile. However, because he failed in a certain procedure, his case is dismissed. THe “Law” has been upheld (procedure observed), but the guilty party escaped paying damages.
Is this how you see it?

No. Laws, where they touch moral issues may or may not be moral; they can be anything from the result of bribery, to reflecting the present moral consensus of society. Murder and racial discrimination being illegal being an example of the latter. It is not “fair” to do legal but immoral things; slavery and rape are neither moral nor fair even when legal. And gaming the system undercuts it; it does not uphold the law but weakens it; it erodes respect for the law and is generally immoral unless the law itself is immoral.

On the other hand failing to follow procedure isn’t gaming the system. That kind of reasoning is the one that leads people getting angry over accused criminals getting released over “technicalities”; the “technicalities” in question often being things like civil rights.

The purpose of morality is that a) you benefit the rest of humanity, and b) you don’t hinder the rest of humanity.

The purpose of law is that b) you don’t hinder the rest of humanity.

So yes they are related, though they might not be perfectly synonymous.

That’s how I see it. Morality is the system for determining what is right and what is wrong. One portion of morality is the moral demand for a system of laws that defends human rights and raises the human condition. Certainly this portion of morality is not the entire thing, and there are some aspects of morality that are not covered by law. But rather:

So morality supersedes human law, or in other words no amount of changing the human law can change morality. Everybody is obligated to obey the moral law, whether they are bound by human law or not, or even if they are in charge of making human law. To the extent that laws are just, people are morally obligated to obey them. I also don’t think that “gaming” the laws is okay when they’re just. The system only functions as long as people have some respect for the spirit of the law. If everybody tries to twist the system for their own benefit, the system will break.

No. The laws of the land are not just like the rules of football. Many laws are—and arguably all should be—passed with an eye toward what is right, good, and fair, for people as individuals and/or society as a whole.

Well, laws describe individual codes of behavior which are peculiar to the lawmakers’, and their constituents’, worldview.

Procedures typically find their genesis as a response to some prior problem, flaw, or injustice perpetuated in a court. For example, the 6th Amendment’s confrontation clause finds its genesis, in part, in the 1603 trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, in which Raleigh was convicted, at least partly on the basis of evidence which was double hearsay. So developed the concept of the right of confrontation, enshrined in our 6th Amendment, to better ensure or facilitate a just and fair trial and outcome, and assist in increasing the odds and probability of correctly establishing guilt.

The point I am making here is perhaps fairness and a just outcome was achieved when and where a particular procedure was not followed to establish guilt. So, while the guilty party in your example escaped paying damages because the plaintiff failed to follow some procedure, perhaps this is a just and fair outcome. After all, procedures are instituted for the purpose of establishing a fair and just trial, and in doing so assist in increasing the odds and probability of determining someone’s guilt. When the procedure is not followed, then the guilt of the individual can legitimately be questioned.

Of course, these remarks are predicated upon the kind or type of procedure. Under American law, some procedures may not be complied with during a trial and the court, after examining the entire record, all the evidence, and the procedure, determine the failure to follow the procedure constitutes as “harmless error,” and the guilt of the individual can stand.

Everybody knew that Simpson was guilty.
However, because of his access to expensive lawyers, and an incompetent, ignorant jury, and a ineffectual judge, he escaped punishment for the murder of two people.
The “Law” was upheld, over $15 million expended, and a brutal murderer was set free.
So, in this case, can we not say that the Law was not connected in any way with morality?

No, you cannot. The law is pretty clear that you’re not supposed to murder people. Just because someone wasn’t convicted doesn’t mean the law is completely divorced from morality.

No, we can’t say that. In addition to what Odesio said, one of the moral principles that our legal system is based on is that it is more wrong for an innocent person to be convicted and punished than for a guilty person to go free. And so, we have various safeguards in place to try to keep people, even those that “everybody knows” are guilty, from being convicted without proof. For instance, we don’t allow planting false evidence against somebody, even if it’s with the intent of making sure someone we think committed a crime gets convicted of it.

Morality is based on codes of behavior. I am a minority in my views because they are colored by my absolute faith in God. I will not steal a penny, not a penny. Why? Because it goes against my moral code. I got my morality from my upbringing and the church. I have at times rebelled against it to take the easier softer way but I was miserable.

This is why we cannot win in Iraq. We are trying to change the morality of a people that have a total different belief system then us. I would not drop my religious beliefs if our country became Muslim tomorrow. Why do we think it will happen in Iraq? I would die for my faith. If you don’t have any faith or morals you just float along with whatever is popular rather then what is morally “right or wrong”. Throw in money and power and corruption is absolute. An honest person would not pay his way out of murder. He would break down and admit he did it. OJ got what was coming to him. He was a wife beater and a murderer and now a rapist. Still with money, power and prestige he got away with murder.

I see where you are going with the OJ argument and it is very dangerous ground. Once a precedence is set it is very hard to reverse it. So if the government is morally wrong in trying to pass a bill that should be long dead, why are they? It is turning into a game of, “By hook or by crook”. :dubious:

Surprisingly, all I can do here is go “QFT” to the above.

There’s a distinction between individual moral codes and the moral consensus of society. One may hold, as an individual, that premeditated murder, infanticide by negligence, and abortion not threatening the life or health of the mother are all immoral forms of homicide – and yet subscribe to a social standard that concurs that the first two are criminal while agreeing that there is no consensus on the last item and it may be debated between dedent individuals holding both perspectives on it.

You had to throw that in! Now I am really confused. Immoral to some but perfectly legal murder. I need to think about this. Moral, individual and the moral consensus of society. Hmmm…

Obama is bringing the Nuns in to get his bill passed because it would restrict abortion. Still that was his very first bill passed as president. To open abortion to all and take off the restrctions? So his stand on abortion totally changes to sway votes? I’m miffed?