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Laws and Morals

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Introduction

Laws and Morals Laws are the body of rules which are recognised as binding among the people of a community or state, so that they will be imposed upon and enforced among those persons by appropriate sanctions. Morals on the other hand are beliefs and values which are shared by a society, or a section of society; they tell those who share them what is right and what is wrong. According to Hart, moral rules can be distinguished from legal rules and other social rules in several ways. Disagreement to the content of legal rules can be resolved by reference to statues or by the opinions of the judges, and even if those who disagree with a particular rule generally accept this as a perfect way of determining what the rule is. There may also be considerable disagreement to the content of moral rules, and there is generally no accepted way of resolving such disputes. ...read more.

Middle

He felt that private individuals should not be told what to do behind closed doors, as long as no one came to harm. The flaw in this argument was - then how could it be decided whether harm or no harm occurred. Lord Devlin believed that moral behaviour could be improved by using the power of laws. He felt that moral behaviour that was disproved by the majority of the public should be made illegal, even where it was not harming society as a whole. A problem with this approach was defining the extent of society's moral values. Devlin's theory was point was influenced in a number of judicial decisions such as Shaw v DPP (1962) where The House of Lords rules that published advertising of prostitute services was a conspiracy to corrupt public morals. There were lots of other perspectives on Laws and Morals, mainly by Natural Law Theories and Positivists Theories. In the fourth century BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle argued that the law must coincide with natural law. ...read more.

Conclusion

John Austin also rejected the principle of natural law but felt that the validity of law is dependant upon it not being in conflict with a "higher law". Austin felt that a law may be valid irrespective of its moral content. He defined law as a command from sovereign, which the bulk of society habitually obeys. This became known as Bentham's "command theory" Law and Morals are extremely hard to balance out, not only because there is such a wide range of views on issues, but they are also passionately held, meaning they will sometimes coincide in the meaning that a person who has broken a Law sometimes believes that he was doing what was morally correct to protect society. And In conclusion I feel that Laws and Morals will always be up for debate and different feelings will a lot of times clash with the rules held by our society. This is why there is a small chance of achieving a compromised decision for both. ?? ?? ?? ?? Micheal Bishop ...read more.

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