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Why Do We Obey the Law? Essay

  • Submitted by: Nthiga
  • on January 25, 2013
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 4,216 words

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Below is an essay on "Why Do We Obey the Law?" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Normally, we ask the question the other way round, trying to understand what it is that causes people to break the law. But it is just as interesting and potentially informative to invert the proposition and consider the reasons individuals have for staying on the straight and narrow.
Some of us obey laws because benefit from them. Protection of life and property, security of peace, welfare, etc;
You don't steal because you don't want to be stolen. You obey laws in expectation of others thinking and doing the same. If this theory is right then it means you only need laws when you possess something.
"So what could be the reason why a person, who has always lived as an outcast and possesses nothing, has to obey the laws knowing he/she would gains a lot by violating them?"
- "Nothing", but threatening with a harsh punishment? So why do we actually obey the laws?
  Well, Naturalists have the notion that there exist objective moral principles which depend on the essential nature of the universe which is discoverable by natural reason. According to them, ordinary human law is only true law in so far as it conforms to these moral principles. Thus, obeying the law is a moral obligation as laws are usually written from some ethical codes and therefore the law embodies morality. Obeying the law usually implies the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Moral obligation may also require that one not obey the law on the basis that it is unjust. Naturalists are of the view that an unjust law is not law. For a law to be valid it must conform to the higher law which is natural law. Justice is dependent on virtue.
According to the following;
  3.1. Cicero
He was one of the proponents of the natural school of thought, based law as originating from God. What makes it natural is that it is discoverable by way of human reason. He explains that law is the direct expression of divine will; therefore...

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