Folks, if I may,
This is a very engaging discussion. I think the OP is a Kantian through and through [although we can argue about that endlessly]. And the other posters, including dashrashi, are more on the consequentalist camp [very Millian in their outlook]. As such, it might seem dashrashi has the better claim to commonsense, since the commonsense nowadays is biased towards a consequentialist order of things. But I think the OP has some worthwhile arguments going for him. Let me summarize what his beliefs are [roughly put]:
1) There are universal laws. We should uphold these laws for the sake of upholding these laws [change 'laws' to 'morals' and you have Kant. Astute readers will perhaps note that 'laws' and 'morals' are not interchangeable; many have even argued that they should not
be interchangeable - cf. legal positivism vs. natural law theories]
2) The biggest universal law is to maintain order, some kind of a harmony, a balance if you will [and this is kinda an extension of Kant, if you stretch his Categorical Imperative too far...a contentious claim, I agree, but we can debate this somewhere else].
3) If one can uphold 2) then one does 1)
4) A prosecutor can do 3)
5) Hence, I want to be a prosecutor.
I disagree with the premises [as many of you do]. However, dashrishi's beliefs aren't that alluring either. The following is a very rough summary of what I am guessing is dashrishi's beliefs [dashrishi's is a very complex view so the summary will be incomplete]:
A) What law is is one thing (i.e. whatever it is doesn't matter as far as its ontology goes; as will be clear below, dashrishi has some ethical theories going on about what law ought to be) but the practice of law quite another. The ground reality is all about putting the horse before the cart and not vice versa - prosecutors (or lawyers in general) are so overworked that all they want is the easiest way out and in that they end up compromising their carts [what I mean is, dashrishi holds that ppl like OP take theory to be apart and independent of the consequences of its breach but in reality theory takes the back burner. Think legal skepticism or even moral realism if you will. But dashrishi's view is more complicated than what, say, O.W. Holmes held]
B) The practice of law ought to be such that it yields the best possible results [i.e. the most amount of happiness overall, in an ideal world]. Unfortunately, because of the ground reality described in 1), we're not getting to the best possible world.
C) Hence, from A and B, we should actually be putting the cart before the horse but
only that the cart should be a humanistic, utilitarian, and a liberal cart (as opposed to carts like that proposed by the OP). In other words, the ground reality ought to be the way I
think it ought to be. And, "hey, OP, your proposal of the best possible ground reality is lousy and mine is much better - it is humanistic, it accounts for the socio-economic disparity, it is inherently more just etc."
I actually fall squarely on dashrishi's camp, even though I have been brutal about describing it. I just wanted to make a point that the argument is all about assumptions, assumptions, assumptions that we have. Some of us may have a greater claim to data analysis and "reality" out there while some of us may have a greater claim to "this is what it ought to be" pulpit views.
This lengthy exegesis just because many of you veered into metaethics and were making all sorts of wild claims about law and morality and, especially, about what morality is. There is always a danger of mixing what law is with what morality is. A lot of you seem to be moral realists and even moral factualists, including both the OP and the people opposing him. And this is where I hesitate to mark the OP off as some naive 19 yr old just weaned on Law & Order and such. I think his views mirror that of a LOT of people out there. That's the ground reality. Most are legal realists out there.
On the other hand, this post is probably making you
and what not. This is what too much philosophy and too much Ramen noodles does to ya, as I mentioned in TLS earlier too. Fuggedaboudid y'all. Good luck on your apps.