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Author Topic: Hey guys read this and tell me what you think.  (Read 819 times)

john6675

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Hey guys read this and tell me what you think.
« on: September 21, 2004, 05:06:14 PM »
I read this article and found it interesting.  If you agree with it let me know... if you don't tell me why.  It deals with the legal/moral split in America.


http://www.townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/printdp20040921.shtml

jayhawk

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Re: Hey guys read this and tell me what you think.
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2004, 07:21:10 PM »
That's an interesting perspective.  However, I'm not sure if the examples given necessarily prove the point.  I mean, in that specific instance the left used the law to rationalize their opinion, and the right used morals.  It could have just been that in that instance the moral issue happened to sound good as a justification for something the right already wanted to do, and vice versa for the left.  I would need to see more examples before I would take this as fact, although it is an interesting idea to consider.

john6675

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Re: Hey guys read this and tell me what you think.
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2004, 11:12:17 PM »
I guess the question then becomes can anyone find a time where the left used morality to supercede the law (or vice versa on the right?)  Anybody have any ideas?

gobears

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Re: Hey guys read this and tell me what you think.
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2004, 05:11:05 AM »
I think the writer is painting both sides with quite a broad brush, but I can see what he's getting at.  Ultimately, pretty much every society has to have at least one, I guess, "authority" or "source" from where it derives notions such as right or wrong, how to treat other humans, etc.  And so it seems to me that the guy's point is that the modern-day "Left" tends to derive these notions from societal consenus whereas the modern-day "Right" tends to derive these notions from religion, specifically, the Judeo-Christian religious tradition; hence, the law vs. morality split.  Again, it's a huge generalization, in my opinion, and I don't know that I necessarily agree with the distinction, but it's perhaps worthwhile as a starting point for further discussion.

GentleTim

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Re: Hey guys read this and tell me what you think.
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2004, 09:50:01 AM »
I think it makes a pretty good point.  I do think that "The Right" tend to think more in terms of morality and "The Left" more in terms of legality.  I don't agree with the author, who seems to think that the moral way is the better way.

Laws are what allow a variety of moral systems to exist in the same society.  But I don't think that heeding laws without having an underlying moral compass is much good either.

The ZAPINATOR

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Re: Hey guys read this and tell me what you think.
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2004, 09:54:00 AM »
Without reading the article, a few quick observations:

The Civil Rights movement was primarily a moral crusade.  People fought for what they thought was right.  Of course, the equality that was written into the Constitution after the Civil War wasn't being respected or put into practice, so it also had a legal basis.

Abortion as an issue is a moral one for many people.  But it also has a philosophical underlying principle: is it right for the Federal Government to yank away the rights of states to make their own laws concerning abortion?  Does the right to privacy, as found in the Constitution, supercede the right of communities to make laws in line with their own moral principles?  That's the issue at stake in Roe V. Wade... I personally think states/local levels should be able to outlaw/allow abortion as they see fit, in accordance with their values.  Like dry counties, or legalized prostitution and gambling in Nevada... simply not a federal issue, but an issue where people of a given area should be allowed to let their morality dictate their laws.

A friend of mine made an interesting point last night.  He said that laws should not be based upon an appeal to morality, but only to pragmatism, on a national level.  While he felt that communities should be able to make their own laws based on morality at a local level, at a national level there should not be laws based on morality since it is impossible to engage a national consensus on moral issues.  He has a point on one hand... but on the other hand, I think it's a pragmatic fact that people DO make arguments from morality on a national level, so that's probably not going to change anytime soon.

But I like his idea... on a local level, let communities dictate their own laws based upon their own morality.  But on a national level, make only laws that are pragmatically necessary, and that are not based upon an appeal to morality.

ZAP