Originally posted by PsychoSnowman
Oh yes, of course morality does not have to do with our legal system, but i think the series of questions you posed certainly borders on morals rather than simply "affecting society."
That's exactly why it's subjective, and hence the reason for needing to look at it in an objective manner.
Outlawing abortion could be interpreted as either helping (by producing more people we have economic growth potentially, etc.) or it could be seen as hindering (population control, not as if that is a big concern at the moment, but i think we should recognize that people genuinely believe that steps should be taken to account for such in the future rather than brush it aside) our population and civilization as a whole.
Well again, those are 'in potentia' arguments. Under what I was describing before, you cannot have those kinds of arguments because they are so subjective. You could say "what if" to anything.
Federal laws against homosexual unions, i am not sure about the dire consequence that these unions would pose on society. Sure, marital benefits being handed out to more people, and potentially it could be wrongfully handed out to conmen, etc. But, i see laws like these that are being pushed for as being done so on the basis of morals. Especially when you hear President Bush's opinions on such things as stem cell research, and cloning. How he reiterates his beliefs and says he believes such things are wrong. I believe human cloning testing is banned in the united states, and is that because of any negative effects it would have on the current society? It depends on how you look at it, but questions like these make me think that certain laws are acted on behalf of morals, even in addition to the valid points you have brought up about legality being used on more of a level of order. I believe a combination of both exists in our system.
Perhaps. Although, this idea is why I think that eventually, cloning and stem cell research will be fully legalized. Though, there are questions of the instability that could be caused by cloning, but I won't get into that.
Clearly Bush will say that kind of stuff because he's trying to appeal to the Christian right. In this past election, Bush voters overwhelmingly said that the main reason they voted for him was because of his "moral values" (since, as we all know, only neocons can have moral values).
Perhaps i am wrong (and i might be), but i was under the impression that the law system outlined what shall not be done, etc., and also specified specifically what sort of punishment could be entailed in such deeds. I did not think that it was done on a court by court basis. In such a way, i think that separating law adn punishment can be done, but they are definately intertwined in that respect. Since punishment like capital punishment exists, and that is bound to our legal system, i find it hard to grasp that these punishments came without a trace of morals within them. Foucault, in his book "Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison" talked of how previously punishment was more of an "eye for an eye" type of deal, but as of recent it has become more of a deterrent for such crimes to not be commited in the future. I am not saying he is entirely correct, or that we should listen to him, but i think he knows a bit of what he talks about. He recognized that the foundations for the laws were based upon such "eye for an eye" types of deals, and that these laws, these same laws with similar punishment, have come under new interpretation where people interpret them as being something to keep order and to serve as more of a deterrent now than before.
Obviously capital punishment is meant as a deterrent, but I do not see how that means that it's on a moral basis.
Coincidence or not, these laws (the more obvious ones, like ones against murder) were founded a long time ago under a very christian society. And, though we do not have to interpret them as such, i think it is fair to look at it either way.
The thing is, if you were to generalize, you cannot say that laws are based on morality when things like adultery, tobacco, and alcohol are legal. Is it moral that some companies make millions of dollars off a highly addictive, lethal substance like tobacco?
If lawyers use morals to advocate morally found laws (according to foucault), and the jury goes in their favor, whether or not the purpose of these laws are really just for "order" seems defeated.
I don't think it's fully defeated, because eventually the morality could be completely stripped from the law. Right now, the "morally founded laws" don't always seem so morally founded, so we have already started to move away from morality in the first place.
If morals act in the way of the law, then morality rules our courts (which was my original statement).
I can concede that morality does rule our courts many times. But I do not know if morality always rules our courts in the general or average case.
It is not so much that morals create every law we have, but rather that it is used to punish and has a legal backing to support itself. Though the solution may be idealistic and utopian, it still is unfortunate in my opinion (the predicament). But, all in all, to each his own of course.
Well, I think I can understand this. But a lot does rest on some claims you make here that I don't necessariliy agree with (ie, morality punishes, rather than the punishment itself being just used as a deterrent; and the idea of it having a "legal backing" to support itself...I don't necessarily think that it does).