Download Conflicts of Law and Morality (Clarendon Law Series) by Kent Greenawalt PDF

By Kent Greenawalt

ISBN-10: 0195058240

ISBN-13: 9780195058246

Robust emotion and pursuit of self-interest have repeatedly led humans to damage the legislations with the assumption that they're doing so with sound ethical purposes. This examine, a finished philosophical and felony research of the grey zone during which the rules of legislation and morality conflict, perspectives those indirect conditions from views: that of the individual that faces a potential clash among the claims of morality and legislations and needs to opt for even if to obey the penal code; and that of the folk who make and uphold legislation and needs to make a decision even if to regard anyone with an ethical declare to disobey another way from traditional lawbreakers. In analyzing the level of the responsibilities owed through electorate to their govt, Greenawalt concentrates at the attainable lifestyles of a unmarried resource of legal responsibility that reaches all electorate and all legislation. He additionally discusses ideas of amelioration of punishment for conscientious lawbreakers, asking how a ways felony platforms may still visit accommodate people who holiday the legislation for cause of moral sense. Drawing from quite a few examples of conflicts among legislations and morality, Greeawalt illustrates intimately the positions and predicaments of strength lawbreakers and lawmakers alike.

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Additional info for Conflicts of Law and Morality (Clarendon Law Series)

Example text

Believers give considerably different weight to reason, inspiration (the religious analog of intuition), revelation in sacred texts, and religious authority, and that weight for many will vary according to context. Believers also differ widely over the degree 36 THE CONFLICTING CLAIMS OF LAW AND MORALITY to which humans are capable of understanding and expressing the purposes of God as they bear on ethical choice. What I have tried to explain is how, despite deep skepticism about people's arriving at correct moral understandings on troubling issues, I believe one can conceive of correct answers to even difficult moral questions.

My rejection of a "seriousness" threshold of morality is fairly important for this study, because whatever may be true about compliance with law in the abstract, compliance with many laws on many occasions is only of trivial significance. Morality, however, does have its limits. In some kinds of choices, people do not think in terms of the interests of others, they are not expected to think in those terms, and it would be undesirable for them to do so. A choice to select vanilla rather than chocolate ice cream may have some differential effects on other persons, but, barring some 28 THE CONFLICTING CLAIMS OF LAW AND MORALITY exceptional circumstances, thinking about the choice in moral terms is simply not profitable.

Yet such standards cannot wholly displace consequentialist considerations. Deontological standards will not dispose of some moral dilemmas, and they themselves will often be framed in a manner—"each person must give due regard to the dignity and interests of every other person"—that requires an assessment of comparative consequences in situations of choice. On occasion, a deontological standard may yield an answer, but the likely consequences are so unfavorable they rightly give an actor serious pause.

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