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Old 01-07-2013, 09:58 PM #1
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What should be the function of law?

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Originally Posted by Iamamartianchurch View Post
It is not the function of the law to regulate promote or encourage responsible behavior.
This is a continuation of a side argument in another thread that I thought deserved its own. Pick a side and begin. I will probably post my thoughts when I get more time.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:37 PM #2
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This will be a good discussion thread. I too will post later.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:52 PM #3
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The function of the law is to ensure society doesn't collapse on itself. It is there so people take responsibility for their actions to society. The law doesn't necessarily tell you what is wrong or right. It establishes a guideline and then your peers (Juries) decide if you acted within societal bounds. So while the law can not teach you to be responsible, it definitely makes you answer to society when you are not responsible.

I guess in essence it promotes behavior that (theoretically at least) keeps society going in a relatively calm manner so we don't fall into anarchy.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:10 PM #4
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Quote:
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The law doesn't necessarily tell you what is wrong or right.
For instance, murder is wrong and unacceptable, however killing someone is not.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:54 PM #5
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It is the function of the law to regulate irresponsible behavior.
they encourage/promote you to behave responsibly by sitting on the side of the road and giving you tickets or taking you to jail for breaking the law/behaving irresponsibly.

i chose both sides
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:09 AM #6
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To clear some confusion, this stemmed from:

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Originally Posted by sagestylerpb View Post
I just think that everyone should have to take Hunter's Safety, and need a license to own a weapon. Just make it a little harder to get one.
Without discussing the merits of this individual act, I would like us to address whether it is outside of the scope of law and governance to promote responsible behavior. Or is the scope of law simply to reprimand negative behavior (that which harms others)?

(In all reality, this thread cannot go far without martian first explaining why he believes as such.)
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:54 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post

Without discussing the merits of this individual act, I would like us to address whether it is outside of the scope of law and governance to promote responsible behavior. Or is the scope of law simply to reprimand negative behavior (that which harms others)?

(In all reality, this thread cannot go far without martian first explaining why he believes as such.)
How would "the law" promote responsible behavior other than by discouraging the opposite by reprimand?
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:05 AM #8
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Originally Posted by Bloodeagle View Post
How would "the law" promote responsible behavior other than by discouraging the opposite by reprimand?
You are missing the difference between responsible behavior and not negative behavior. Martian (I believe) is asserting that the law's duty is to prevent people from doing bad (shooting people) but not to promote that people do good (take a hunter safety class). My counter example would be that law does both prevent people from doing bad (stealing) while also promoting that people do good (living drug free). Another instance would the law preventing hitting someone with your car (negative behavior) while also promoting positive behavior (wearing a seat belt).
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:15 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripdisc View Post
It is the function of the law to regulate irresponsible behavior.
they encourage/promote you to behave responsibly by sitting on the side of the road and giving you tickets or taking you to jail for breaking the law/behaving irresponsibly.

i chose both sides
and who is anyone to tell all of society what is considered to be irresponsible? it could be said that some would agree where others would disagree on most actions committed throughout one's life in the world. For example, it is against the law to revolt against a government, but have we not seen in history that not only is this sometimes acceptable, but sometimes necessary? It is against the law to kill and murder, but what if the person committing the killing is a citizen with a gun shooting a person who walks in to a mall with a shotgun?
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:52 AM #10
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Quote:
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and who is anyone to tell all of society what is considered to be irresponsible? it could be said that some would agree where others would disagree on most actions committed throughout one's life in the world. For example, it is against the law to revolt against a government, but have we not seen in history that not only is this sometimes acceptable, but sometimes necessary? It is against the law to kill and murder, but what if the person committing the killing is a citizen with a gun shooting a person who walks in to a mall with a shotgun?
It's generally accepted throughout public as a social contract that everyone will conform to a set of rules and guidelines in order to fall under some security.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:18 AM #11
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To try to engender stability in a society so that one person can anticipate the behavior of others. Laws allow for long term planning.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:32 AM #12
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Social contract, lol. That is rich. Side track, sorry.


The purpose of penalties for breaking law is to deter "negative" behaviors. So what does that say about law itself?
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:15 AM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
You are missing the difference between responsible behavior and not negative behavior. Martian (I believe) is asserting that the law's duty is to prevent people from doing bad (shooting people) but not to promote that people do good (take a hunter safety class). My counter example would be that law does both prevent people from doing bad (stealing) while also promoting that people do good (living drug free). Another instance would the law preventing hitting someone with your car (negative behavior) while also promoting positive behavior (wearing a seat belt).
My question concerned the mechanism for promoting positive behavior other than by punishing the opposite or failure to take positive behavior. For instance, taking a hunter safety class can be viewed as positive behavior. The opposite is not taking that course, making that negative behavior. How would the law promote the positive behavior other than by punishing the negative?
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:22 AM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
You are missing the difference between responsible behavior and not negative behavior. Martian (I believe) is asserting that the law's duty is to prevent people from doing bad (shooting people) but not to promote that people do good (take a hunter safety class). My counter example would be that law does both prevent people from doing bad (stealing) while also promoting that people do good (living drug free). Another instance would the law preventing hitting someone with your car (negative behavior) while also promoting positive behavior (wearing a seat belt).
I do not believe it is the duty of the law to prevent negative behavior. Judiciary law exists to exact justice for wrongs committed. The death penalty for example does not exist as a deterrent, but as that exaction of justice. It of course also serves the practical function of removing problem individuals from society.

It has always been the role of the cultural/spiritual/moral institutions to promote good behavior and discourage negative behavior. These institutions establish a state of being which is to be striven for.

Law is ill equipped to regulate what an individual ought to do. Especially in free societies where law can do little more than exact justice and ensure individuals do not step on each others toes.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:53 AM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodeagle View Post
My question concerned the mechanism for promoting positive behavior other than by punishing the opposite or failure to take positive behavior. For instance, taking a hunter safety class can be viewed as positive behavior. The opposite is not taking that course, making that negative behavior. How would the law promote the positive behavior other than by punishing the negative?
Not taking the hunter's class would not harm anyone. By these terms, it would be a neutral behavior. Remember, we defined negative behavior as that which harms others in the OP. Taking a hunter's class is positive, responsible behavior. Not taking it is simply neutral. Should law be used to promote this?
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:16 PM #16
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promoting that people do good needs to be done everywhere. it probably has to start at home though. taking hunters safety doesnt do squat if the person has no morals. sure they know how to safely handle a firearm, but if they have no value for morality they could just use that knowledge negatively.

I guess law enforcement can promote good behavior some ways. say you get pulled over and tell the truth why and they let you off with a warning.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:50 PM #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamamartianchurch View Post
I do not believe it is the duty of the law to prevent negative behavior. Judiciary law exists to exact justice for wrongs committed. The death penalty for example does not exist as a deterrent, but as that exaction of justice. It of course also serves the practical function of removing problem individuals from society.

It has always been the role of the cultural/spiritual/moral institutions to promote good behavior and discourage negative behavior. These institutions establish a state of being which is to be striven for.

Law is ill equipped to regulate what an individual ought to do. Especially in free societies where law can do little more than exact justice and ensure individuals do not step on each others toes.
Yes, you have said these things "the function of law is justice", "the role of institutions is to promote good behavior", but you have yet to answer WHY with the exception of the last paragraph which is hardly an explanation.

Why should law function out of justice while institutions function out of promoting good behavior? Because of efficiency? Is this a moral issue (in the sense that libertarian is a moral issue "government should ... because they should".) We cannot get very far until we break this into either a normative or positive argument. Ultimately, is this about what is right or what is effective?
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:13 PM #18
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Do you guys believe morality is subjective/relative or universal?

I firmly sit on the side of relative.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:29 PM #19
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completely subjective, but I don't know that it should be...
Treat other people the way you want to be treated is what I was taught.
I am kind of an eye for an eye kind of person as far as the law goes. let the punishment fit the crime.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:39 PM #20
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Do you guys believe morality is subjective/relative or universal?

I firmly sit on the side of relative.
What's the basis? I've always liked Machiavellian ways but they aren't absolute ways to look at/deal with things, especially when it comes to morals and ethics.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:44 PM #21
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Yes, you have said these things "the function of law is justice", "the role of institutions is to promote good behavior", but you have yet to answer WHY with the exception of the last paragraph which is hardly an explanation.

Why should law function out of justice while institutions function out of promoting good behavior? Because of efficiency? Is this a moral issue (in the sense that libertarian is a moral issue "government should ... because they should".) We cannot get very far until we break this into either a normative or positive argument. Ultimately, is this about what is right or what is effective?
We know for a fact that peer influence is far more effective than law in affecting individual behavior. It should be a logical conclusion then that our society would take to this model.
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