Should We Legislate Morality? Essay

896 Words 4 Pages
If something is immoral should it also be illegal? In America, we should not pass laws where the primary concern is morality; we should only pass laws which have civil values as their primary concern. Civil values in this case are values which either ensures the safety or order of a society, such as, traffic laws or zoning laws. Also involved are more important values such as freedom, democracy, and liberty which have been laid out by our founding fathers.

I have two basic reasons for holding this view. First, we live in a secular society. There is a supposed wall of separation between Church and State, and I think rightly so. Church and State should only be united in a theocracy America is not one of those and could not become
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There should be consideration on whether there is also some other secular or civil reason for the law, then maybe the law is a good idea. Many people feel that moral laws are a black and white matter; if there is anything they regard as immoral that is illegal, then it must be legitimate for them to make anything immoral also illegal. If it is ever wrong for them to make illegal something they think is immoral, then it must always be wrong, even with things like murder. They completely fail to see the nuance that additional secular or civil reasons for a law need to exist

Rather than basing morality on what is legal, it seems more reasonable to try to make the law accord with what is moral. We do not want to have laws that would require us to do something immoral, but it is not clear that we want laws always requiring us to act morally. This is because there may be some areas of life which we regard as private, which are simply none of the government's business. For example, we may regard lying as immoral, but that does not mean that we would want there to be a law to enforce honesty and to punish us for lying. Of course there are many immoral things that we do want punished by law, such as killing, stealing, and raping.

The above states the two extremes; areas

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