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What Moral Obligation Do The Laws Of One 's Own Country?

Decent Essays
What moral obligation do I have to obey the law? Aside from wanting to avoid punishment for breaking the law, is there a reason why I should follow laws that are put in place? Agreement, gratitude, and fair play are the three main arguments that can be used for obeying the laws of one 's own country. Though it’s more difficult to apply these certain arguments in relation to a foreigner just visiting a new country, they’re still relevant. Just because they are applicable, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t also arguments that can make them invalid.
The understanding that a citizen owes a debt to the government for providing them with benefits is the main argument of gratitude. Gratitude is easier to argue when it comes to your own country because of the idea that as a citizen you feel obligated to the government for providing you with opportunities to have a good life. I feel indebted to my government; therefore, I’ll obey the laws. Socrates, for instance, relies on the argument of gratitude as one of his reasoning’s why he won’t disobey the law even if he was wrongly accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He states, “Did we not give you life in the first place? Was it not through us that your father and married your mother and begot you? Tell us, have you any complaint against… laws which deal with children’s upbringing and education such as you yourself had? Are you grateful to those of laws which were institutes or his end requiring your father to give you a cultural and
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