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

By Kent Greenawalt

Robust emotion and pursuit of self-interest have repeatedly led humans to wreck the legislation with the assumption that they're doing so with sound ethical purposes. This learn, a complete philosophical and felony research of the grey region during which the principles of legislations and morality conflict, perspectives those indirect situations from views: that of the person that faces a potential clash among the claims of morality and legislations and needs to pick out even if to obey the penal code; and that of the folks who make and uphold legislation and needs to make a decision no matter if to regard a person with an ethical declare to disobey otherwise from usual lawbreakers. In studying the level of the duties owed by way of voters to their govt, Greenawalt concentrates at the attainable life 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 long way felony structures may still visit accommodate people who holiday the legislation for cause of moral sense. Drawing from a variety of examples of conflicts among legislations and morality, Greeawalt illustrates intimately the positions and predicaments of strength lawbreakers and lawmakers alike.

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Extra resources for Conflicts of Law and Morality (Clarendon Law Series)

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On occasion, a deontological standard may yield an answer, but the likely consequences are so unfavorable they rightly give an actor serious pause. Some authors have attempted to establish clear-cut and coherent frameworks for assigning places to deontological standards and consequentialist considerations, suggesting, for example, that consequential calculations can only flesh out the content of deontological standards, fill in gaps left by those standards, or override their application in calamitous circumstances;31 however, no such neat resolution is possible.

1 When similar reasons support a viola- Moral Claims and Moral Appraisal 27 tion of law, I count them as raising a conflict between morality and law. On some occasions people will mistakenly think that they have good moral reasons for disobeying the law or that, on balance, disobedience is morally appropriate. Parts II and III concentrate on correct appraisal of moral claims; however, Part IV, which deals with official responses to moral claims to disobey, effectively regards a conflict as arising whenever those subject to the law believe that one exists.

But we should not move too quickly from judgments about serious crimes to inferences about other parts of the law. Perhaps the supposition that the whole law claims ultimacy in the strong sense is most plausible for secular societies that lack a highly cohesive moral outlook—societies in which the law becomes a kind of secular religion. Even in these societies, however, it is doubtful that most participants in the system hope or expect that the law in all its variety will dictate the actions of those subject to it.

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