If you break the law when no-one see's you, do you break the law?

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  3. » If you break the law when no-one see's you, do you break the law?

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ArthBH
 
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 06:21 am
Ok so I don't want anyone to take this to seriously, I am not making any moral judgement about law, it's simply something for people to ponder over.

I was thinking last night, if I drove at 80 mph, or ran over a railway track, and no one saw me, no-one ever knew I did it, would I actually be breaking a law? If you ignore the law and no one see's you, then there is no consequences, and law is all about consequences. Law is created so that there is a consequences for certain actions, and if there is no consequences, how could it be breaking a law? Consequence is law isn't it? Or is it? If a tree falls in the woods, and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If I break a law and there is no-one there to record it, have I really broken it?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 06:56 am
@ArthBH,
I think you do break the law, you just got away with it, the law exists same as the tree falling and making a sound, just because noone is there to witness it doesn't mean it ceases to exist because it actually happens witness or no witness.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 07:03 am
@ArthBH,
ArthBH;119327 wrote:
Ok so I don't want anyone to take this to seriously, I am not making any moral judgement about law, it's simply something for people to ponder over.

I was thinking last night, if I drove at 80 mph, or ran over a railway track, and no one saw me, no-one ever knew I did it, would I actually be breaking a law? If you ignore the law and no one see's you, then there is no consequences, and law is all about consequences. Law is created so that there is a consequences for certain actions, and if there is no consequences, how could it be breaking a law? Consequence is law isn't it? Or is it? If a tree falls in the woods, and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If I break a law and there is no-one there to record it, have I really broken it?


Yes. Your broke the law. And you were not caught. Why should whether you broke the law depend on whether you were caught? Suppose you stole money from me, and I did not notice, and nothing happened to you. Did you steal money from me? What do you think?
 
Karpowich
 
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 05:41 am
@ArthBH,
ArthBH;119327 wrote:
Consequence is law isn't it? Or is it?


Laws are set in place to help people avoid negative consequences in society, the two words are not interchangeable. Laws are also setup to help preserve the morality of man, to create order, stability, in society. If you break the law just because you know you can get away with it still destroys the essence of what laws were established for. Doing something that is wrong is wrong regardless of who's around to experience it.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 11:56 am
@ArthBH,
ArthBH;119327 wrote:
Ok so I don't want anyone to take this to seriously, I am not making any moral judgement about law, it's simply something for people to ponder over.

I was thinking last night, if I drove at 80 mph, or ran over a railway track, and no one saw me, no-one ever knew I did it, would I actually be breaking a law? If you ignore the law and no one see's you, then there is no consequences, and law is all about consequences. Law is created so that there is a consequences for certain actions, and if there is no consequences, how could it be breaking a law? Consequence is law isn't it? Or is it? If a tree falls in the woods, and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If I break a law and there is no-one there to record it, have I really broken it?
If I spray your eyes with pepperspray, thus blinding you ..and kick your ass. You don't know who it was, would I be a criminal ..since you would recover over time?
 
LittleMathYou
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 05:59 pm
@ArthBH,
ArthBH;119327 wrote:
Ok so I don't want anyone to take this to seriously, I am not making any moral judgement about law, it's simply something for people to ponder over.

I was thinking last night, if I drove at 80 mph, or ran over a railway track, and no one saw me, no-one ever knew I did it, would I actually be breaking a law? If you ignore the law and no one see's you, then there is no consequences, and law is all about consequences. Law is created so that there is a consequences for certain actions, and if there is no consequences, how could it be breaking a law? Consequence is law isn't it? Or is it? If a tree falls in the woods, and no-one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If I break a law and there is no-one there to record it, h
ave I really broken it?


Law isn't actually about consequences. Law is created to ensure a happy society. It is illegal to kill your neighbor, because we could not have equal opportunity and freedom if you were to be killed. Its a law to prevent unequal opportunities, not just to throw you in jail.
 
TheSubrbnCowboy
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 09:27 pm
@Karpowich,
Karpowich;119606 wrote:
Laws are set in place to help people avoid negative consequences in society, the two words are not interchangeable. Laws are also setup to help preserve the morality of man, to create order, stability, in society. If you break the law just because you know you can get away with it still destroys the essence of what laws were established for. Doing something that is wrong is wrong regardless of who's around to experience it.


Karpowich, I believe that what you're referring to is a matter of ethics, and not of law. One could endlessly debate whether or not it's ethical to drive over the speed limit, but that has nothing to do with its legality. And while your ethical view happens to coincide with the law, that doesn't make it "absolutely" unethical.

The way I see it, yes, speeding but not getting caught would still be breaking the law, if only because laws establish specific criteria as to what is "right" and what is "wrong." On the other hand, ethics are more subjective, so even though speeding when no one else is around might be illegeal, it's not necessarily unethical.
 
 

 
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