General moral question... any and all serious answers welcomed.. (Research for an idea for a spiritual novel)?

What is more important? Morality or the law of the society? What should win when they conflict with one another?

Should there be/is there morality beyond the letter of the law? Why or Why not?

At what point is personal freedom tempered by public duty? Moral Duty?

Are there times when the right thing to do is to break one or more laws?

Please answer all of the questions and state your religion/lack thereof in the sources area so I know which answers are coming from which belief system since religion will play a role in this story


@2.718: That wasn't morality, that was law, pretty much everyone prior to and after the holocaust knew it was horrific and wrong to mass murder 11 million people

11 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    In an immoral society, morality is all we have left.

    Slavery was wrong even if it was legal.

    Rounding up the Jews for extermination was wrong even if it was the Law.

    Rounding up the Japanese for internment was wrong even if it was the Law.


    Christianity does not have authority over the civil authority.

    But God does have authority of Christians.

    Christians reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners. They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws.

    The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel.

    We must obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)

    For more information, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 2240-2242:

    With love in Christ.

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  • Philip
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Morality should win over law. Sometimes law is wrong, it takes morals to adapt the system. There is morality behind law because both deal with doing what is right. If it's morally wrong it probably should be lawfully wrong.

    Usually breaking the law is wrong, even stealing food when you're hungry is wrong, it's still stealing. But if a law is made that is not moral, I think many would break it.

    Public duty sometimes means the sacrifice of some personal freedoms. I have a duty for example not to walk around naked, though this I feel limits my freedom.

    Hope this helped some!

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  • 8 years ago

    There is a universal moral code.

    It is found in almost all cultures, geographical locations and belief systems.

    It is part of our biochemical make-up.

    It is the law of reciprocity forged on our empathy and our basic surival need for social stability and cohesion.

    With the exception of mentally unbalanced people (psychopaths and sociopaths) we all have an intrinsic need to make others happy, feel included, trusted and desire the same treatment.

    We are biochemically rewarded with a rush of oxytocin to our brain when we make a decision that leads to someone else's happiness, health and gratitude for what we have done. When others are happy, it makes us feel happy. When others are sad, disappointed in us, treat us with suspicion, scorn we feel awful because the brain releases stress hormones like cortizol instead of the oxytocin we crave.

    With that foundation, it therefore augers well for us to construct laws that promote the happiness, health, security, unity of our society while at the same time gaining trust, respect, cooperation from other societies.

    Over the years we have refined our laws to better do this and that is a GOOD THING, regardless of whatever religious morality you choose to practice in your personal life.

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  • 4 years ago

    I did not have your experience. I realized 23 years in the past I used to be agnostic at great. Believing in a better energy does no longer make you Christian. Accepting biblical reports as truth and accepting the story of Jesus does. You probably have a worldwide view of the arena and basic understanding of science and history and also you do the mathematics 2/3 of the arena should not Christian, then it is vitally effortless to be agnostic or atheistic. Finally it too becomes comforting. You start to love live and recognize the whole thing a lot extra. You start to feel excellent about yourself due to the fact that you might be moral due to the fact that of your figuring out of the human expertise. You aren't on my own both. Every single individual on the earth is atheistic to the beliefs of others. Spread kindness. Dom

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  • 8 years ago

    laws of the society if they are build upon utilitarian principle (we use law to promote happiness for the most people possible)

    moral is subjective, some people find something bad and other good, happiness isnt subjective (its easy to confuse it with other emotions though)

    I dont believe in moral absolutism like a lot of theists do thats why my answer can seem odd to you

    @christian orthodoxy, about the nazi period, a lot of people thought jews were the cause of their unhappiness, nobody is inherently evil, we have reason to do what we do even if sometimes reasons are twisted from a common point of view, thats why I reiter my point where happiness should be the judge, rather than superstitious morality

    Source(s): agnostic atheist
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  • 8 years ago

    The Bible, which is allegedly the Ultimate Moral Textbook, specifically states that a person who is legally regarded as property may be beaten. And if the beating is so severe that the person lingers in great pain for a feew days, and finally dies from the injuries, NO punishment shall befall the killer.

    There's a good reason why an ethical person would disregard the Bible as a moral textbook.

    Source(s): The Bible: "When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. " (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
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  • ALWAYS morality.

    The law says nothing of being altruistic, and if altruistic behavior isn't moral behavior, I don't know what is.

    When you must bring harm to another living entity or Earth, either physical or emotional.


    Source(s): Solitary Agnostic OmniPantheist
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  • Pazuzu
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Would you like to finish my novel?... I started writing the story of Lucifer's attempt to over throw God and rule his kingdom... I'm at chapter 30 and have over 50 000 words... I am in the process of writing the rebellion itself... but due to medical reasons I am not going to finish it like I so badly want... although I don't portray Lucifer as evil in my book but an angel looking to bring his brothers into a new light. As he understands it, his rebellion is a task god has placed before him, thus the reason he thinks he can win and why so many are standing with him.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    The morality in 30s and early 40s in Germany comes to mind.

    Consider also this: Jesus saves people based on their belief, regardless of character or behavior. So he has something in common also with Josef Stalin perhaps.

    Edit: No, I was referring to the moralistic fervor of the German people, and great esteem for their leader. Their leader who was like an all-powerful judge in the sense that he rewarded belief and punished unbelief, without regard to morality and character -- as in religion the great leader Jesus Christ (in an imaginary way) does.


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  • 8 years ago

    I view morality as the most important of the two.

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