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We have asked our writer to create a law essay sample that discusses the topic of whether morality is the main purpose of law. As you may know, human relations are partly regulated by the norms of morality, and partly by law. Because of this, the following question must be asked: is there a mutual influence of the moral standards and the provisions of law? In this sample you can see the personal approach to this question, and if you agree with it, you can take it as a basis for your own essay. But that doesn’t mean that you can thoughtlessly copy this text to your own essay. If you don’t want to be accused of plagiarism, use our samples for inspiration and ideas.
Is It the Main Purpose of Law to Promote Morality?
In the everyday mind, law and morality are categories brought close together both by intuitions and experiences. The sense of morality and the body of law both lead toward a common goal, measured in behavior, assessed with immediacy. But does this common goal lead to the conclusion that the legal system, as it has evolved to a persisting entity in the life of men, has as its goal the sense of morality?
Inasmuch as the legal system has a tradition of admitting the existence of a natural law, it has common roots with morality. Natural law is seen as the basis of morality, and to a degree later codified into a legal system (Boyd, 9). From that early source of the legal system, we may conclude that law is from the start an aide to morality.
But that would lead us to presume a connection between law as a modifier of external behavior and the emergence of internal motivation which is the basis of moral behavior. We can conceive of situations where internal motivation may appear independent of the law, and at the same time when a codified behavior circumscribed by punishments and limitations fails to achieve internal motivation, though it successfully regulates behavior. We may ask how could the legal system have claims to promoting morality, when the mechanisms by which this could happen are contingent on factors that cannot be measured.
Indeed, the legal system has much more immediate measurements by which its influence is decided. Relying on mechanisms that center on the emergence of moral behavior based on the practice of law, as a central priority, could cripple the achievement of the immediate results demanded.
Hence, the legal system works toward achieving a state of the world that resembles a state of perfect internal motivation, and compensates for the deficiencies of morality in achieving stability and justice. The increase of morality thus can emerge as a side effect, but can never be the central aim of a legal system.
The legal system, thus serves as one of the pillars that prop up the model of moral behavior, in addition to traditions, social cues and sometimes religion. Whether it is the strongest or central pillar is a matter of regional or historical variation.
An instance of Islamic morality codified in Sharia law meeting a secular court illustrates the clash of a legal system with a case of regional morality, needing conflict resolution more than any other form of coexistence of the two behavioral modifiers.(Hidayat,1).
The legal system cannot perfectly map the intricacies of moral behavior, which is a discernment of what is considered right or wrong. Building on the argument that morality is relative, the legal system may work against what is considered social behavior and what men have internalized in mapping right and wrong decisions. For example, the legal system may promote a form of marriage which would be opposite to traditional morality and socialized behavioral norms.
In conclusion, the legal system seems a mechanism for behavioral regulation that is too different from morality. It cannot directly affect moral behavior, instead adding to an interplay of mechanisms for the choice toward positive, socialized behaviors, creativity instead of destructiveness and motivations that coincide with the task of law to promote order, predictability and justice.
Boyd, Craig A. A Shared Morality: A Narrative Defense of Natural Law Ethics. Brazos press 2007.
Hidayat Buang, Ahmat. “Islamic Contracts in a Secular Court Setting? Lessons From Malaysia”. Arab Law Quarterly, 21:4, 2007.