This is something I brought up before, but I wasn't exactly satisfied
with the responses.
Here's the idea: there is some law that you feel is immoral. Is it moral for you to break that law?
And if you say yes, a followup: there is some action you feel is very immoral, but which current law allows. Is it morally acceptable to use force to try to prevent this action from occuring?
Examples of laws for the first question:
- laws against homosexuality(action here would be engaging in homosexual sex
- laws against drug use(action here would be using/selling drugs)
- laws against prostitution(action here would be being or paying for the services of a prostitute)
Examples of laws for the second question:
- laws permitting abortion(action here might be shooting an abortion doctor)
- laws permitting slavery(action here might be freeing slaves(stealing the master's property) or killing the slaveowner)
- some other kind of vigilante action, taking the law into your own hands IOW
My opinion: in your own eyes, or in the eyes of a third party who holds the same views as you, any of the above examples would be moral(assuming you thought the law was wrong). To others, it wouldn't, but that's not really the point. Anyone want to explain/disagree with this somewhat disturbing conclusion?
OK, mmoin, so here's the question: you live in the north in the antebellum US. An escaped slave comes to your door asking for some food. Do you obey the law and capture him and send him back to his master?
I realize there are some huge practical problems with what I'm saying, but there are with what you're saying too. If we knew the government was always right, or that the individuals in a society were, this would an easier decision to make.