believed strongly in the notion that "it is just to disobey an unjust law
." This attitude differs greatly from his mentor, Socrates
, who believed that citizens had a duty to convince the state of injustices of the law, but ultimately had to obey the law
if attempts to change it failed.
There are also some positive law theorists who believe in the ultimate obedience of the law as it is written. A citizen is permitted stay in a state provided that he/she obeys the laws of the state.
So it is a real tossup. Being a citizen of Canada, I have some form of moral contract with my country to obey her laws. However, what if I was personally involved in a situation which I felt strongly about? Should emotion be allowed in a legal decision?
Although, practically speaking, if I was in a situation in which I felt that I had been treated unjustly I would probably lose my cool and attempt to take the law into my own hands, when thinking with a clear mind, I would realize, theoretically speaking, that by doing so, I would be toying dangerously with the delicate fabric of law. What should be done about the situation is that I should take the matter through legal channels to find a solution that does not involve breaking another law at the same time.
The law has such power because it's citizens respect it. Without this respect for the law and what it serves to protect and accomplish, societies will find themselves in turmoil and disorder. To keep a semblance of order in a society, respect of the law is needed, and therefore I would say that it is not moral to break the law, and that it should not be morally acceptable to break another law in order to avenge the unjustness of another law.