Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Right & Wrong vs. Legal and Illegal

Photo: Continentaleurope

Monday's post underscores a critical divide in thinking among people and societies.  

Do you see a difference between what is moral, what is ethical, what is right, what is legal; and what is immoral, what is unethical, what is wrong, and what is illegal?

Society has in certain instances recognized a higher arbiter of behavior than what is simply legal or illegal.  It is certainly in all cases legal for a citizen to take up arms in the organized defense of his society, and in many if not the majority of cases to refuse to do so is considered illegal.  Then there are conscientious objectors, to refuse to defend one's self and fellow citizens out of fear, or simple inconvenience is almost universally recognized as illegal, to refuse to do so out of a belief in a higher moral code is a recognized exception that does not necessarily need to involve religion.

There are three types of people in this world:

Those that will do what is right, regardless.

Those that do what is right out of fear of punishment or shame.

Those that will do whatever they want, regardless.

There is a saying, and I've seen it attributed to Lao Tzu:

Highly evolved people have their own conscience as pure law.

Law can never encompass the totality of what is right, moral, or ethicalSlavery was once legal, would any of you argue that at that time it was right, moral, or ethical? Law can not be the final arbiter of behavior, machines can run code, conscience is what makes us human.  The law should be the hard limits of human behavior, it cannot be the only limits.

Whether it's Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, or Bernie Sanders... you shouldn't be asking yourselves is what they did legal, you should be asking yourselves is what they did right.  Do you want a leader who always does what is legal? Or do you want a leader who always does what is right?

Justice is blind in more ways than one.

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