Last week, I asked you a question: Can morality be legislated? Steve S, quickly commented on the post with a great perspective.
Often, people don’t take the time to scroll down and read the comments of a post so I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting his response here.
According to Steve S.
The short answer is no, it can’t and shouldn’t be legislated.
While I’ve pretty much always believed that morality couldn’t actually be legislated, I used to believe that laws could be used to, at a minimum, encourage moral behavior, if not outright enforce it. But that was before I understood about liberty, and what it really meant, and didn’t really understand how our nation’s laws are truly supposed to be based on the Constitution.
Since I now better understand that enforcing a law which has made a crime out of an act that does no harm to anyone other than the one committing the act, is itself an immoral act, much more so than the original act. By using the government to enforce morality, we are condoning the use of force against another person(s) to make them do as we see fit, to force them to conform to our beliefs. Sound familiar?
This also creates the problem of moral hazard, which does the opposite of what the laws are expecting. People end up looking to the government to decide what is right and wrong, rather than to their family, cultural norms, or religious beliefs or traditions.
I’ve given a great deal of thought to this questions and I don’t think I could say it any better than Steve S.
(I posted my answer to the question earlier this week.)
What do you think?