Friday, November 18, 2016

[Micropost]: "Obey the law, even if you don't agree with it," you say?

So as I take a brief break teaching myself Japanese and my brain melting as a result, I couldn't help but stumble on a news article on The Guardian about a woman who's being charged for having sex outside of marriage in the United Arab Emirates because she was raped; and having sex outside of marriage (regardless of the circumstances) is a crime there.

And incidently, is the second time I've read one of these articles - the first being from a few years back involving a Norwegian woman. [source]


But it got me to thinking about how people who're against civil disobedience and spout half-baked retorts such as "Obey the law, even if you don't agree with it." or "People can't just pick and choose what laws they want to obey!"

Laws fall into two categories:
  1. Malum Prohibitum - it's only illegal because the law says it is - e.g. jaywalking
  2. Malum in se  - illegal because the act is wrong in itself - e.g. assault, murder, rape

I quite happily disobey a victimless, Malum Prohibitum law (as I once before mentioned here), but quite happily obey the law for things such as murder* and rape because they're utterly reprehensible acts against another person.

People disobeying unjust and/or victimless laws isn't going to cause the downfall of humanity.

I don't agree with is what's happening to the woman here; or what happened to the Norwegian woman - who was thankfully pardoned in the end. The only people who should be dealt with are the people who commited the heinous act of rape...


So the question is this:

If people should obey the law, even if they don't agree with it, does this mean that what is happening to this woman is totally justifiable because after all, she broke the law, right?


What're your thoughts?


*I do wish to point out that I would kill another person to defend my own life; for example, if they were trying to murder me.

1 comment:

  1. Another example from a few years back which I read the other day:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/12/03/after-90-year-old-is-arrested-florida-judge-halts-law-that-restricts-feeding-the-homeless/?utm_term=.61b9b1e5e3e8

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