Since the recent Supreme Court rulings, a couple of questions have been swirling in my head: How does legality and morality intersect? What legal makes it right? For instance, just because it’s legal to carry a concealed handgun, should I carry one?
Certainly, the legal system does not dictate how we live our life. That is the function of culture, religion, school, or other domains. The law does spell out the lowest common denominators codified the boundary condition of our interactions. Speed limit, traffic lights, and noise ordnance are examples that come to mind.
Moreover, the legal system evolves from case interpretation. The Supreme Court rulings demonstrated this point exactly. This is how the system works, evolutionary to clarify the prevailing standard and value common in the society.
So what happen when morality clashes with legality?
When the law is unpopular (think tax), discriminatory (against minority), or outdated (daylight saving time), we have an obligation to redress it. This will take time and efforts. But doable. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a textbook example of how the segregation laws was overturned.
Would you break the speed limit in a medical emergency?