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Should the Law Uphold Moral Values?

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It could be argued that the relationship between law and moral values is a very debatable and hot topic. This is because moral rules and legal rights have numerous similarities but are surely not the same.

Firstly, I can tell you that the difference between the law and moral values is that laws are a set of fixed rules that are created by the authority which people must abide by, otherwise a punishment would be given. While Moral values, on the other hand, are the beliefs, values and principles that are agreed to by society or a section of society, which defines what is right and what is wrong. These rules are therefore informally implemented through social or domestic pressure and can be very easy and flexible to change or remove over time, to reflect the change in views and opinions. Whereas the Laws are what is known as codes of conduct which society has chosen should be compulsory such as not murdering people and not stealing peoples private properties which are fixed and cannot be easily changed.

Through the similarities between laws and moral values, we can observe that some laws mirror a large number of society’s moral views, such as that theft, murder and rape are immoral, whereas the introduction of other laws such as the legalisation of same-sex marriages has given more people freedom to be with their same-sex partner without being discriminated against. However, this is regarded by some people as morally wrong which therefore divides society as not everyone supports or agrees with the laws due to their personal beliefs and opinions.

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The study of euthanasia has also raised many questions and debates about whether it should become legalised due to the different opinions about whether it is right or wrong to terminate human life to remove pain and suffering. In addition to this, the topic of stop and search is one that raises many concerns, as it allows the state the right to stop and search whoever they wanted, some people would say that this is a good method of protection, however this has made groups such as blacks and Asians feel targeted as they feel that they are the only people being searched, which further divides society. Should this, therefore, be stopped?

The problem we can see here is that it is very challenging for parliament to enforce laws that mirror the morals and beliefs of each individual in society, especially not in modern society where people have contrasting morals based on their income, social status, ethnicity and religion which is referred to as a pluralist society. This can be seen in 2001, Re A (conjoined twins) case whereby both of the parents were against the separation of their conjoined twins for religious purposes, which will however result in the death of both twins, the court of appeal went against the decision of the parents and stated that it is better to save one of the twins and therefore they had to be separated. This case, therefore, shows that not everyone in society can get what they want as the end decision is always given to the courts.

Finally, we can conclude that although the law tries to uphold moral values in numerous cases, however morals, views and opinions are continuously changing with each generation, therefore it becomes difficult to create laws that please everyone in society.

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Should the Law Uphold Moral Values? (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
“Should the Law Uphold Moral Values?” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022,
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Should the Law Uphold Moral Values? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2022 Dec 4]. Available from:
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