Obeying the law

Obeying the law is a general moral obligation. Usually, laws are
written from societal ethical codes; therefore the law can embody morality.
Obeying the law usually implies the greatest good for the greatest number
of people and therefore complies with Mill’s utilitarianism. Especially if
the law reflects general morality or protects people from pain, such as the
admonition against murder, utilitarian theorists would argue that obeying
the law is a general moral obligation. However, there are certain
situations in which morality transcends the law. Utilitarian philosophy,
such as that of John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, can be applied to
situations in which disobeying the law can be actually considered morally
acceptable if the consequence is pleasure for a great number of people.
Obeying the law is a general moral obligation that should reflect the
greatest good for the greatest number; the law can be broken if it results
in pleasure or benefit for a large number of people.
However, the law usually reflects the greatest good for the greatest
number of people. Laws against killing, stealing, or driving drunk should
be dutifully obeyed, according to both teleological and deontological
theories. Obeying the law is an inherently moral act, according to
deontologists like Kant. There is a categorical imperative to obey the law
no matter what the consequences are. Cheating on taxes might enable a
family to enjoy a few hundred more dollars that presumably the US
government would not miss, but cheating on taxes is immoral because it is
illegal. Even utilitarian theorists like John Stuart Mill would argue that
cheating on taxes is immoral regardless of the short-term gains. Cheating
on taxes could ultimately lead to prosecution, which would be a painful
situation. Moreover, taxes are ideally applied to beneficial human services
and cheating on taxes therefore steals money from…

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