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Does legality alone dictate your actions?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by baba, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. Another thread got me thinking....

    How much effect does the legality of an action effect your decision to act. I'm talking about highly debatable issues, an obvious one being illegal drug use. Specifically, I'm curious whether the fact that an action is illegal, and that fact ALONE, will stop you from doing the act.
  2. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Using that example, if smoking pot were legal,,, I'd smoke... just like a good part of our population has a couple of drinks in the evening.
  3. So are you saying you would only smoke it if it were legal? I'm more curious how many people are out there who strictly adhere to the law, whether it makes sense or not, solely because it's the law.
  4. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Yes, I did say that. Presently it is not, & I have 4 teenagers to raise. I must be more responsible than that.
  5. As you get older and begin to accumulate more than you can stand to lose, you stop being quite so reckless and yes, the legality of a particular situation or action does become a larger and larger part of the equation.

    Part of me misses the days when I could hang out under the bleachers with a few friends and a spliff of the chiba chiba, but when I think of what I've gained-- a good house, a very good wife/partner/friend, et al.-- I think I made the right call losing the other stuff.
  6. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    I think it is a mix of what is the law and what a person feels morally obligated to do or not do. For example, I do not steal, molest children, rape women, or use drugs because it is not in my nature and goes against my morals. This would be the case even if by some freak of societal development these things somehow became legal. On the other hand there are things I don't do simply because it's the law. I would love to drive my car at 145 miles an hour on the interstate just like I do on a road course, I don't however, even at 3AM in the morning when the road is deserted...simply because it's the law and I'd end up in jail....assuming the police could ever catch up with me. :D
  7. vbass


    May 7, 2004
    Bay Area, CA
    Yeah, I know a lot of people that don't smoke simply because it is illegal. In that particular instance however, law doesn't matter to me and I smoke anyway. I also download movies, music and other copyrighted material even though it is against the law. I'm such a bad girl.

    Conversely, there are things that I do not do simply because they are illegal. For example.... not getting into a violent confrontation because I'm afraid of the legal ramifications even though someone definitely would deserve something of a beating. And has been stated above, a lot of my decisions are based more on a moral standpoint than what the law dictates.
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I sometimes drink underage, smoke weed, engage in oral sex (was illegal in FL till recently).

    Most of it is based on my personal morals, but since a lot of laws line up with those morals its usually not an issue.

    Speeding on an open highway is something I do sometimes, but only within limits and more often than not I dont because of the law.
  9. I obey the law for the most part because in most cases laws exist for good reasons. Also, fear of punishment for breaking laws is a good reason to obey them. But in some cases breaking the law is the norm. If by breaking the law I don't think I will be punished or totally acting as a deviant, or hurting myself or someone else, I don't care. So I do illegal stff when it doesn't affect anyone else negatively, as that would just be rude. So I might go ten over the limit on a highway where I know it's expected., But if it's 4 am and I'm on that same highway, I still probably won't go over the limit to some ridiculous extent.

    for the most part I don't care what the law says one bit. Traffic laws are really significant in my mind, though. I'll do drugs (particularly free ones) but for the most part I'm glad they're illegal, in fact I wish alll those frickin' "cool" people would quit doin' em., cuz I don't trust the driving abilities of people other than myself even when they're sober.
  10. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Do laws affect what I do?


    (Unless you're talking about laws of society or something.)
  11. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    The law does guide my actions....

    But there are a lot of legal things that I would not do. I hold myself to a higher standard... love of fellow man and the God that created them.

    Before the flamethrowers start - I definitely fail to live up to that standard, but continue to strive toward it for love of the Master.
  12. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    Hmmm, no - I hate the fact that pot gets lumped in with other drugs. I treat cannabis as a plant (which it is) - so I don't consider it "taking drugs". It is fact that many ancient cultures used cannabis religiously (as a sacrament). I mean, how can you make a plant illegal? It's just crazy. Damn you DuPont! Alcohol on the other hand is actually dangerous. Do any doctors prescribe alcohol to old or sick patients? I think not. Let's take driving for example: drunk driver - deadly, stoned driver - cautious. Do the math...
  13. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
  14. :rolleyes: god damn i hate stoners who claim that they drive better when high. i'm sure they THINK they do, but the reality is that your delayed reactions can be deadly to yourself and others no matter how cautious you're trying to be. by the way, many ancient cultures sacrificed humans as a sacrament, should that be legal too? i'm actually for marijuana legalization but your arguments are terrible.

    to answer the question: yes, the law does guide many of my actions as far as substances and speeding (not simultaneously), for instance. as far as things like rape or molestation go, no. but that's not a moral thing, it's just not something i have an urge to do. so does that make me a good person? if i DID have the urge to molest children but held back just because of the law, would that make me a good person?
  15. vbass


    May 7, 2004
    Bay Area, CA
    Agreed. You do NOT drive better stoned, nor are you anywhere near "normal" on your reflexes or your ability to judge your reflexes. It's not wise to drive under any influence, whether it be cough syrup or cocaine.
    However, I agree that pot gets a real bum rap and should have been legal WELL before alcohol.
  16. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
  17. Great thread. Its not the Laws per se that I abide by, mostly the consequences that come from them. For example, if it suddenly became illegal to blow your nose, I wouldn't stop simply because I was told to. There are times when you really need to clear your sinuses. However, if a cop were to walk past when I had a cold, I would wait until he/she was out of audible range. Essentially, while I stick within legality on the majority of issues, when I believe that the Law is stupid, I'm confident that I won't be caught breaking it and there is a good (although 'good' is often a debatable adjective for my behaviour) reason to do so, then I will.

  18. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    In general, I don't find myself wanting to do illegal things anyway, because most things that are illegal I probably wouldn't choose to do.

    Underage sex might be one exception (if I were younger that is!). If I were 15 or 16 or so, I think I might well refuse to have sex with a 15 year old girl, not because I think it's wrong (certainly, when I was 15, wanting to have sex with 15 year old girls didn't feel wrong at all - and I don't believe it is), but to avoid getting in trouble.
  19. I don't THINK I do anything illegal. All my quantinces do though...

    Out of all the days for Sparky the drug-sniffing police dog to come.... :smug:
  20. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Yeah, I wonder what the world would be like if the outcome of WW2 was different.