Thursday, May 19, 2016

Essay: Can Morality Be Enforced by Stringent Laws

What is morality? Can one learn how to be moral? Can the strictest laws enforce morality? These questions are quite disputable and controversial whereas they touch upon the most complicated philosophical categories. As you know, morality is characterized with the proper or standard behavior, actions and values. When we say about morality, we mean that someone strives to be positive and fair. What is more, this person respects the surrounding people, their views and interests. 

This person does not violate law and avoids causing harm to anybody. Total respect towards the life and wellbeing of an innocent person is the priority of a moral person. Morality is an abstract category that can hardly be taught. The majority of people try to live according to the norms of morality. They do not kill, steal or cheat. They try to fulfil their duties and build their life fairly. Needless to say but there are people who decide to solve their problems in ‘easier’ ways. Unfortunately, these solutions are most often illegal and cause harm to the people around. Such unfair people should be taught how to behave properly. The government is one of the official bodies that possess enough tools to enforce morality on the society. However, there is a rhetoric question. Can morality be enforced by stringent laws?

The government can enforce the proper norms of behavior. It can make people behave in the way they should. In fact, it is difficult to make them think in the way the government expects. A human being is a contradictory creature whose thoughts do not correspond with her actions. One can behave properly avoiding breaking the law but he can dream about the illegal solutions of his financial or private problems. In this case, one’s positive or neutral behavior is motivated by the fear of punishment. If he had freedom of choice, he would commit crimes for his advantage. Therefore, the government can enforce the required way of life and behavior. However, it cannot enforce morality. This category is brought up but not enforced directly.

There are many institutions that are used for the enforcement of morality though their effect is arguable. The first institution is the government, which creates laws and generates the preferable standards of life. The policy of the government is supported by the police and other special law enforcement institutions. They make sure people do not commit crimes and behave in the appropriate manner. When someone breaks the law, the police officers catch and punish them. Criminals have to spend their punishment in prisons being isolated from the society. On the other hand, the role of a prison is to help criminals survive the process of socialization. Of course, this issue is also disputable whereas more than 75% of former criminals commit crimes again. In simple words, no matter how you try to enforce morality to the imprisoned criminals, you will hardly change them. Another official institution is church. Religion helps people learn moral values. Centuries ago, religious organizations enforced morality to their congregations. Remember the period of the Inquisition and its activity. In fact, the current condition of religion does not let it enforce morality in the way it did centuries ago.

As you see, many potential criminals do not commit crimes just because they are afraid of punishment. They would not be ashamed of the consequences of their actions if they committed a crime. The only factor that prevents them from the illegal activity is the fear of strict punishment. 

Morality cannot be enforced. Morality is the product of the complicated process of bringing up. It is important to bring up children according to the norms of morality. Parents should teach them differentiate positive and negative things. If children do not understand what is good and what is evil, they will not grow up as moral people. Many people mistakenly associate morality with religion though these things are not interconnected. Very often, non-believers are more moral than believers are.

To my mind, morality cannot be enforced by the stringent laws. Strict laws can make people follow the required norms of their society but they cannot change human mind. If one had a chance to break the law without any consequences and strict punishment, he would do it. Nevertheless, there are people who would never commit crimes inasmuch they have been brought up in the right way. For that reason, moral values are obtained during the tough and complicated process of bringing up.

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