INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL THEORIES LAW 034 LAW AND MORALITY CARTAZ UMMU SYAWAEDA BT JAIMAN LAW LECTURER PUSAT ASASI UITM DENGKIL
INTRODUCTION 4.1 Definition of morality 4.2 Aspects of morality 4.3 Standards of morality 4.4 Sources of Morality 4.5 Differences between legal and moral rules 4.6 Morality as the basis of law 4.7 Legal Duty to Obey Immoral Law 4.8 Legal Enforcement of Morality 4.9 Public and Private Morality 4.10 Contemporary Moral & Legal Issue
4.1 WHAT IS MORALITY? In Latin, “ moralities ” – manner, character or proper behaviour. According to Oxford English Dictionary; principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour (knowledge of right and wrong) i.e. a system of morals (Western morality, Islamic morality). Morality may also be defined as a code of beliefs, values, principles and standards of behaviour, some version of which is found in all social groups. 3
4.2 ASPECTS OF MORALITY (i) Religious morality – relationship with God, violating His commandments is immoral. The basis of Islamic morality is the fear of God. By violating any of the commandments of God, a person is acting immorally towards God. 4
(ii) Morality and nature – Human being should deal with nature in a moral manner. (iii) Individual morality – Individual code of morality; may or may not be sanctioned. One’s conscience would dictate oneself on what is right and wrong. (iv) Social morality – Human beings’ relations with one another. Encompasses all aspects of life in the society. 5
4.3 STANDARDS OF MORALITY Morality may be understood and determined based on the following standards: 1. Popular or positive morality Morality that is accepted and shared by a given social group. Morality is a normative character on what is commonly normal in society at large and where the moral values have been generally accepted by public. Most people their moral values mostly depend from which society they come from. 6
2 . Utilitarian morality Morality which reflects the majority’s beliefs , actions and values. The moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome (Consequentialism). i.e. Greatest happiness of greatest number of people Its core idea is that whether actions are morally right or wrong depends on their effects. What difference then does it make between popular morality and utilitarian morality? The test for the former (morality) is on “what is common”, whereas the test for the latter (utilitarian) is on the number of people sharing the same morality. 7
• Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism because it rests on the idea that it is the consequences or results of actions, laws, policies, etc. that determine whether they are good or bad, right or wrong. • In general, whatever is being evaluated, we ought to choose the one that will produce the best overall results.
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