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ESSAY QUESTIONS—ETHICS AND POLICY 76. A number of the functions of the law can be viewed as being contradictory. For example, one function is to maintain the status quo, whereas another is to facilitate orderly change. What other functions could be in conflict with one another? How can the law simultaneously have seemingly inconsistent functions? The law has the function to keep the peace, yet also to maximize individual freedom. Likewise , the function of shaping moral standards can conflict with maximizing individual freedom. There are other examples of conflicting functions. This is reasonable because , although all are legitimate functions of the law, these functions will inevitably come into conflict in some circumstances. Thus, the law not only has these functions, but it must also determine which function takes precedence when there is a conflict. Thus the law can have the function of maximizing individual freedoms, but that can be limited by the separate function of keeping the peace.
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