legal studies real paper 1

legal studies real paper 1 - November 2,2009 One usually...

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November 2,2009 One usually doesn’t wonder why they obey the law, obeying comes naturally to most as following rules is installed into us as children. Laws and rules are something one complies with without ever really thinking why. For example, when it comes to paying taxes, everyone usually will pay their taxes, and avoid the consequences. Authors, Lawyers and Philosophers have all come to different conclusions on why people obey and disobey the law. These decisions on whether to obey and disobey the law also affect how one thinks about the nature of law’s authority. People obey the law because of their internalized obligations, but their morals may conflict with the law, which challenges people to look into the legitimacy of law’s authority and its practices. As shown in Tom Tyler’s article, “Why Do People Obey The Law”, the author’s main points revolve around morality. Tyler conducted a study in Chicago on why people obeyed the law, and in his research he was able to come up with four points; legal authority and legitimacy, internalized morality, deterrence, and social pressure and obligation. From these four points Tyler was able to go further in his research and conclude, “Although the Chicago study deals with legitimacy, personal morality is clearly a more important influence on compliance than legitimacy”. (Pg 495) He claims that normative factors, such as your values, perceptions of authority and your morals all come into play when following the law. One’s morality may not always be on the side of the law, making personal morality double edged. Therefore one’s morals can contrast with the law, leading to problems. An example of this would be stealing in order to help your family. If a person has found themselves in a situation where they are unable to support
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their family, and steal in order to feed and support their family, they won’t necessarily see anything wrong in stealing. To them it would be morally right to find a means to help their family, no matter the consequence. One experiment done in regards to morality was called the Milgram experiment.
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2011 for the course LEGAL 250 taught by Professor Holmes during the Fall '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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legal studies real paper 1 - November 2,2009 One usually...

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