Crime

Ethics, Morality, and Sin

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Purple Knight
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Crime

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

If the society you live in is evil, and some action is considered a crime that oughtn't be, what is the moral option?

1. Don't do that action, because it's a crime. Committing a crime is wrong.
2. Work to get the law changed, but as long as it's illegal still don't do the action.
3. Do the action anyway. If the law is wrong then disobedience is a duty.

...And what are your reasons for picking that option?

I believe PETA is a good example of option 3. Now, I actually believe that is most moral. People think PETA has gone off the rails, sometimes stealing peoples' pets out of their yards and killing them (no joke, see video, fast forward to 7:07) but it makes sense if you believe that people treating animals ethically means ultimately not having them as pets.



I don't see a problem with any of PETA's actions in light of the fact that they don't consider having pets to be morally permissible. I see a problem for normal people like me who have no idea what is, and is not moral, because we don't have access to the moral information PETA does. If you tell me, don't do X, it's immoral, then I won't do X. But there are just too many actions and too many people disagreeing about which ones I ought and ought not to do. In other words, I can't follow everyone. I must confine myself to following the law because it's possible.

In other words, option 3 is chaotic because people disagree. Option 3 is probably unworkable.

And yet... I can only admire PETA going against laws they feel are wrong (laws that allow pets), stealing that dog, and killing it. They're working toward their righteous goal of people no longer having pets. They're disobeying a bad law. The idea that sacrifices can't be made in service of righteousness is ludicrous. Every time righteousness has increased (when slavery was outlawed for example) people have died.

The only problem with option 3 is that people who don't inherently know morality are left up the creek without a paddle, trying to obey everyone. That's not a very big problem, really.

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Re: Crime

Post #2

Post by JoeyKnothead »

From the OP:
Purple Knight wrote: ...
If the society you live in is evil, and some action is considered a crime that oughtn't be, what is the moral option?

1. Don't do that action, because it's a crime. Committing a crime is wrong.
2. Work to get the law changed, but as long as it's illegal still don't do the action.
3. Do the action anyway. If the law is wrong then disobedience is a duty.

...And what are your reasons for picking that option?
In general, I'd employ option 3, but we gotta be careful about hurting others to do it.

Here in Georgia, the USA, it's illegal for me to cook up a batch of liquor, or to take certain drugs. I break such laws every chance I get.
...
And yet... I can only admire PETA going against laws they feel are wrong (laws that allow pets), stealing that dog, and killing it.
...
They come snatch up a pet of mine and kill it, I'll kill em back, I don't care if the governor sent em.

I respect a lot of their work, but thisn's where I draw the line.
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Re: Crime

Post #3

Post by Purple Knight »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 8:52 pmIn general, I'd employ option 3, but we gotta be careful about hurting others to do it.
That's entirely logically consistent. 3, unless direct harm to another, and only then default to 1 or 2.

I'm not positive I agree with it (I think I think that moral is moral regardless of who it hurts; I'd have to think about it some more) but your view is totally valid.
JoeyKnothead wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 8:52 pmThey come snatch up a pet of mine and kill it, I'll kill em back, I don't care if the governor sent em.
This, however, means you are presupposing the law. I love my cats very much, but to assume that PETA hurts me, or steals from me, in taking my pet away... I must already be under the assumption that my pet is actually mine (as the law says it is) and my ownership of the pet is not a morally illegitimate endevour roughly analogous to slavery.

If PETA came for me, to steal my pets and kill them, I would be emotionally devastated but I could only say that I wasn't hurt or wronged because PETA believes the law is wrong, and that I was wrong to take what the law offered, in this case being the right to own a pet. I would say the same of anyone buying a slave. They should know the law was wrong and not take what legality offered.

Frankly, I'm terrified they'll show up at the door with morality on their side, because if they say to me, we are taking this pet and putting it to sleep because that is morally better than you trying to own it, I would have no logical basis to object and would hand over my best friend for them to kill.

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Re: Crime

Post #4

Post by JoeyKnothead »

Purple Knight wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:01 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 8:52 pmIn general, I'd employ option 3, but we gotta be careful about hurting others to do it.
That's entirely logically consistent. 3, unless direct harm to another, and only then default to 1 or 2.

I'm not positive I agree with it (I think I think that moral is moral regardless of who it hurts; I'd have to think about it some more) but your view is totally valid.
I was atrying to anticipate tricky particulars.
JoeyKnothead wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 8:52 pmThey come snatch up a pet of mine and kill it, I'll kill em back, I don't care if the governor sent em.
This, however, means you are presupposing the law.
I don't know about presupposing, and I hold to my statement.
I love my cats very much, but to assume that PETA hurts me, or steals from me, in taking my pet away... I must already be under the assumption that my pet is actually mine (as the law says it is) and my ownership of the pet is not a morally illegitimate endevour roughly analogous to slavery.
My pets are not 'mine' so much as they're my responsibility. They are free to come and go as they please.
If PETA came for me, to steal my pets and kill them, I would be emotionally devastated but I could only say that I wasn't hurt or wronged because PETA believes the law is wrong, and that I was wrong to take what the law offered, in this case being the right to own a pet. I would say the same of anyone buying a slave. They should know the law was wrong and not take what legality offered.
In this matter, I don't care the first iota what anyone has to think about it. As I said, my pets are my responsibility, not my slaves. The only work I get out of em is work they do themselves. I've trained em to go outside for their smoke breaks, and that's it. I love em.
Frankly, I'm terrified they'll show up at the door with morality on their side, because if they say to me, we are taking this pet and putting it to sleep because that is morally better than you trying to own it, I would have no logical basis to object and would hand over my best friend for them to kill.
I'm saddened to know you'd send your pets off to a certain slaughter.

They try to put my critters to sleep, I'm gonna put them to sleep. I don't play the kill other folks' critters game. Maybe it's a southern thing.
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Re: Crime

Post #5

Post by Purple Knight »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:21 pmMy pets are not 'mine' so much as they're my responsibility. They are free to come and go as they please.
I live near a busy thoroughfare, so my cats are indoor. Unfortunately I do not have the moral luxury of saying I don't keep them confined, because I do. They're not itching to get out the door because I've raised them that way, but at the end of the day, they are confined.
JoeyKnothead wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:21 pmI'm saddened to know you'd send your pets off to a certain slaughter.
So am I! In fact it's been eating me alive all hours of the day and night that I'd do this. I've just wracked my brains and can't come up with a logical way out of it. If they really think me owning an animal is as bad as slavery, then what they are doing is moral and I can't get in the way of it, whatever my personal feelings.

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Re: Crime

Post #6

Post by JoeyKnothead »

Purple Knight wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:43 am
JoeyKnothead wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:21 pmMy pets are not 'mine' so much as they're my responsibility. They are free to come and go as they please.
I live near a busy thoroughfare, so my cats are indoor. Unfortunately I do not have the moral luxury of saying I don't keep them confined, because I do. They're not itching to get out the door because I've raised them that way, but at the end of the day, they are confined.
JoeyKnothead wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:21 pmI'm saddened to know you'd send your pets off to a certain slaughter.
So am I! In fact it's been eating me alive all hours of the day and night that I'd do this. I've just wracked my brains and can't come up with a logical way out of it. If they really think me owning an animal is as bad as slavery, then what they are doing is moral and I can't get in the way of it, whatever my personal feelings.
Then why not just kill your critters and be done with it?
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Re: Crime

Post #7

Post by Purple Knight »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:47 amThen why not just kill your critters and be done with it?
I would like to tell you that it's because it would be wrong to kill them. But the truth is, even though I worry about them, I wouldn't kill them just to be rid of the worry because I love them, and wish that they live.

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Re: Crime

Post #8

Post by JoeyKnothead »

Purple Knight wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:09 am
JoeyKnothead wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:47 amThen why not just kill your critters and be done with it?
I would like to tell you that it's because it would be wrong to kill them. But the truth is, even though I worry about them, I wouldn't kill them just to be rid of the worry because I love them, and wish that they live.
So who has em the better morals here, them that'd kill em, or them that'd feed em?
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Re: Crime

Post #9

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]
If the society you live in is evil, and some action is considered a crime that oughtn't be, what is the moral option?
If you live in an evil society, I'd challenge that morality exists therein at all. Seems every action would be amoral, no? :confused2:
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Crime

Post #10

Post by Purple Knight »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:13 amSo who has em the better morals here, them that'd kill em, or them that'd feed em?
There's a simple answer to this somewhere. I probably have it in my left hand or something.

I can only choose PETA because we both agreed that option 3 was morally correct and they're doing option 3.
nobspeople wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 10:32 am
If the society you live in is evil, and some action is considered a crime that oughtn't be, what is the moral option?
If you live in an evil society, I'd challenge that morality exists therein at all. Seems every action would be amoral, no? :confused2:
I have to say no, there are still moral and immoral actions. The people who lived in Nazi society and saved Jews are now considered heroes. I have to say that their actions were right to go against law, and the law was immoral and wrong.

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