Morality Or Legality?
In our lives we face questions the source of which is the inner-self. The answers to these questions have to be found out by ourselves too. Such a question is often encountered in our day-to-day life is role of legality and morality. While the need for creation of legal institutions and enactment of laws and their enforcement of these laws in a civilized society can hardly be overemphasized, the morality is the bedrock upon which the entire society rests. But the interesting thing about legality and morality is that there are situations when these two necessarily go together or in perfect unison. Even there might be situations when these two present a stark contradiction. I may steal to feed a hungry person. However morally justified I might be in my intentions, I would be put behind the bars!
As it is widely known many enactments of today owe their birth and existence to some unwritten moral practices which existed down the centuries before our legislature took cognizance of them and enacted laws and thus what just existed as a moral binding was given a legal form. But all the moral practices are not laws as all the laws are based on strict moral principles. For example, if you look at the precepts of our sages and saints who treated all lives as sacred and preached morally that what you can not give, you must not take. In the light of that moral angle, the existence of death punishment in our statute book should considered as immoral! But the objective world needs a law of this kind to control elements who pose a grave danger to the civilized world. In this morality which is a product of subjectivity is in conflict with legality. It becomes necessary too to meet the pragmatic ends.
It is equally true that only pragmatic and harsh laws made by the law-makers can not alone preserve social order and harmony unless there is an inner awakening amongst ourselves through moral cleansing. A murderer who escapes the rope because he succeeds in hiring the services of the best criminal lawyer, still remains a murderer to himself. Such is the superiority of morality in our life.
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