The Purpose Of Law For The Individual And For Society Essays

776 Words Mar 20th, 2016 4 Pages
What is the purpose of law for the individual and for society? The purpose of law has been discussed for a long time. Whole books have been written on the subject and different conclusions have been reached. Laws enable governments to exist and it is the responsibility of governments to uphold the law. Many believe that law is connected to morality but is law distinct from morality? Different philosophers have different ideas on this. Thomas Hobbes believed that men are naturally corrupt and that we need a strong system of government to keep us in check. On the other hand, Jean Jacques Rousseau believed that men are born pure and that the system corrupted men. While, Montesquieu believed that at birth man is like a blank sheet of paper and it is the system that leaves a mark on men; whether corrupt or pure. Though these three ideas are separate, common ground can be found in that the laws that governments create have a direct influence on how individuals develop morality. The legal system is the heart of society establishing a structure of conduct for just about every political, economic and social activity. But what are laws?
What are laws?
There are two main answers to this simple but not easy question. First is that the law is set of universal moral principles in accordance with the nature which is the view of ‘natural lawyers’. This view goes back to the times of ancient Greece. On the other hand for ‘legal positivist’ law is a collection of valid rules, commands, or…

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