Term Paper: Ethics and the Law

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[. . .] It has some of the best businesses, and an eager crop on entrepreneurs. It has the best hospitals and some of the most efficient production faculties in the world. These benefits are not infinite, nor are they permanent. America must continue to grow and develop in order to become greater. It cannot simply rest on its laurels and hope for progress. As such, laws that require individuals to better themselves ultimately benefit not only the current generation, but future generations as well. America is 5% of the world's population but uses 25% of the world's resources. This isn't by luck. In order to maintain this high quality of life, American must continue to be at the forefront of political, social, and economic development. Laws, in large part, help accomplish this task.

An example of such morally acceptable law pertains to capitalism and its affects on self development. Farming in particular has been a large beneficiary of laws requiring people to do things for their own self development. As noted earlier, this self development, ultimately benefits society in the form of food and health. New Hampshire for instance, has zoning laws with grant land to farmers, who are the most productive in regards to crop production. As such, those who can develop better farming techniques are granted land to benefit not only themselves, by also society at large. Although there are many benefits to agriculture, there are some significant moral challenges that need to be addressed by the community. The primary challenge is that a farm is a working business. Depending on the type of farm there is the possibility of truck traffic, signage, increased traffic from customers, noise, and in some cases smell from livestock. Another challenge is that farms frequently require accessory dwellings and other structures that are usually not permitted under standard zoning ordinances and subdivision and site plan regulations. As such, these laws encourage innovation and self-development by rewarding land and other subsidies to farmers. In exchange, the farmers provide increased productivity, and means of providing food to the general public at large. In this instance, few would argue about the merits of this law. I believe it to be morally acceptable and responsible to require farmers to learn better techniques in which to farm. This self-development allows farmers to be more productive with their resources. As such, the increased productivity will immediately be applied to land in which the state rewards to farmers who demonstrates proficiency in their craft. Therefore, I believe this is morally acceptable in regards to the overall law and to self development (Lunn, 1964).

Although, opponents of this notion will state an apparent infringement of personal freedom, I believe otherwise.

In addition, the constitution provides moral examples of laws that help induce self-development. For example, the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution first provides the overall purpose of that document. It also provides the purpose of the government in regards to the legislative, administrative, and judicial system by saying:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Now, "more perfect," "justice," "common," "general welfare," "blessings of liberty," and the limits of "liberty" themselves, are all moral concepts. In addition the interpretation of "domestic tranquility" with respect to attempting to better determine individual rights, social order, preventing crime, and capturing and prosecuting criminals is yet another moral term. In these instances, many of the major moral purposes of the Constitution are to help us be law-abiding so that we are an evolving country, rather than merely a stoic and obedient nation. I therefore believe, it would be remiss, and wrong, to make laws or to try to interpret laws in court without any regard to their moral meaning, moral significance, or moral consequences insofar as these impact justice, liberty, general welfare, the common defense, and domestic tranquility.

1) Berlin, I. (1958) "Two Concepts of Liberty." In Isaiah Berlin (1969) Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2) Oakes, J. (1996), What's Wrong with "Negative Liberty." Law… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Ethics and the Law.  (2013, November 6).  Retrieved April 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethics-law/6538892

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