What Would You Say?

Should Morality Be Legislated?


Joseph Backholm

You’re in a conversation about what should be legal and what should be illegal, and someone says, “You shouldn’t legislate morality.”

What would you say?

People who say that morality shouldn’t be legislated have a problem with the idea of using laws to make everyone else behave like they think they should.

But the next time you hear that it is wrong to legislate morality, here are three things to remember.

1. First, every law is a moral law.

2. Since every law is a moral law, every law legislates morality.

3. Since every law legislates morality, the better question to ask is “who’s understanding of morality will better lead to human flourishing?”


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