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  #1    
Old June 26th, 2013 (09:53 PM).
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Suppose in a culture, there are three classes of law.

First, the S. It covers how people should live in order to make themselves happier, ie health and lifestyle tips.

Second, the P, which governs how to make life better for everyone, ie physical laws, such as no murder, robbery, etc.

Then lastly, the M, which governs how to make us virtuous, ie moral laws, such as no lying.

Of the three, S, P, and M, which laws should the secular law system (ie the State) control?

And don't think this is an easy answer. If you provide a "duh it's this way" answer with no logical explanation, then you missed the while point of this discussion. The point is to challenge your personal point of view and see what you really should believe in, whatever that is.
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Old June 26th, 2013 (10:45 PM).
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It's hard to determine since a lot of issues can be in multiple classes, and with how issues/laws of one class will bleed over to affect the issues/laws of another class

Case in point, gay marriage. Depending on who you ask, it would fall under S, M, or S and M (No, not THAT kind). Additionally, this will affect specific laws for P.

For this, I don't think we can say which laws should be left to the government or state. We can't, for example, say let the government decide everything for S and P, and let the states handle M.

Realistically it would have to be a case by case basis - Horribly inefficient, but it's the only possible solution.
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Old June 29th, 2013 (08:24 PM).
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First, the S. It covers how people should live in order to make themselves happier, ie health and lifestyle tips.

Second, the P, which governs how to make life better for everyone, ie physical laws, such as no murder, robbery, etc.

Then lastly, the M, which governs how to make us virtuous, ie moral laws, such as no lying.

S, in the sense of standards in what we use or consume and recommended guidelines for citizens. But no bans or requirements to use or not use what is legally available.

P, yes. Not much more to say there.

M, not through laws. More on a high level. The government can help shape a culture through a variety of tools. They don't need to outlaw lying, unless it is under oath
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Old July 1st, 2013 (05:40 AM).
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Secular governments should cover those laws where everyone pretty much agrees on certain things. This is the example of laws covering murder, robbery, etc. It's how we keep things fair and we all agree, generally, that laws should cover stuff like that. More important than that we all agree on this stuff is that we can prove it's necessary to have laws regarding them. Where you can prove the law is needed is where it should be, I'd say.

As for our health, happiness, and morality, well, to a degree we have laws regarding morality since some people's morals might lead them to cause harm to others. That's why you can't just burn witches even if your moral system says you should. But that isn't really about morality since it's really more a case of someone's morals stepping outside of the area of 'physical' laws. There's lots of overlap, or potential for overlap, in areas of society. We shouldn't legislate people's feelings, but sometimes the laws will conflict with our feelings if our feelings bring us certain places.

Like the gay marriage thing. Some people says it's morally wrong and the government shouldn't tell people's what's moral. I'd say that's not what the government is doing. What they'd be doing is making things equal and fair and it's the morally outraged who have stepped outside of the space where their morality should go.
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Old July 1st, 2013 (09:45 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
Secular governments should cover those laws where everyone pretty much agrees on certain things.
the majority is not always right.
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Old July 1st, 2013 (10:38 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Black Ice:
the majority is not always right.
no doubt about it, but how do we tell otherwise?
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Old July 1st, 2013 (11:11 AM).
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Well, that's when you need some kind of standard for "enlightened" decision-making. That can be done with a constitution, or some other institution that is able to sit away from the whims of the masses.
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Old July 8th, 2013 (06:20 PM).
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None of the above.

The closest thing listed to what the state should actually enforce is "P," but that's not even accurate.

The state should enforce laws designed explicitly to punish deliberate acts that bring direct, measurable harm to other people. That's it. If it doesn't harm anyone else, it's not a crime. If it's not a deliberate act, it's not a crime.

All the rest of that - health and lifestyle and virtue and so on - is, quite frankly, nobody else's damned business. People should be entirely free to live however they might choose, ONLY so long as their actions don't bring direct and measurable harm to others.
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