In response to:

You Can (Not) Legislate Morality?

right-side-up Wrote: Jun 19, 2012 6:39 PM
Who says? On what basis do you say that one set of moral principles, e.g. don't harm others, is a proper subject for laws, while another set, e.g. don't be promiscuous, is not? Do you have any basis for making this distinction other than "sounds good to me"? Obviously your intuition is different from that of Mr Brown. Why does your intuition trump his? And by the way, on what basis do you say that Mr Brown does not have a "coherent political philosophy", while you, apparently, do? Even using your terms, why is "government should protect the rights of the individual" a coherent philosphy but "government should impose a general morality" is not? Both statements are equally coherent, regardless of which you agree with, if either.

It’s one of the perennial debates in America, especially when we’re faced with socially divisive issues: Can you legislate morality?

If we mean by that question, “Can you make people moral through laws?” the answer is plainly no. If we mean, “Are laws put in place to govern people’s moral behavior?” the answer is plainly yes.

Morality is actually one of the main things that we must legislate, and my suspicion is that even those who bristle at this statement actually agree. As Frank Turek observed, “It never fails. Whenever some conservative takes a stand on a moral issue, some liberal...