The relationship between public policy law and ethics
There has been a long-standing debate on the relationship between public policy law and ethics; there are arguments and counter-arguments on whether the three have a common standard or one is more stringent than the others . Each school of thought has powerful claims and up to date no concrete conclusion has been made on the actual position regarding public policy laws and ethics. Law and ethics overlap each other; a conduct or behavior may be both ethical and legal or unethical and illegal. For example, it is against the societal ethics and against the law of the land to rape and kill.
Many of the social evils in the modern world such as corruption, bribery, land grabbing and drug and human trafficking are strongly condemned by ethics and law. In ethics a person who engages in such behavior risk becoming a social misfit or the laughing stock in the society; in law such a person will be deemed to have broken the law and will have to be punished (Beauchamp and Pinkard 56). Public policy is government effort to address public issues by instating laws, regulations and decisions to pertinent issues at hand. Various issues can be addressed by public policies such as education, crime, health, security, foreign policy amongst many others.
There are many cases where ethics and law have clashed. For example a person sees a fire burning in a house and the maybe the owner is not there. The fire is not huge and if the person can act immediately he/she can save the house from catching a huge flame of fire. Its ethical to go and put out the fire but the law of trespassing will be broken. It is a crime to trespass to another person’s compound without their consent. It is ethically and morally correct to enter the house and try to put out the fire. The laws sometimes need to be broken and ethics take course but in America one can be jailed because of trespassing regardless of what they were doing. Another issue with trespassing can relate to hearing noises in a house and debating whether to enter or not. If one hears very very very suspicious sounds from a house, the benefit can be saving the individuals inside, while the negative side can be dealing with the law. Below is a meme of such a situation from “good guy greg”. Even though trespassing can be an issue with the law, there is the Good Samartian Law that can somwehat help protect the ‘Good Samatiran’.
While ethics can clash with the law, it doesn’t only affect the person who wants to help; it can affect the one in trouble too. Now a-days there are several news articles about rape, murder, death and other upsetting situations, that one gets suspicious when random people want to help. The line between law and ethics is very thin, that it can sometimes be blurred. Even though there are laws to protect if something goes wrong, there are so many other factors in one’s mind when taking in a complicated situation and making the decision to act or not.
In such cases the law borrows heavily from the ethics in a particular country the law formalizes ethics. Public policies are commonly held beliefs that govern the behavior of people in a country or in each state in the United States. Implementation of such policies is always faced with difficulties since some issues about policies arise regularly.
Ethics deals with the principles that regulate human behavior by defining an action as right or wrong. Other than the concepts of right or wrong, ethics includes what is good, evil, justice, injustice, and accountability. In this case putting off the fire is what one is supposed; the law should sometimes bend to allow some ethics to take place but this has not been achieved. Where law and ethics collide, is one supposed to do what is ethically correct or what the law obliges them to do?
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