How law is related to state and morality?
Law and morality are complimentary to each other. Ethics reveals its citizens the code of conduct. Similarly the laws framed by state also aim to achieve the same goal. The sole aim of the state lies in the promotion of the welfare of the people. As there is a close affinity between law and morality, there also exist a good relationship between law and state.
“The best state is that which is nearest in virtue to the individual. If any part of the body politic -suffers, the whole body suffers”. -Plato
A bad state will have bad citizens and a good state will have good citizens. So it is the sole function of the state to keep a good standard of morality. Government of India is trying its best to eliminate the evil of untouchability. It has framed laws against untouchability. Though there is law against social ills it is understood that it is rather a sin to adopt the policy of discrimination on the grounds of caste and creed, colour and race, clans and tribes, groups and classes. The government is taking measures to prohibit the drinking of wine and also prohibits child marriages. Generally democracy does not have any such law as opposed to morality. Wilson maintains that the aim of the law of a state is to develop morality in the state. Hence the sovereign law-making authority pays due attention to the code of the intimacy between law and morality.
‘‘We regard the state as the condition or morality. The state and law continually affect both public opinion and actions; in its turn law reflects public opinion and thus acts as the index or moral progress” - Maclver
v Laws are enforced by the state, if not obeyed to the commands of law, he is likely to be punished by the state.
v The severe punishment one can be awarded to a person for not observing the scruples of morality is the social boycott.
v Morality is concerned with both internal and external affairs of man whereas law is concerned only with the external affairs of man. Hence, law punishes only those persons who violate laws by their external actions.
v Law punishes a person only when he commits a theft or dacoity or murder or any other physical crime.
v Law cannot punish a person for telling a lie or for abusing some one.
v Telling lies, condemning someone and being ungrateful and many other actions of man are sins but they are not crimes. Machiavelli maintained that even the immoral practices are legal, if they are applied for the benefit of the state.
Public Opinion: Opinion held by people for the common welfare
A law framed with a purpose of eliminating evils such as drinking of wine, gambling, theft, dacoity and murder are moral laws. The laws which are based on morality remain permanent