5. Can lack of morality be compensated by laws? Critically examine.
क्या नैतिकता की कमी को कानूनों द्वारा मुआवजा दिया जा सकता है? गंभीर रूप से जांच करें।
Law is the codification of societal norms and values which helps in delivering justice. While Morality is very those values and norms on which law is framed to decide what is right and wrong. Law and morality are intimately related to each other. Laws are generally based on the moral principles of society. Both regulate the conduct of the individual in society.
Morality forms the basis of good law and therefore laws are framed to prohibit any immoral act. For example, Laws in India prohibits domestic violence, atrocities on lower castes, child marriages, crimes like murder and rapes because they are immoral.
Where lack of morality is compensated by law:
Law is an enactment made by the state. It is backed by physical coercion. Its breach is punishable by the courts. Laws influence moral behaviour to a great extent. Laws, to be effective, must represent the moral ideas of the people. But good laws sometimes serve to rouse the moral conscience of the people and create and maintain such conditions as may encourage the growth of morality.
For example, when society started to think that Sati is immoral then it was formed as law. Similarly having a law on something like following traffic rules shapes morality that we are responsible for other’s life too.
Where lack of morality cannot be compensated by Law:
However, laws deal with only external affairs of humans while morality deals with both external and internal affairs. Hence Laws cannot be used to regulate internal affairs of man even when they are immoral e.g. immoral acts like rude attitudes of people towards others, selfishness, telling lie etc. are not regulated by law.
Where there are laws but still society lacks morality:
Individual behaviour can’t be controlled every time. There are situations where we have stringent laws but still, we observe a lack of morality in that particular area. For example:
- We have well-defined tax laws, but there are less compliance and tax avoidance by using lope holes in tax laws, which is immoral.
- There are harsh punishments for rape by laws, but every minute a girl is being raped in the world.
- Similarly, we have laws for theft but it is happening every now and then.
- In spite of constitutional provisions, we still see cases of untouchability as the full moral conscience of the people has not been aroused in favour of such laws.
Therefore, obedience to law depends upon the active support of the moral sentiments of the people. Laws which are not supported by the moral conscience of the people are liable to become dead letters.
The only check against the breach of morality is social condemnation or individual conscience. Moral actions are a matter of choice of inner conscience of the individual; laws are a matter of compulsion. Law cannot be made on each and every aspect of life. More than law behavioural change is the key to a moral society, as rightly said by BR Ambedkar, “No law can protect us if it’s not avowed by the moral conscience of the society at large”.