Compare and Contrast between Ethics and Law

The fundamental purpose of both ethics, as well as the Law, is to moderate the behavior of the individual in the society. Both seek to regulate misguided human emotions from causing harm to the society and himself. Ethics has generally been considered as the law of nature or the law of God. From the beginning of civilization, man has always come to realize the dichotomy of right and wrong which is demonstrated by the universal thread of morality that runs through the worlds’ diverse cultures. Law in the present age has come to be extremely diversified. There is now a corporate lawyer to govern the interactions of business organizations, a civil law to tackle general affairs, international law to deal with the affairs of sovereign states and intellectual property law to deal with knowledge and knowledge dissemination. Correspondingly, there has come to be a Business ethics, biomedical ethics, corporate ethics and so on. All legal systems are derived from ethical systems of one kind or the other.Just as there are dissensions in the interpretations of the law, there are also different kinds of ethics. Hedonism, Cyrenaic Hedonism, Epicureanism, stoicism, utilitarian ethics, realism etc have extended their influence on significant subsections of the intellectual globe. This apparent absence of unity does not nullify the content of either law or ethics. It has been commented upon by various authors, that the ultimate interpretation of any law or statute rests on the presiding judge. In making his individual ruling, the judge relies to a large extent on his ethical convictions. In the famous Roe Vs Wade trial pertaining to the legality of abortion, fivejudges ruled in favor while three dissented. These judges no doubt knew that there were no legal grounds to deny an abortion in the specific trial but they considered it a breach of morality to deny the right to life of a potential human being.

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