What if lots of people break a law?

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What if lots of people break a law?

Post by mmhmm72222 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:36 pm

I have a serious yet complex ethical concern with regards to a particular part of "Catholic Law". However, the concern is one that can be generalized to other faiths and even Criminal Law. What do you do if a law governing a population is being broken by a large percentage of the population? Let me jump right in. Statistical studies claim that many people masturbate, few Catholics go to confession, and many Catholics go to mass. However, the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" suggests that masturbation is generally a mortal sin and that one should not receive the Eucharist (Christ the bread of life) if they have not yet confessed all of their mortal sins. In other words, if you masturbate, then you have to go to confession before you may receive the Eucharist at mass. When I go to mass, it appears as if just about everyone receives the Eucharist. Either Catholics masturbate a lot less than the general population or Catholics at large are breaking the rules. It appears to me that at least 25% of this population is breaking the rule. To me, it's a very serious concern to have a law which is broken regularly by a large percent of the population that it governs. Also, I believe that the rule is not only justifiable, but perhaps it should not be removed or ignored. Now to my questions: What do you do if a law governing a population is being broken by a large percentage of the population? Do you reform the law? Do you confront the population? Do you pretend like it's not happening? Do some people deserve to be exempt?

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Re: What if lots of people break a law?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:42 pm

And exactly why have you spotlighted Catholics in all of this? People are people, and people rarely do what they ought all the time. There is a reason I am 10 pounds overweight, after all. So why do think this is a problem that should be centered around Catholics, instead of people in general?

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Re: What if lots of people break a law?

Post by mmhmm72222 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:00 pm

Hi,

It was the example that I came up and I decided to use. I could have used a different example such as people going through red lights. But, I think it's significant topic, I want to hear what catholics and non-catholics have to say, and I haven't found any statistical information on people going through red lights. So what do you think about the questions at the end?

Sorry, I didn't mean to leave non-catholics out of the discussion and if you are willing, generalize the question or suggest other examples. Actually please do so. I would appreciate it.

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Re: What if lots of people break a law?

Post by gillyflower on Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:37 pm

Just because there is a law about something does not mean that the majority (or even a large minority) of people in that culture supports it. Ideas, culture changes over time. Perhaps a law is made a hundred years (or more) ago and in that era people thought it was a good law. And then time passes, people and the culture changes and the law is considered by the majority to be archaic.

The same thing goes on in religions and cultures. You can look at the laws against interracial marriage, the laws for slavery, the laws against sodomy, the laws that don't permit women to vote, marriage for religious leaders. Denominations of churches often split because one group believes and support one thing and another group supports another thing. The Catholic/Protestant split, remember?

Besides all that many people feel perfectly okay about being part of a religion or denomination or culture/country and yet not believing or following every little thing the leader says is important to believe or follow. Have you heard of Cafeteria Catholics?



Last edited by gillyflower on Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What if lots of people break a law?

Post by gillyflower on Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:45 pm

One thing that goes along with this is revealed religion compared to experiential religion. Do you have/need a middle man telling you what to believe and how to follow your gods or do you have a direct relationship with the god and don't need a man or group of men to tell you what your gods want?

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Re: What if lots of people break a law?

Post by John T Mainer on Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:06 pm

90% of men masturbate, and 10% lie. bounce I don't know the stats about women, as the only ones I have data on I was sleeping with, so are by definition sexually active.

Legislating morality fails. Laws that are effective are those the majority of the population admit are wrong, or represent a threat to the safety of the public. Laws are ineffective if they ban activities the public is ambiguous about.

Jaywalking, eating or drinking while operating a motor vehicle, smoking pot, cutting the little fabric tags off your mattress, these are all against the law, and lets face it, nobody cares.

If the Christian God is going to lock out anyone who ever masturbated, heaven will fit in your local McDonalds, with room for a swimming pool.

Morality frowns on the things we shouldn't do. Statutes prohibit the things we must not do. Most of us have one or more areas in which at least some of our neighbors would call us immoral (from their point of view) and we would likely return the favour. These are the areas of ambiguity, of societal drift. Those things that we all agree must not be done, we make enduring laws about, and enforce.

It is immoral to listen to Justin Bieber, it is illegal to light a cat on fire. Opinions vary on the first, but society is united on the second, and beyond opinion, it is a truth that lighting cats on fire is something almost no one in society would do if it was legal.

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