Breaking the Law Ethical

There are some laws that it would seem ethical to break. These laws are ambiguous in nature and would have to work against your safety and sense of self-preservation. Many laws are biased against one party over another. For example, some laws seem to favor women over men. Divorce laws often violate the civil rights of some men. If a woman files for divorce her husband often gets the shorter end of the deal. This law is by nature unfair and makes marriage more about control than love or spontaneity. Many women get restraining orders against men in the spirit of revenge. If he loves his children, he may suffer from being separated from them. Perhaps he would try to see them behind his ex-wife’s back. This would be a sad situation and one would sympathize with him in his attempts to see his children if his wife’s allegations of abuse were exaggerated or even fabricated.

Then, there are harassment laws that foster paranoia and fear rather than protecting citizens. While stalking can be frightening, sometimes these laws violate a person’s rights. They may be used to frighten and intimidate a person since today, the definition of stalking and harassment is interpreted so loosely. If a man likes a woman, maybe he would like to talk her and ask her out on a date. He may be a perfectly nice man who wanted to get to know her and may innocently buy her flowers or send her a note saying that he would like to see her sometime.  The woman might get mad and go to the police. Then the man would change and become bitter and angry because his intentions were more romantic than sleazy.  This law by its very nature assumes the worst about human nature and makes people more distant and secretive. A society that enforces this kind of law becomes more artificial.

There are other laws that are overly rigid and create stress and anxiety. For example, one can get a court summons for riding his or her bike on the sidewalk in big cities in the United States. This law by its nature does not work on behalf of the cyclist. When one rides his or her bike on the street, he or she always has a sense that they could get hit by a careless or drunk driver. To ride on the street means the possibility of dying on the street. While some argue that cyclists are safer on the street than the sidewalk, this just defies common sense. Everyone has an intuitive sense of what safety is and will try to protect themselves in the way they know best. Statistics and arguments usually do not trump this intuition. If one feels better riding on the sidewalk and fears the possibility of becoming permanently disabled, they will ride their bike on the sidewalk. To be stopped by the police for this feels like a form of harassment not only because it looks a lot like they are flaunting their authority, but because they are forcing you through legal retaliation to do something that in your heart you feel endangers yourself.

In conclusion, there are some laws that it would seem ethical to break. Humans can immediately detect when they are being forced beyond reason to follow an arbitrary rule that violates their sense of security and works to control them, not only externally but internally.