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When you get in your car and drive down the street, you are subscribing to a utopia.
Trafic laws are fair, practical, almost self-enforcing, and amazingly successful. Trafic laws work and everybody agrees with them. Even the most hardened criminal knows to stop at a red light.
Trafic laws are a type of morality. In fact, I call them a type of " objective " morality, in that everybody believes in them and everybody follows them. There are no atheist drivers.
The true validity of a philosophy or religion is in its practicality. Does it work? Is it applicable to your daily life?
Believing in God is not necessary to drive a car but a belief in traffic law is.

By nipoleon5
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What world do you live in? Few follow the rules of the road and I see examples every day.

Deanervin Level 6 Aug 24, 2018

You obviously have never been to a country like India or Egypt, where traffic rules exist in theory, but the reality on the street is somewhat different. It is more a kind of self-organized mess.

Matias Level 8 Aug 24, 2018

Well suppose that I believe the traffic law says I personally get to drive however I wish to, at whatever speed? Will my belief exempt me from the beliefs of others?

Laws aren't a matter of belief, they are a matter of fact -- primarily the fact that the nice policeman will write you a ticket if you don't comply.

Civil society is not sustained by random beliefs. It is sustained by implicit and explicit agreements that we submit to.

mordant Level 8 Aug 24, 2018

Laws are not facts. In your example the laws rely on the beliefs of the policeman that he should write a ticket. In court the laws rely on the belief of the judges. In society in general they rely on all people believing and agreeing to them. Laws only get enforced because of believes.
(All in contrast to "the laws of physics" or the "laws of logic" which can't be broken)

The laws of physics are true laws. The only real laws for society are don't hurt others and don't take other's stuff. All else is color of law. "Driving" is a term used for commerce. Most people on the roads are just traveling.

Truly sad how society had rolled over and given up the basic right to travel by allowing government to trick us I to license, registration, and insurance which really just amounts to asking permission to move around. Nation of sheep!

@Dietl Lol well you just go ahead and break the law and you'll find out how non-factual they are.

Laws exist. They are in writing. They are agreed to. They are of course abstractions in that they're made of words and supported by general assent / agreement (but not, I would argue, belief) and subject to application and interpretation (which is why we have courts). If enough laws are sufficiently unjust or arbitrarily (un)enforced, then that assent can deteriorate but the effect of a working legal system is totally concrete (as Trump et. al. are about to find out).

As I said ... civil society is not supported by what people randomly believe but what they consistently, in aggregate, assent to.

I don't really know what you are talking about and how this relates to the things I've said except that your comment uses some of the same words as I. Must be my sheep mind! smile009.gif
Here you confuse the representation of a given law (the writing) with the law itself. It is a fact that a law applies in a certain country. That is not the same as saying that that law is a fact.
So I break a law. What then? Is there a hidden switch that goes on when I drive too fast on a certain road? I only have to deal with the consequences of a law if it is enforced. Without law enforcement there is no law. There is writing on a piece of paper or in some database but nothing else except some beliefs.
I'm not really sure what to make of your comments. In the one sentence you seem to argue that laws are objectively true and in the next you give examples that show how they rely on human beings. Maybe you just need to find some clarity about the meaning of the words you use. Or could it be that you think laws exist in some platonic realm of ideas?


Atheists aren't lacking in morality. What kind of rhetorical leap is that? Gtfo with that nonsense.


Traffic laws are not really objective and I think you know that. If they were they wouldn't be different in different countries. Calling them morality is fair imo. Would you also call the rules of chess morality?

Dietl Level 7 Aug 24, 2018

Nothing is 100% objective ... only sufficiently objective for the purposes to which we put them.

Laws are expressions of the morality within a particular society, but morality consists of way more than laws, it consists of social taboos and endorsements, conventions, custom, etc. and a lot more besides.

Of course morality varies by society -- it arises from societal interactions.

The first time two humans had to coexist and/or cooperate, morality began to form. As humans began to live in proximity to and interdependence with one another, morality coalesced at the level of each society, and that process continues to this day.

Religion comes along then and appropriates what's already there and claims to be its inventor and protector. And because we tend to think that the many common features of different societal moralities arise, not from common human needs and proclivities, but from some "backing authority" (we like our morality "self evident" and prefer not to have to reason about it), we tend to allow the religious and other types of absolutists, to make morality into an extrinsic thing-in-itself and something far more objective and simple than it is in practice.

It's easier to understand morality as a thing-in-itself and harder to understand it as an emergent property of other things, but that doesn't mean thinking about it as absolute, objective and externally bestowed is right. It's just easy.

"Nothing is 100% objective"
'Objective' means that something is independant from anybodys believes or feelings. There is therefore not a scale from 0% objective to 100% objective. It either depents on beliefs or not. It is objectively the case that something exists. Something exists no matter what anybody beliefs, right?
So the question was "Are (the traffic) laws objective?" If they were this would mean that they would exist independant from human beliefs. You yourself just wrote that the laws only "arose" when human being interacted with each other. So they depend on human beings and are therefore not objective, right? I'm not 100% sure what you mean because you contradict yourself in your comment but maybe you just made a little mistake.


Yeah, imo they are guidelines more then laws, entirely optional if you are able to get around them. I always drive 5-10 over, I turn on red when its safe, yellow means go faster.. etc.

dellik Level 6 Aug 24, 2018

Not in Thailand. And yet traffic flows.

powder Level 8 Aug 24, 2018

Interesting point.

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