The importance of laws cannot be overstated. They are a crucial element for a modern society just like ours. There have been countless philosophers and political scientists who have reflected on the question: why laws need to be followed.
Indeed, it is a question that demands an answer. After all, some look at the law, or even the whole institution of government, as a major infringement on an individual’s personal freedoms. And, in some ways, they would be correct in certain regards.
The Social Contract
One of the best ways to answer the particular question of why laws need to be followed is by invoking the philosopher, Thomas Hobbes. He is the one that came up with the metaphor of the Leviathan in order to explain the function of the state.
According to this theory, individuals must give up certain freedoms to the state, the Leviathan, if they want to become part of a society that protects them. Otherwise, without the threat of the state’s punitive actions, people would descend into chaos and savagery.
The essence of the social contract, therefore, is that society follows the rules imposed by the law despite certain limiting effects on certain freedoms in order to maintain the established order.
Laws to Live By
Understanding the law does not just mean knowing the things you can and cannot do. On the contrary, we feel that the most important thing is having a full grasp of the rights granted to you. This is so you know when your rights are being trampled upon.
Of course, we are all familiar with the Bill of Rights which provide the framework for our civil liberties. However, this article goes beyond that. After all, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of laws being implemented.
This article present a few laws to live by. Keep in mind that you should maximize all of these if you want to protect yourself.
- Fair Housing Act – This law makes it illegal for anyone to discriminate against potential renters or buyers based on their handicap, religion, race, national origin, color, sex, or familial status.
- Laws Against Racial Profiling – Sadly, racial politics still remain a poignant issue in our society. Racial profiling is against the law. You need to ensure that you brush up on the specific laws of your state regarding this matter.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 – This requires employers to give men and women employees doing the same job equal pay.
Given the current state of our society, the examples presented above are just a few practical laws to live by.