moral issues with working criminal defense?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
pleasepickme
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:58 am

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby pleasepickme » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:47 pm

Yeah, I understand OP's concern. For a long time, I thought I could never work in crime defense because there's a real consequence if you do your job too well. I had an amazing crim law class, though, with a prof who does incredible work in criminal defense, and he really made me understand how important defense work is in keeping the system honest. They fight for rules to protect those wrongly accused, and sometimes it gets the guilty off the hook. Without solid defense attorneys, the criminal justice system could just run unchecked, and that's even less okay than a rapist walking free.

That being said, I'm probably going to work on death penalty appeals this summer, so I'll check back in a few months and tell you how I'm sleeping.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:51 pm

A'nold wrote:Take out the "pure" part. I believe "evil" is acting selfishly w/out regard to the consequences to your fellow man. I'm not talking satanists here, I am talking gang members that rob, rape, kill, etc. without a second thought. There is no conscience, no regard for the lives they destroy. They are out for themselves and them alone.

These people basically do not exist. They are fictional characters and stereotypes, not human beings. Even what we think of as the worst kinds of people have motives and consciences and morals. They're just so different from that of society that it scares people, so they respond by assuming they simply lack any altogether.

Even gang members don't "kill without a second thought". Gang violence is usually sparked by some act, which might seem like an excuse to more academic people, but is actually significant to them. Some sign of disrespect, which leads to an altercation, which escalates, but begins with that initial act of disrespect. That goes right to their moral beliefs, loyalty and solidarity, standing up for their brothers, defending their ground, defending their name. Gang violence that escalates to shooting and killing is terrible, but let's not pretend that all this happens in a vacuum and that some switch just goes off in their head that says, "Hey, I'm gonna go buy a soda and kill someone this morning."

These people are certainly not out for themselves and themselves alone. They're out to protect each other and what they believe in. They're dangerous not because they lack morals but because their morals are incompatible with mainstream middle/upper-class society.

And they often end up in these kind of situations because they have no choice, or they have no way of seeing that they have a choice. And once they start committing crimes, who has sympathy for them and tries to look out for them and their interests? Sometimes the public defender is the only one who does.

This is especially true with people who get into drug problems, whether it's using or selling. They get addicted and can't break out, or they start selling because it's the only living wage they can find. Not everyone the PD fights for is going to reform, and many don't, I'll admit that. But if each PD ends up getting just one client an alternative judgment that involves probation and guidance and rehab that works, and that helps that person escape where they were and become a productive member of society, that PD is probably the kind of person to say everything they do has been worth it just because it made sure that one person had another chance.

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby gregthomas77 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:52 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Borhas wrote:At the end of the day there may never be certainty, but I'm sure that w/ the access to evidence that a PD has the PD could pretty reasonably come up with his own belief on his client's culpability at the point of the plea bargain. Furthermore, if you know your client is not guilty then could you even ethically agree to a plea bargain? [though that doesn't mean you couldn't make a plea deal if you merely didn't know one way or the other]

Consider this: If you "knew" your client was innocent but didn't know it in the form of strong admissible evidence, and the prosecution had evidence that the judge would admit and the jury would convict on, then as a PD you would be aware that your client's position is one where he's going to jail despite his innocent either way, but his options are to either 1) take a plea or 2) go to trial when the PD is pretty sure they'll lose.

In that situation, isn't it more ethical to tell them to take the plea? You have to consider your client's interests, and if you truly believe he'll be convicted despite your confidence in his innocence, then you probably have to tell him it's in his best interest to take the plea and avoid the longer jail term.

Borhas wrote:The larger point remains, that as a PD you will definitely know some of your clients were guilty/culpable/evil after the fact. Of course, they could even win an appeal and you'd still know it if the acquittal was based on something like reversing a trial court's denial of 4th amendment motion to suppress evidence. The evidence may end up successfully suppressed, but that doesn't mean you never knew about, after all it may be bad to let the police powers go unfettered but that doesn't destroy your own knowledge of the facts.

I'm not going to deny that you'll know some of your clients are guilty. You'll definitely know. But even then your obligation isn't just to that client, it's to every past and future client you've had. If you just sat back and allowed someone you knew was guilty to get convicted despite the evidence being fruit of an unlawful search and seizure, that would create an incentive for the police/prosecution to push more unlawful searches and seizures. After all, if the PD won't object if he thinks his client is guilty, why not?

Suddenly the police could be illegally searching people all over the place, but only arresting the ones where what they find shows they're obviously guilty. The PD wouldn't object, since he agrees, the evidence shows he's guilty. In that scenario, who protects the rights of the illegally searched?

Being a PD means you have to fight for the rights of everyone under investigation, and the only way to do that is to make sure the law is uniformly enforced, even against those who end up being guilty. The fact that someone was carrying 18 bags of dope on them doesn't mean they didn't have a right to not be searched by police without probable cause. The PD knows they're guilty, but fights to get them released because allowing a conviction would allow the illegal police searches that led to it.

The way PDs deal with the obviously guilty clients is by reminding themselves that they're fighting for rules that matter and that apply to everyone, even the guilty. They keep the police in check, not just against the guilty, but against the innocent. Defending the guilty is the only way to do that.


You also have an obligation to the system. If the prosecution can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your client is guilty, then your client should not be convicted regardless of whether or not they "did it". In an adversarial system, your job includes making the opposition do their job.
Last edited by gregthomas77 on Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby 20160810 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:53 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Borhas wrote:At the end of the day there may never be certainty, but I'm sure that w/ the access to evidence that a PD has the PD could pretty reasonably come up with his own belief on his client's culpability at the point of the plea bargain. Furthermore, if you know your client is not guilty then could you even ethically agree to a plea bargain? [though that doesn't mean you couldn't make a plea deal if you merely didn't know one way or the other]

Consider this: If you "knew" your client was innocent but didn't know it in the form of strong admissible evidence, and the prosecution had evidence that the judge would admit and the jury would convict on, then as a PD you would be aware that your client's position is one where he's going to jail despite his innocent either way, but his options are to either 1) take a plea or 2) go to trial when the PD is pretty sure they'll lose.

In that situation, isn't it more ethical to tell them to take the plea? You have to consider your client's interests, and if you truly believe he'll be convicted despite your confidence in his innocence, then you probably have to tell him it's in his best interest to take the plea and avoid the longer jail term.

Borhas wrote:The larger point remains, that as a PD you will definitely know some of your clients were guilty/culpable/evil after the fact. Of course, they could even win an appeal and you'd still know it if the acquittal was based on something like reversing a trial court's denial of 4th amendment motion to suppress evidence. The evidence may end up successfully suppressed, but that doesn't mean you never knew about, after all it may be bad to let the police powers go unfettered but that doesn't destroy your own knowledge of the facts.

I'm not going to deny that you'll know some of your clients are guilty. You'll definitely know. But even then your obligation isn't just to that client, it's to every past and future client you've had. If you just sat back and allowed someone you knew was guilty to get convicted despite the evidence being fruit of an unlawful search and seizure, that would create an incentive for the police/prosecution to push more unlawful searches and seizures. After all, if the PD won't object if he thinks his client is guilty, why not?

Suddenly the police could be illegally searching people all over the place, but only arresting the ones where what they find shows they're obviously guilty. The PD wouldn't object, since he agrees, the evidence shows he's guilty. In that scenario, who protects the rights of the illegally searched?

Being a PD means you have to fight for the rights of everyone under investigation, and the only way to do that is to make sure the law is uniformly enforced, even against those who end up being guilty. The fact that someone was carrying 18 bags of dope on them doesn't mean they didn't have a right to not be searched by police without probable cause. The PD knows they're guilty, but fights to get them released because allowing a conviction would allow the illegal police searches that led to it.

The way PDs deal with the obviously guilty clients is by reminding themselves that they're fighting for rules that matter and that apply to everyone, even the guilty. They keep the police in check, not just against the guilty, but against the innocent. Defending the guilty is the only way to do that.

This is all well-said, but the bulk of what PDs do is defending the guilty in instances where the police followed procedure. The best justification I can come up with for PD work is that I don't want to live in a society where people get put in jail without having a chance to tell their side of the story, and properly telling your side of the story in court requires a lawyer.

User avatar
NZA
Posts: 1285
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby NZA » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:01 pm

A'nold wrote:Take out the "pure" part. I believe "evil" is acting selfishly w/out regard to the consequences to your fellow man. I'm not talking satanists here, I am talking gang members that rob, rape, kill, etc. without a second thought. There is no conscience, no regard for the lives they destroy. They are out for themselves and them alone.


Dude. There are probably a handful of true sociopaths out there.

A'nold wrote:How does anyone have a right to anything? How do we have the right to judge who should pay tort damages and who should not? We have a system in place to determine who the bad criminals are.


Yeah, but that system explicitly grants rights and privileges that you seem to think don't need to be respected. That's my entire point: your view of inmates is that they are human beings not worthy of respect. That's a moral/ethical/anthropological opinion of yours. Our Constitution and mores state that we should care even for criminals to a certain degree.

A'nold wrote:What does not give me the right to treat those that are "pure evil" mercilessly? Respect is earned, not given.


This just doesn't make sense.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:29 pm

SBL wrote:This is all well-said, but the bulk of what PDs do is defending the guilty in instances where the police followed procedure.

In the vast, vast majority of those cases, the PD doesn't argue that much. They always argue against some violation of police procedure if there's one to argue against, but for the cases where it's that clear-cut, their work typically just involves pushing for a better plea until they're sure the prosecutor won't budge any more, and then they recommend to their client they take it, and then they take it.

And then they've done their service to society by being there for the guy and making sure he's gotten adequate representation during his plea. And the guy still goes away, still gets a criminal conviction and does time, with a sentence that's acceptable to the prosecutor and the judge. And society is saved the expense of a trial and whatever small risk exists of an acquittal.

In those cases, the PD is there, but he's not doing what people keep seeming to think they do. He's not taking some obviously guilty serial rapist who has stacks of evidence piled against him and going, "We're going to fight this all the way to the end and find a way to get you out of it." He's probably going back to his client and going, "The prosecutor offered to drop them from X to Y which means you'll get 15 years instead of 20." The client asks if he can get more, the PD says probably not, and the client says okay and it's over.

I guess I should've been clearer on that earlier. I wasn't trying to say that the PD never assumes his client is guilty at all. I was talking about when cases go to trial, which is honestly pretty rare, but almost universally does involve the times when the evidence is unclear and there is plenty of room for doubt. The bulk of cases get plead out, and the PD will often definitively know their client is guilty in those cases, but those cases also don't involve a deep moral quandary of helping some brutal criminal go free. It's just the opposite, he's helping his client accept a guilty plea and a sentence that the other side agrees is sufficient for both the crime and the evidence.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:33 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
A'nold wrote:Take out the "pure" part. I believe "evil" is acting selfishly w/out regard to the consequences to your fellow man. I'm not talking satanists here, I am talking gang members that rob, rape, kill, etc. without a second thought. There is no conscience, no regard for the lives they destroy. They are out for themselves and them alone.

These people basically do not exist. They are fictional characters and stereotypes, not human beings. Even what we think of as the worst kinds of people have motives and consciences and morals. They're just so different from that of society that it scares people, so they respond by assuming they simply lack any altogether.

Even gang members don't "kill without a second thought". Gang violence is usually sparked by some act, which might seem like an excuse to more academic people, but is actually significant to them. Some sign of disrespect, which leads to an altercation, which escalates, but begins with that initial act of disrespect. That goes right to their moral beliefs, loyalty and solidarity, standing up for their brothers, defending their ground, defending their name. Gang violence that escalates to shooting and killing is terrible, but let's not pretend that all this happens in a vacuum and that some switch just goes off in their head that says, "Hey, I'm gonna go buy a soda and kill someone this morning."

These people are certainly not out for themselves and themselves alone. They're out to protect each other and what they believe in. They're dangerous not because they lack morals but because their morals are incompatible with mainstream middle/upper-class society.

Someone who is willing to kill another human being or beat the shit out of them because of a mere sign of disrespect is not all that different (in my mind) from a complete sociopath who kills at will or at random, and they deserve to be treated the same by the law and by society.


SBL wrote:This is all well-said, but the bulk of what PDs do is defending the guilty in instances where the police followed procedure. The best justification I can come up with for PD work is that I don't want to live in a society where people get put in jail without having a chance to tell their side of the story, and properly telling your side of the story in court requires a lawyer.

+1. In the abstract or at the high level view, I'm all "Rah rah, go team" about PDs. I'm glad there are people out there doing this work, and it is a shame that many oftheir offices are so poorly staffed and funded. But let's not pretend that the bulk of their work is fighting against injustice or keeping the police at bay. I know a lady who was a PD who made the switch to the prosecutor's office about ten or fifteen years. Why'd she switch? She was tired of the "crusader for justice" attitude of the PD's office, and from her perspective, they often imagined things that weren't there (like police misconduct or a mistake in prosecution). She didn't have many kindly things to say about her former colleagues or groups like the Innocence Project, that's for sure.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:34 pm

And +1 to your last post, VW. I think that is probably true in almost all cases the PD's office handles.

Still, I'd rather be the one locking them up. :lol:

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby 20160810 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:40 pm

romothesavior wrote:And +1 to your last post, VW. I think that is probably true in almost all cases the PD's office handles.

Still, I'd rather be the one locking them up. :lol:

This is pretty much where I'm at. I'm glad we have good PDs out there doing what they do, but I don't personally have anywhere near enough sympathy for criminals to be good at that job.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4854
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby Borhas » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:40 pm

vanwinkle wrote:Consider this: If you "knew" your client was innocent but didn't know it in the form of strong admissible evidence, and the prosecution had evidence that the judge would admit and the jury would convict on, then as a PD you would be aware that your client's position is one where he's going to jail despite his innocent either way, but his options are to either 1) take a plea or 2) go to trial when the PD is pretty sure they'll lose.

In that situation, isn't it more ethical to tell them to take the plea? You have to consider your client's interests, and if you truly believe he'll be convicted despite your confidence in his innocence, then you probably have to tell him it's in his best interest to take the plea and avoid the longer jail term.


It is definitely in the client's best interest, and I'm not really making a substansive point, it's mostly academic. I was evaluating it using the same standard when a PD puts up the defendant as a witness. [I don't know anything about the details of Pro. Resp. as a 1L so the following is my vague idea of it] If you know the guy committed some culpable act, you very well can't ask him on the stand if he did and accept a lie knowing that he did, or accept his lie in response to the prosecution's question. If you analogize that to guilt/not guilt of plea bargain then could you sign off on a plea deal that implicitly lies just for the sake of your clients interest?

As far as ethics, yes it's such a practical necessity given the reality of the justice system

As far as your responsibility as an officer of the court? Seems sketchy to me, though I'm sure there's some weird legal justification for it, like saying guilt/not guilt is a legal question and not a factual question.

Vanwinkle wrote:I'm not going to deny that you'll know some of your clients are guilty. You'll definitely know. But even then your obligation isn't just to that client, it's to every past and future client you've had. If you just sat back and allowed someone you knew was guilty to get convicted despite the evidence being fruit of an unlawful search and seizure, that would create an incentive for the police/prosecution to push more unlawful searches and seizures. After all, if the PD won't object if he thinks his client is guilty, why not?

Suddenly the police could be illegally searching people all over the place, but only arresting the ones where what they find shows they're obviously guilty. The PD wouldn't object, since he agrees, the evidence shows he's guilty. In that scenario, who protects the rights of the illegally searched?

Being a PD means you have to fight for the rights of everyone under investigation, and the only way to do that is to make sure the law is uniformly enforced, even against those who end up being guilty. The fact that someone was carrying 18 bags of dope on them doesn't mean they didn't have a right to not be searched by police without probable cause. The PD knows they're guilty, but fights to get them released because allowing a conviction would allow the illegal police searches that led to it.

The way PDs deal with the obviously guilty clients is by reminding themselves that they're fighting for rules that matter and that apply to everyone, even the guilty. They keep the police in check, not just against the guilty, but against the innocent. Defending the guilty is the only way to do that.


All of this is true, but it is a tough balancing act, and it's my main concern about PD work

on the one hand good advocacy requires a personalized approach. Ideally, advocacy requires an emotional investment in something personal, you have to fight for someone or against someone. Perhaps some people are more motivated by defending privacy rights than helping out people in need, but ideally you want sympathize (not just empathize) with your client and uphold a good principle at the same time.

I can see myself as sympathetic with most of the accused, but could I become emotionally vested once I start getting felony cases? Could I really sympathize with a violent rapist? Pity? Sure. Provide basic respect? probably. But would I be inspired to advance the interests of that individual? No, I'm sure I could do it, but I'm not sure I would like it. I don't think I am unique in that position. I think the vast majority of people are angered by injustice. The same reasons that support our emotional response to the government's injustice support our response to an individual's injustice. That's why I don't find the moral relativism arguments to be persuasive. If you hate it when government takes away a man's freedom, then how can you sympathize with someone that takes another's life? Both are injustice, and yet one is mitigated by environmental factors while the other is apparently still outrageous (referring to your argument in re "respect").

That's why I said it might be good to think about it as a fight against the government rather than a fight for your client. At least, that's how I can see myself doing PD work in the long run (like my whole career). By thinking about is a fight against the government I can personalize the conflict, and uphold our principles at the same time.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:41 pm

SBL wrote:
romothesavior wrote:And +1 to your last post, VW. I think that is probably true in almost all cases the PD's office handles.

Still, I'd rather be the one locking them up. :lol:

This is pretty much where I'm at. I'm glad we have good PDs out there doing what they do, but I don't personally have anywhere near enough sympathy for criminals to be good at that job.

That's because bros hate crime (unless it is like trespassing to do cool stuff, or stealing stuff from other fraternities).

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby 20160810 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:45 pm

romothesavior wrote:
SBL wrote:
romothesavior wrote:And +1 to your last post, VW. I think that is probably true in almost all cases the PD's office handles.

Still, I'd rather be the one locking them up. :lol:

This is pretty much where I'm at. I'm glad we have good PDs out there doing what they do, but I don't personally have anywhere near enough sympathy for criminals to be good at that job.

That's because bros hate crime (unless it is like trespassing to do cool stuff, or stealing stuff from other fraternities).

The only B&E I'm down with is Bro-ing and Entering.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby A'nold » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:49 pm

NZA wrote:
A'nold wrote:Take out the "pure" part. I believe "evil" is acting selfishly w/out regard to the consequences to your fellow man. I'm not talking satanists here, I am talking gang members that rob, rape, kill, etc. without a second thought. There is no conscience, no regard for the lives they destroy. They are out for themselves and them alone.


Dude. There are probably a handful of true sociopaths out there.

A'nold wrote:How does anyone have a right to anything? How do we have the right to judge who should pay tort damages and who should not? We have a system in place to determine who the bad criminals are.


Yeah, but that system explicitly grants rights and privileges that you seem to think don't need to be respected. That's my entire point: your view of inmates is that they are human beings not worthy of respect. That's a moral/ethical/anthropological opinion of yours. Our Constitution and mores state that we should care even for criminals to a certain degree.

A'nold wrote:What does not give me the right to treat those that are "pure evil" mercilessly? Respect is earned, not given.


This just doesn't make sense.


Hello Mr. Strawman, nice to see you this evening.

Throughout this thread we keep using the most extreme examples to show our side of the argument and maybe that's the problem here.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby A'nold » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:54 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
A'nold wrote:Take out the "pure" part. I believe "evil" is acting selfishly w/out regard to the consequences to your fellow man. I'm not talking satanists here, I am talking gang members that rob, rape, kill, etc. without a second thought. There is no conscience, no regard for the lives they destroy. They are out for themselves and them alone.

These people basically do not exist. They are fictional characters and stereotypes, not human beings. Even what we think of as the worst kinds of people have motives and consciences and morals. They're just so different from that of society that it scares people, so they respond by assuming they simply lack any altogether.

Even gang members don't "kill without a second thought". Gang violence is usually sparked by some act, which might seem like an excuse to more academic people, but is actually significant to them. Some sign of disrespect, which leads to an altercation, which escalates, but begins with that initial act of disrespect. That goes right to their moral beliefs, loyalty and solidarity, standing up for their brothers, defending their ground, defending their name. Gang violence that escalates to shooting and killing is terrible, but let's not pretend that all this happens in a vacuum and that some switch just goes off in their head that says, "Hey, I'm gonna go buy a soda and kill someone this morning."

These people are certainly not out for themselves and themselves alone. They're out to protect each other and what they believe in. They're dangerous not because they lack morals but because their morals are incompatible with mainstream middle/upper-class society.
nother chance.


I believe that there is a true "right and wrong" in the universe. I don't think right and wrong is a result of social conditioning or whatever for the most part. Dictators going around and cutting the babies out of mothers' stomachs of the husbands the dictator is trying to make a point of can in no way be considered "normal." A society or group that condones such things get no get out of jail free card because they were raised by others that believe such a thing is good. How about slavery in U.S. history? Even when such a practice was widely believed to be just, there were many whites that fought against it, and went against acceptable social practices.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:03 pm

A'nold wrote:I believe that there is a true "right and wrong" in the universe.

This is the point where I lose interest, since no useful discussion can follow from it.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby 20160810 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:09 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
A'nold wrote:I believe that there is a true "right and wrong" in the universe.

This is the point where I lose interest, since no useful discussion can follow from it.

On the one hand, moral relativism blows.

On the other hand, we're about 2 posts away from A'nold making a Nazi analogy I can just feel it.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: moral issues with working criminal defense?

Postby A'nold » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:20 pm

SBL wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
A'nold wrote:I believe that there is a true "right and wrong" in the universe.

This is the point where I lose interest, since no useful discussion can follow from it.

On the one hand, moral relativism blows.

On the other hand, we're about 2 posts away from A'nold making a Nazi analogy I can just feel it.


Haha. I didn't mean to go all metaphysical! :)

I was just saying (what SBL said better than I) that I really don't believe in moral relativism. I do have my beliefs in a designer for this cooky existence, but that is not actually where I necessarily draw my "inherent instinct to right and wrong" from. I'm just saying that law is not an end to itself and if laws were truly arbitrary, we would be no better than any kill or be killed member of the animal kingdom at base level. I don't believe that. 'Tis all I was getting at. No need to go down this path.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: blueapple and 6 guests