WHY OUGHT WE TO OBEY THE LAW? PLATO'S STARTLING ANSWER
AbstractPicture this scenario. Criminal charges have been brought against you. You are tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. (Mercifully, this could not happen in present-day South Africa.) While you have been given a procedurally fair trial, the charges brought against you and your conviction are substantively unjust. You are now in prison. Two days hence you are to die. What is your state of mind? Calm? Agitated? Depressed? Now suppose a friend arrives to visit you. He tells you that plans have been made for your escape, that your warder can easily be bribed, and that a car is waiting outside to whisk you away to a safe and secret destination. How do you react? Rejoice and run? Stay put and face the prospect of death? Most people in such a situation, we may agree, would escape without hesitation.
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