WHY OUGHT WE TO OBEY THE LAW? PLATO'S STARTLING ANSWER

A. Domanski

Abstract


Picture 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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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/44-0-172

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