If there was a Venn diagram set up for laws and ethics, MOST illegal things would also be morally wrong, so there would be a lot of overlap. But not all wrongs are illegal . . . and not all illegal things are morally wrong.
Someone recently asked the Internet to list things that ARE illegal, but are NOT ethically wrong. Naturally, there are a LOT of gray areas and nuances in both “what is moral,” and “what is illegal,” especially across different regions.
That said, here are 10 highlights:
- “Paying for someone else’s parking meter.”
- “Credentialing laws for things that don’t carry much danger if you do them incorrectly . . . for example, requiring a license to be a florist.”
- “Pirating media that isn’t available for purchase in your area. You weren’t going to get my money either way.” Or “making photocopies of sheet music.”
- “Loitering in a park . . . the point of a park is to loiter.”
- “Jaywalking and crossing the street on a red light, as a pedestrian, when there are no cars around.”
- “Withdrawal of care for terminal illness.” Or assisted suicide in general.
- “Prostitution: Everyone does it for free, why can’t you get paid? Especially when you CAN get paid if you film it.”
- “Taking food . . . from an employer . . . when it was about to get thrown away anyway.” Or even, “stealing” food or other items from a dumpster.
- “Sleeping in your car.”
- “Drinking . . . at 20 years and 364 days.”
Of course, some rules exist for OTHER reasons.
Like, some laws are in place to promote a general basis of personal safety and protection of property, even though individual cases may not seem “immoral.” In fact, they may not even be strictly enforced to the letter.