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:

  1. “Paying for someone else’s parking meter.”
  2. “Credentialing laws for things that don’t carry much danger if you do them incorrectly . . . for example, requiring a license to be a florist.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “Loitering in a park . . . the point of a park is to loiter.”
  5. “Jaywalking and crossing the street on a red light, as a pedestrian, when there are no cars around.”
  6. “Withdrawal of care for terminal illness.”  Or assisted suicide in general.
  7. “Prostitution:  Everyone does it for free, why can’t you get paid?  Especially when you CAN get paid if you film it.”
  8. “Taking food . . . from an employer . . . when it was about to get thrown away anyway.”  Or even, “stealing” food or other items from a dumpster.
  9. “Sleeping in your car.”
  10. “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.