65. Every individual in a society has a responsibility to obey just laws and to disobey and resist unjust laws.

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65. Every individual in a society has a responsibility to obey just laws and to disobey and resist unjust laws.

Theoretically, the legal system of a society must reflect the public consensus by collecting public opinion. If any law which does not harmonize with people’s will is under the spotlight, it should be amended through a proper procedure. However, if one takes a close look at the idea of that ‘every’ individual in a society is responsible for disobeying unjust laws, the idea itself is based on the proposition that is practically obsolete and unrealistic.

Taking all things into consideration, discerning just laws from unjust laws is not a simple task. The legal system has been built through a compromise between different interest groups. Therefore, if one law is hospitable and profitable to a certain group of people, the antipodal group may feel the law is more than unjust, they might think the law should be abolished immediately for their justice. Considering the diversity of independent interest of different groups, one cannot dare to say ‘every’ individual has a shared, fully-unified opinion of which law is just or not.

To give an example, the wide deviation of moral values and religious creeds of different ethnic groups can be a reason causing the discordance to interpretation of a law. For example, according to certain religions and traditions, the body exposure of female is extremely prohibited. However, for security reasons, the passengers of an airport or public transportations are supposed to reveal their pictures and appearance. If these minorities rise against the security law for their cause, the majority of the society would not affirm it.

Even the major groups of the society conflict with each other for their interests, and this makes it practically impossible to ‘every’ person in society to define a just law from an unjust law. The conflicting interests between age groups significantly deteriorate the viability of dividing just laws and unjust laws. For example, young people might think the welfare cost for senior citizens which the elderly take it for granted, demand their sacrifice.

All in all, the idea of people should obey only the laws they think just is unrealistic and even dangerous, since it is almost impossible to sort out just laws from the unjust ones.

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