The connection between law and morality is complex, and there may be no general rule that captures how the two are related.
Howard Campbell is a fictional character in the Kurt Vonnegut novel, “Mother Night”. This text has its protagonist appear to be a reprehensible soul. An American turned Nazi propagandist who we later find is working as a double agent. His charisma laden speeches are used to inspire der Volker and to provide hidden messages to the American forces. When the story begins Howard Campbell is in an Israeli holding cell – awaiting trial for his crimes as a Nazi. We learn the truth through his story.
If we can learn anything from the past, it’s that democracies can collapse. It happened in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, and then again after the Soviets began spreading authoritarian communism in the 1940s.
Everyone is capable of committing unethical actions without even realizing what they are doing is unethical.
Hannah Arendt anticipated the destruction of a shared and knowable world: “The point is reached when the audience to which the lies are addressed is forced to disregard altogether the distinguishing line between truth and falsehood in order to be able to survive.”
Eighteenth century philosopher David Hume famously argued that inferences in which what we ought morally to do are derived from non-moral states of affairs are logically flawed. You cannot, according to Hume, derive an “ought” from an “is,” at least without a supporting “ought” premise.
Mitch McConnell is ugly. He was born a sickly child (Polio) and is still a sickly man – he was honorably discharged from the Army Reserve due to optic neuritis. Yet, he is a man that has relished in the subversion of power. The sickly child who is now, for all intents and purposes the most powerful man in Washington. Looming over the Senate with his baritone voice and drooping face, he has provided a cynicism and Sophistry unmatched even by Paul Ryan.
Virtually all non-psychopaths think murder is morally wrong. But what makes it so? Is the wrongness an objective fact, one that would exist no matter how people felt about it? Or does the wrongness of murder reside only in people’s minds, with no footing in objective reality?