Ethics and the Law Aren't Always on the Same Page

Rosa Parks, top, was arrested in 1956 for refusing to move to the back of the bus. In 1947, the
Rosa Parks, top, was arrested in 1956 for refusing to move to the back of the bus. In 1947, the "Hollywood 10," blacklisted during the McCarthy era, refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Saturday, October 8, 2005

In an Oct. 4 letter, John Gross wondered if he had failed Logic 101 because he couldn't understand how something could "be ethical but illegal."

Four words: Rosa Parks, bus seat.

MATTHEW HOGAN

Silver Spring

ยท

John Gross asked, "Can something be ethical but illegal?"

The answer is yes, and here are two examples: Helping slaves to escape their legal owners in mid-19th century America and refusing to testify against friends during the McCarthy hearings.

And what about using marijuana to ease the suffering of cancer patients?

Perhaps a philosophy course along with the Logic 101 class that Mr. Gross referred to would help us all to better understand the relationship of ethics and the law.

RONALD F. BALAZIK

Alexandria


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