View Full Version : Conscience or Law?

04-01-2011, 12:19 PM
Conscience or Law?

What are you guided by? Would you compromise one to follow the other?

Considering that some great people and some fabled people were known to have actively broken laws because of their beliefs, how right/wrong were they?

Consider people like Robin of Sherwood who reputedly stole from the rich to share amongst the poor, Nelson Mandela who was incarcerated for a significant part of his life under terrorism charges, Gandhi who was instrumental, despite periods of time in jail, for leading a civil disobedience programme and our beloved Bacha Khan, who driven by conscience spent 1/3 of his life in prison.

Arguably, all broke the law at some point. Would you be prepared to do that for something you believed in?

04-01-2011, 12:31 PM
haha... tor_khan, predictable results.

Hakim Khan Urgonai
07-15-2012, 12:48 AM
Interestingly enough, I do not follow any of the two.

Laws I disobey, unless its Shari`ah or the exact law also exists in Shari`ah.

Conscience I do not have.

Hakim Khan Urgonai
07-15-2012, 12:50 AM
Fine, I will be the first to spill the beans.
I am allergic to authority figures. You dont even have to enforce the law on me or remind me of the rules. The minute I realize they exist I get this desire to defy them. It doesnt even have to satisfy my coscions or reward me otherwise.
I know I am setting a bad example and I might die over a silly reason and that this post may offend you people but I dont see the point of pretending to be remorseful when I am not. And I am not saying this because people deserve to know them truth. This is simply how it is.

I also do not accept any authority over me but I don't get the urge to break rules for the sake of it.

07-15-2012, 01:34 AM
This is a really good topic, tor khan, but I feel you picked some unfair examples for people to compare to. All of them revolve around great injustices and, as such, do warrant for behavior that would qualify as being outside of the law. After all, even as Muslims, we are required to combat injustice and do our best to prevent it.

However, I strongly believe that in standard conditions, the rule of law must be held to be supreme. It is of no consequence that countries, not unlike the ones we hail from, are suffering the most, simply because people fail to uphold the law.

As an example, consider Intellectual Property laws. Afghanistan has no laws on copyright. Furthermore, it is not a member state in any kind of treaty with regards to Intellectual Property. This means that any literary, musical, architectural work, as well as software source code produced in Afghanistan is not only unprotected within Afghanistan itself, but can also be freely taken to any other nation and used there, without paying the original creator (in Afghanistan) a single penny.

Of course, the root cause of this all is the fact that Afghanistan has not implemented any laws of this sort within its boundaries, but what makes it worse is that people would ignore laws of this kind even if they were implemented.

The fact that one's work would not be protected (preventing one from receiving one's due credit/payment for it) is highly discouraging for anyone. This leads to less innovation in a country, which leads to less manufacturing, less industry, and so on and so forth.

Protecting Intellectual Property is just one example. I am sure everyone can think of several analogous concepts.

So in short, I strongly believe that upholding the law is paramount to the success of a nation.

07-15-2012, 09:00 AM
conscience is preferable but still it depends on the situation. You can't ignore laws all the time for conscience.

07-15-2012, 04:24 PM
I'm not surprised that 100% of the voters have chosen to follow their consciences as opposed to the law. Pashtun society is inherently individualistic which, no doubt has its pros, is also hindering at the same time.

We're plagued by everyone wanting to be the leader, and pave the way as they see fit. It's like the saying, "Too many chiefs, not enough Indians."

If everyone chooses to simply follow their own consciences, there is too much fragmentation, which leads to a poorer infrastructure in society. Again, this is something our society suffers from, and something that only (people adhering to) the rule of law can remedy.

07-28-2012, 03:17 AM
Why does it have to be one or the other? Wouldn't conscious be a sort of personal law or principles?

07-28-2012, 02:38 PM
Conscience is a subjective feeling/perception whereas law most of the time embodies/expresses the collective moral-ethical view/stance of the society, which, therefore, is likely to be more objective. So, I will obey the law of the land. However, there can be the possibility that something in the law is not right(for many people). I will try to change that through political means/ways but will not break the law.

07-28-2012, 06:23 PM
I also do not accept any authority over me but I don't get the urge to break rules for the sake of it.

This is the sort of free spirit commended in a video I saw earlier this week on the arbitrary nature of state authority I'm Allowed to Rob You: I'm Allowed to Rob You! - YouTube (

07-29-2012, 10:21 AM
If it is the case that the law had been decided by the peoples and is a righteous one (as decided by them) and is enacted with justness & fairness while being open to adapt to the changing circumstances of the people it is meant to govern, then the law must always come before any petty ideas of conscience for the sake of the stability of the society.

Particularly if the aforementioned peoples genuinely believe that the law is divinely inspired.

If all the above is the case then ideally one's conscience should be aligned with the moral values of the law. If not then that person is an anomoly and it would be wrong to act according to their conscience.

More often than not the above is not the case. Hence, in such a situation, one must act according to what they personally percieve is the right thing to do and should not be afraid of the pressures of society telling them otherwise.

But if doing the right thing would mean that the peoples of your society (whom you presumably care about) would suffer in the end, then it would be better to remain docile for their sake.