Instigator / Pro

We have no obligation to follow the law


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 3 votes and with 9 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Two weeks
Max argument characters
Voting period
One month
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

Assuming that society exists, disobeying the law is with one's own discretion: whether is to be caught by police, or followed by something that inflicts pain.

Do we, however, have any obligation to follow the law? I say no. However, I simply choose to follow the law because I believe I will be inflicted of less pain, which is a good thing for me. If you don't want to be painful, then my suggestion is to not break the law.

-BoP is shared:
----Pro: We have no obligation to follow the law
----Con: We are obligated to follow the law
Intelligence_06 is Pro.

Have fun!

Round 1

a binding custom or practice of a community a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority
the whole body of such customs, practices, or rules
Common Law[1]
  • of which "Common Law" means:
    the body of law developed in England primarily from judicial decisions based on custom and precedent, unwritten in statute or code, and constituting the basis of the English legal system and of the system in all of the U.S. except Louisiana[1a]
  • In other words, basically rules and customs prescribed, enforced, etc. by specifically a group of controlling authorities
something one is bound to do[2]

To break the law

My argument here is simple. You can break the law. In fact, you can break the law without even noticing that you just did[3]. There are actual people who existed(if you assume history is accurate) who disregards law, who practices anarchism and Max Stirner's egoist ideals[4]. Regardless if you are a normal citizen who breaches a law by accident, or a radical anarchist who completely holds zero regards for customs and rules enforced by the authorities, it became clear that we can break the law, thus not BOUND to obey the law.

To follow something that cannot be proven to exist

There are things to be reasoned a priori and there are other things a posteriori. For the case of the law, it is the latter(pun intended). The existence of laws requires some form of related authority who enforces said laws.

Objective truth regarding things a posteriori or things requiring existence, if existent in the first place, would be impossible to reach as us humans. Humans, as we know, are conscious and rational beings that perceive the world. We can never truly say that anything we see exists, due to that essentially our eyes, nose, ears, etc. are the only things we depend on, and things we receive from those "sensors" can be interpreted in massive amounts of different ways.

Say, you see a news message from social media saying that Biden has retreated troops from Afghanistan. That is what you see. These things could be plausible upon just interpreting this message and nothing else(Note, I am not saying any of these are true, in fact, I can't even prove that any of these are true, so please don't get offended):
  • Biden has retreated troops from Afghanistan. Reality is just like what the news said it is.
  • Afghanistan has already been defeated long ago and the US media is making the story up to cover up where the military budget went.
  • Biden is no longer in charge and the media is pretending he is in power for some reason.
  • It was a joke coordinated by a few news reporters across the US and somehow everyone believed it.
  • You are living in a scenario close to the Truman show, and every piece of news is fabricated out of nothing.
  • You are a dreaming butterfly, dreaming that Biden has retreated out of Afghanistan.
See? All of these are plausible. We usually believe the top option due to that it is the simplest explanation(and thus the explanation we find most rational, for some reason). Nevertheless, one could not disprove any of the explanations above. The little amount of evidence given just by staring at the news would mean that none of the six could be rationally disproven.

In the end, anything requiring empirical experience or evidence cannot be proven to exist, since one could always doubt what they see, or to doubt what they don't see. From what we know, does what we don't sense even exist to us? What we are sure of is that we cannot prove that something we cannot sense whatsoever to be existent, ever.

Now, onto the controlling authorities part. Obviously, we could doubt our vision or memories, saying, "Is this an existing controlling authority that regulates laws?" or even, "Is there any existing law-regulating controlling authorities?" The answer is, we cannot surely say yes. Even if you are staring at a law-regulating governmental building, you cannot prove that just now(or maybe even years before this debate existed), all laws from all agencies have been abolished and the police, specifically the ones that We meet, are playing along as a joke. In fact, we cannot even prove that just now, all the law-regulating agencies DIDN'T dissolve and the news just chose to not report it. Bottom line: We cannot prove that laws even exist, or the authorities that grant usage to those laws exist.

And no, we have no "obligation" to reduce suffering either, since we could easily become a sadist who wants everyone to suffer and die[5], although I advise not to.

In the end, we cannot prove that there is a law, the same way that we can't prove that Harry Potter is true. Saying that we have an obligation to obey the law is like we have an obligation to obey Hogwarts rules.

  • We are not BOUND by law since we can easily break them.
  • We cannot prove the law exists, and obviously we don't have to follow something that we can't even prove to really exist.
    • Technically, since we can't prove the law exists the same way we can't prove Harry Potter has objective being, saying we have an obligation to follow the law is akin to saying we have an obligation to obey Hogwarts rules.
  • In the end, we don't have an obligation to obey the law.

Round 2
Extend argument as they still stand.
This is the second time you accepted my debate and forfeited. You are literally able to reply comments whilst the period you can reply to this debate. By conduct prescribed by the rules, you have literally lost.
Maybe rearrange your priorities.
yes maybe I should defeat you, you'd enjoy that much more.

This was very winnable for me, instead drama appeared elsewhere in the site that caused stress and issues which meant my priorities became stretched out and real life took more than here.

After I forfeited this, I realised I had lost as per the rules so there was no point for me to post Round 2.

Obligation semantically includes legal obligation, you had lost this debate if I tried so stop complaining so much about me sparing you. Enjoy the rating.
Round 3
Extend arguments.


My opponent conceded and forfeited, meaning that my opponent has lost this debate. I declare victory on the Pro side of this debate.

Last-minute rebuttals

Obligation semantically includes legal obligation.
Yes. I know that. However, since we cannot be sure that any authorities that enforces laws exist, it means that we don't have to be "legal", or to follow the law. Just because obligations can be legal does not mean that they exist, and it most definitely does not mean that we should follow them. This thing brought up, although related to the actual topic, did nothing at all.

  • If Con concedes and fails to refute any of Pro's arguments, Con thus loses.
  • Con has conceded this debate and failed to refute any of my arguments.
  • Thus, Con lost this debate. Vote Pro.