Policemen's and Soldiers' Morality
of Nazi war-criminals, it was correctly decided that
"I was just
doing my job" is not a legitimiate excuse for
acts. Yet this is the exact same excuse that
soliders and police
officers all over the world use to justify their
job is not to make or question the law, our job is to
enforce the law!"
say cops. True, they are in the business of
Meaning, they are required to abandon their
morals so they can
blindly, slavishly enforce whatever laws
politicians pass, no matter irrational, immoral,
non-sensical those laws happen to be.
If a police officer pulls over a vehicle and discovers
a pound of
marijuana in the trunk of the car, the officer will
probably arrest the driver. The officer knows
perfectly well that the person he's
arresting will likely spend years in prison with
robbers, murderers, gang members, and other violent
felons where he'll likely get stabbed, beaten, or
The officer makes the arrest anyway and mentally
defends it with "I'm
just doing my job, I'm following orders. We are
a nation of laws and he broke the
law. If he doesn't want to go to prison, then he
shouldn't have broken the law!"
does it end? What if politicians pass a law that bans
drug caffeine? Such a law would ban coffee and
both contain caffeine. This means M&Ms would
be illegal as
well as yogurt-covered coffee beans. Would
police officers arrest
people with bags of M&Ms, knowing full well these
likely serve years of prison time? "Hey, you
broke the law.
If you don't want to go to prison, don't break
the law!" the
police officer says.
Suppose politicians ban cholesterol-laden foods on the
such foods lead to heart disease which causes
thousands of deaths annually.
Will police officers start arresting people
ice cream and pizza?
At what point will an officer say to
himself "You know what, this law is stupid and dumb
and unfair and I am
NOT going to enforce it. I am not going to arrest this
law-breaker. He did nothing immoral. He just broke a
stupid, dumb law that
shouldn't even be a law in the first place."
The image below shows what unquestioning obedience to
lead to. The Nazi soldier in the picture is only
police officers and soldiers all over the world are