Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on June 10, 2013

in Civil Society, Hubris and humility, Law

… is from page 242 of Leland Yeager’s important 2001 book, Ethics as Social Science: The Moral Philosophy of Social Cooperation (citation removed; original emphasis):

Mary Ann Glendon makes much of the failure of law in the United States to impose a legal duty to come to the aid of a person in mortal danger….  Yet one might well regard the nonimposition of a legal duty to give help as an example of humility and restraint on the part of law and government.  The absence of a legal requirement does not mean repudiating the moral duty to give help.  To suppose it does – more broadly, to suppose that the law determines or at least registers what morality requires – is a tacitly statist notion.  Government should not try, with coercion as its ultimate sanction, to enforce everything good and suppress everything bad.  Taking on so broad a responsibility would worsen its dangerous aspects.

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