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  • The quotes seem reasonable. The application is reasonable - for both sides.

    A person has a responsibility to oppose immoral laws, but of course, there may be consequences is that opposition includes breaking the laws in question.

    The archbishop being quoted obviously feels that the law is immoral and must be opposed.

    The people who passed the law, I'm sure, feel that the rights of the children to get accurate information that the children want and have requested and which could vitally affect the rest of

    • The archbishop being quoted obviously feels that the law is immoral and must be opposed.

      I guess this is the part I have a problem with.

      It is alright, apparently, for the church to advocate breaking the law.

      What about those that don't believe in god? Can they also decide, based on their own moral code to break the law?

      What if I'm a Satan worshipper? Can I use the tenets of my religion to guide me in these areas... deciding which laws are "OK" to follow and which not?

      OK... those are actually thought que
      • If the church can advocate breaking the law, any organization should be able to suggest laws it doesn't like and advocate that people ignore them.

        Sure, any organization can advocate breaking the law, but must live with the consequences. Actually breaking the law carries consequences. Conspiracy to break the law carries consequences. Misusing a position of trust or power to induce others to break the law carries consequences. Claiming that a law is immoral and should be ignored may fit into one of those categories, or may be legal of itself; although, of course, anyone who acts on such a claim must suffer their own consequences, and might provide evidence for the misuse of position argument, especially if large numbers of people are this inspired to break the law.

        That archbishop carries responsibility for his words, although he may not get charged with the responsibility. Someone who directly breaks the law is more obviously going to suffer the consequences (possibly unless the society involved sufficiently and actively agrees that the law is immoral, causing it to be overturned, but that is a chance the perpetrator is taking; the overturning of the law might not be backdated to the time of the offence against it).

        People who argue in favour of downloading MP3 recordings are in a similar position to that archbishop, although they are less likely to be regarded as abusing a position of trust or authority, and the consequences will apply to the person who is shown to be breaking the until that law is changed, if ever.

        That archbishop is more likely to suffer consequences for his incitation to break the law than someone who posts a message to Slashdot saying that people should download copywritten MP3 - because it is clear that the archbishop has real authority to his position and must carry some responsibility for the actions of those who carry out his wishes. Depending upon who strong that churches position is locally, there is more likely to be a popular uprising of the form that overturns the law on his behalf than on the slashdotter's though. Someone like Gandhi can inspire others in this way. It is especially telling when, like Gandhi, the person in authority joins in the breaking of the law and accepts the direct responsibility for that action; and much more cowardly to advocate that others break a law that the advocateur is unwilling or unable to break himself.