Malum in se, malum prohibitum

posted by
January 31, 2012
La Bocca della Verita
by Gene Callahan  
Posted in Commentary

"Libertarians are quite correct to distinguish between acts that are malum in se (bad in themselves, like murder, rape, and so on), and things that are malum in prohibitum (wrong by force of law 'only'). But then they too often make the mistake of thinking that there is nothing immoral about ignoring the law when it bans things that are 'only' malum in prohibitum, or that these violations necessarily are not 'really' crimes. It simply does not follow that, if something was morally unobjectionable before it was against the law, it is still morally unobjectionable after it is against the law." (01/31/12)  

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