Unit 1.9 The relationship between law, society and ethics (1).doc

Unit 1.9 The relationship between law, society and ethics (1).doc

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The relationship between law, society and ethics
Values and ethical issues which affect social interaction
If all people shared the same values, and those values reflected patterns of good rather than
antisocial or criminal behaviour, social interaction would be different. Social scientists disagree
about the causes of what they sometimes call 'deviant' behaviour, and the 'nature versus nurture'
debate is often cited. There are those who consider that, perhaps for psychological reasons, some
people will behave badly whatever their surroundings and degree of material comfort. Others put
more emphasis on an individual's surroundings, or the extent to which they may suffer from
emotional deprivation, or have got caught up in a cycle of poverty and deprivation from which it is
impossible to escape.
'Social interaction' is a difficult term to define. It conjures up an image of people who are confident
and who are good mixers. Life exists in a sort of ideal state of helping others and working effectively
with them. Arguments, if they exist, are quickly settled and the natural state is one of harmony and
good humour. Family life involves friendly cooperation rather than discord. This is, of course, a
Many people interact quite well on a superficial basis and live, broadly speaking, in a manner that
acknowledges the code of ethics that guides 'right thinking people'. If they break the law it is in a
relatively minor way. Some people interact less well -- they maybe more introverted, preferring to
'mind their own business'. At the other end of the scale there are 'problem families' who might be
responsible for noise, vandalism and a range of criminal activities, which an ASBO (AntiSocial
Behaviour Order) may or may not curtail.
Interaction involves conflict, much of which might be readily resolved. It also involves cooperation,
where people genuinely find it possible to coexist with their fellow beings more or less in harmony.
We are all individuals with different backgrounds, thoughts and values. Very few of us can exist in
neartotal isolation, although this is not to say that older or disabled people, or those without close
family ties, may experience little interaction they maybe exceedingly lonely.
Politicians do not enjoy great public confidence or respect. Opinion polls suggest that they are
widely mistrusted and that their integrity is frequently called into question. This is almost certainly
unfair. It cannot be denied that some people enter politics with a measure of selfinterest or the

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That is not to say, though, that they are corrupt and operate with
disregard for ethical codes.
There have always been politicians who have fallen from grace. The work of a Member of
Parliament can be very demanding, despite apparent 'long holidays' when Parliament is in recess.…read more

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Between 2006 and 2007, poppy production in the country rose by
49%, and it is estimated that the country accounts for about 90% of the world supply of opium, a
poppy derivative and the raw material for heroin. Much of the poppy cultivation is in one single
province, Helmand, where some 7,000 British troops are currently based to support reconstruction
and development.
The dilemma is obvious but complex.…read more

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Forced eradication -- hitting
the poor the hardest -- would damage the 'hearts and minds' campaign essential in maintaining
some support among the general population.
Growing, processing and selling opium dominates the Afghan economy.…read more

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Examination Practice
The following source and question are typical of those that will be used in Section B of the Unit 1
Every effort has been made by Britain since the occupation to stop Afghan farmers growing
poppies. These poppies, which grow in abundance in Afghanistan, are used to produce opium,
which eventually finds its way onto the world drug market.…read more

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The command word is `examine' -- identifying and looking at the various issues connected
with the presence of British and American troops in Afghanistan since 2001.
Possible answer points
Historically, countries that have intervened in Afghanistan have achieved little success. Britain
invaded in the mid1830s and went on to lose the first Afghan war. Soviet Union troops
withdrew in 1989 after losing 50,000 men. Afghanistan has ideal terrain for guerrilla fighting.
It had been under Taliban rule since the mid1990s. Conditions were harsh.…read more

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US and UK intervention has to be seen in terms of a reaction against 9/11 and Afghanistan's links
with world terror and the alQaeda movement. Under the Taliban human rights for most of the
population would have been nonexistent. However, allied casualties have increased, especially
since suicide bombing was used as a strategy against allied troops. It is increasingly expensive to
maintain such a large presence of troops.…read more

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Prison works in the sense that people feel more secure in the knowledge that dangerous
criminals have lost their liberty and can no longer continue with their activities.
There is a strong popular view that penal policy ought to have a significant element of
punishment and retribution and that harsh sentences and unpleasant conditions might be a
deterrent, discouraging criminals from committing further crimes.
Two arguments against the viewpoint
The US example is not a particularly good one.…read more

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The question's command phrase -- `develop a strategy' -- has a clear focus: it means set
out a plan that might be used to combat the problem of alcohol crime.
Students need to use both information from the source and own knowledge to gain the
highest marks.
They should include several different points in the strategy.
Possible answer points
From source
Parliament could modify recently revised licensing laws that permit `allnight drinking'.…read more

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The drinks industry is a powerful lobby and many voters do not take kindly to what they consider to
be excessive government interference in their private lives. After smoking in pubs was made illegal
in the summer of 2007, and increasing accusations of a `nanny state', politicians are wary of
rushing in with a series of measures that might be said to threaten individual rights and freedoms.
Source 3
Speeding is a real problem.…read more


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