Just a quick thought relating to Jimmy Akin's analysis (link takes you to Jimmy Akin's Blog. For pertinent post see archives for August, Aug. 1) of a question regarding the morality of gambling in a state where games of hazard are prohibited:
While I am in general substantive agreement with Akin’s analysis, I wonder whether the moral center of the question as it has been raised does not lie elsewhere.
Supposing the in-house poker game to be illegal, would not the general requirement that we obey the law, ceteris paribus inform our consideration of the morality of the question?
In other words: capricious disobedience of the law in some cases is at least as dangerous to civil society as blind and uncritical adherence thereto in all cases.
While the latter tends to stem from cowardice, the former more often stems from a relatively low opinion of authority (the authoritative expressions of society's organs for the maintenance of order and the protection/promotion of the common good are relatively less important than, say, my desire to do what I will, when I will, in the manner I will). Neither benefits ordered liberty.
So, in a place where legitimate authority has passed a law (or ordinance) prohibiting a certain activity (provided the activity is not necessary to the health of individuals or groups, or directly bearing on the health of civil society), were it not better simply to obey the law (with pertinent exceptions, e.g. in cases where doing so would directly result in injury or death to an innocent)?
Regardless of the other possible considerations, would not obedience be the act most conducive to fostering a habit of thinking first of the common good, as well as conducive to the development of the critical sense of justice that is indispensable to citizenship in free society?
At rock bottom, is not obedience to the gambling law a simple matter of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s?