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SOCIAL MORALITY, RULES AND LAWS

The English word "law" refers to limits upon various forms of behavior. Some laws are descriptive: they simply describe how people usually behave. Other laws are prescriptive - they prescribe how people ought to behave.

In all societies relations between people are regulated by prescriptive laws. Some of them are customs - that is, informal rules of social and moral behavior. Some are rules we accept if we belong to particular social institutions, such as religious, educational and cultural groups. And some laws are made by nations and enforced against all citizens within their power.

The rules of social institutions are more formal than customs. They carry penalties for those who break them. They are not, however, enforceable by any political authority.

Customs need not be made by governments, and they need not be written down. We learn how we should behave in society through the instruction of family and teachers, the advice of friends, and our own experience. Sometimes, we can break the rules, or break a very important one, other members of society may criticize us, act violently toward us or refuse to have anything to do with us. The ways in which people talk, eat and drink, work and relax together are usually guided by many such informal rules which have very little to do with laws created by governments.

However, when governments make laws for their citizens, they use a system of courts backed by the power of the police. Of course, there may be instances where the law is not enforced against someone (for example when young children commit crimes).

 

Письменно ответьте на вопросы.

1. What does the English word "law" refer to?

2. What is the difference between descriptive and prescriptive laws?

3. What is the difference between the rules of social institutions and customs?

4. Are there any instances where the law is not enforced against someone?

 

 

Заполните предложения необходимыми по смыслу словами.

1. Prescriptive laws ... how people ought to behave.

2. Some laws are made by ... and enforced against all citizens within their power.



3. ... carry penalties for those people who break them.

4. ... need not be written down.

 

4. Верны или неверны следующие предложения:

1. There are two kinds of laws: descriptive and prescriptive.

2. Customs are more formal than the rules of social institutions.

3. Customs are made by governments and they are written down.

4. When young children commit crimes the law is not enforced against them.

 


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