Law rules and conscience are considered sources of ethical guidance but their reliability is a matter of debate.
Why do laws and rules act as a source of ethical guidance?
- Laws are based on social norms so it has more acceptance like Civil laws.
- Laws are enacted by representatives hence they have legal sanctity.
- Because the creation of law involves thorough collective debates and discussions by learned men it is rational to follow the law.
Limitations of law and rules and regulations as a source of ethical guidance
- Mostly it is coercive: Income tax law
- It is a tool of powerful: Lifelong presidency by Xi-Jinping with the help of law, and apartheid.
- It may conflict with individual/social morality: Surrogacy law
Conscience as a source of ethical guidance:
- It allows reason and transcends his animal instincts.
- Conscience helps in interpreting ambiguous laws in the best possible manner.
Hence, we can conclude that conscience should be considered a supplementary source of ethical guidance along with laws and rules.