Are all legitimate laws articulations of
States, unlike other social organisations, have the authority to make laws of there own. The natural phenomena that is our obligation to the law has been discussed for decades, from natural law theory to positivism there are many different theories as to why this phenomena occurs. The discussion stems from the argument from moral autonomy, the outline of which being that we all have the right to do what each one of us thinks is right, so there are no obligations to follows the states laws blindly. It was noted that while this may be the case we still feel obliged to obey the law.
I believe that legitimate laws, depending on your definitions of legitimate, are not all in place because of moral rules. A portion of them definitely are, the laws such as murder and rape go without saying that they based on moral requirements but the smaller, less dramatic laws can hardly be seen in a moral light, such as the specific laws that you must follow if you wish to be married.
Natural law theory has a unique way of explaining the conflict between moral autonomy and our obligation to the law, the theorists say that particular argument is merely a superficial one. They claim that there is a mysterious universal moral code that runs through all of us, no matter what colour or creed. It is claimed that laws are derived from this universal code, that law makers attempt to write down this code and that is the rules we live by. This is how the natural law theorist gets around the argument between moral autonomy and our obligation to the law, as if the laws all derive from a universal moral code, then moral autonomy doesn't come into it.
This theory, ofcourse, is open to much criticism. For one I do not subscribe the theory of a universal moral code, I don't feel comfortable fobbing off an explanation for legitimate laws on something 'extra legal'. Despite the obvious religious connotations, to me it seems clear that...