"But morality and social norms are supposed to be a different thing from law. In some spheres, it's more important to have hard-and-fast rules enforced by the government in a supposedly unbiased way; in others, it's more important to let communities make judgments using their own vague social norms."

"How Should We Think About Race And 'Lived Experience'?" by Scott Alexander in Astral Codex Ten

It's worth considering the specific case being examined here, but I wanted to highlight this broader point. I think it's similar to something I wrote about a few years ago

I've started calling this sort of thing "legalistic thinking," where people apply the strict standards found in law to discussions about morality.

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