1. This is not an example of a tautology, unless you think law and society are literally the same thing.
So say you. Others disagree. Circular reasoning certainly qualifies as a tautology under that definition.
2. Society does not require law to exist. I can't even really begin to tell you how wrong headed that is (unless I can't remember what a society is from my BA and MA in Anthropology).
Well, you're the anthropologist, I suppose. I'd be surprised if anthropology didn't acknowledge that a society requires some organizational principles, some idea of acceptable behavior or propriety. But what do I know? Maybe you'd be happier if I avoided the word "society"?
Again, here, you're arguing ethics, as you are already positing the existence of ethics whereas metaethichs would debate the existence of ethics itself.
The existence of ethics is a fact. You yourself wrote an essay on it, remember? You probably mean validity; I was willing to forgive your lack of precision before, but now that your education (and lack of excuse) is bared, I must insist on it.
And there, I think, lies the problem. Metaethics (as you describe it) is a subset of epistemology; how we know things to be right or wrong is a subquestion to how we know anything to be true or false. Just as it's possible to be a solipsist with regards to the natural world, so it's possible to be a solipsist with regards to morality.
Unfortunately, solipsism is as intellectually bankrupt in the moral realm as it is in the scientific. We are ethical beings, and ethics pervades our thought process; we can't stop thinking about things as "right" or "wrong", even if we do disagree on many of the details. If that is invalid, then our entire thought process is suspect.
(Which isn't to say that metaethics is invalid; it's just that solipsism is just as dead a subject in metaethics as it is in the rest of epistemology, and not really anything to worry about when it comes to the business of "doing ethics". It's much more fruitful to ask ourselves how we know ethical things, where ethical beliefs come from, and so forth.)
Talk about ethics "existing" makes me think of it in a logical positivist sense, as if we expect ethical questions to be the subject of scientific experiments or something. If you're disappointed that we can't prove ethics scientifically, too bad; your BA cum laude should have given you a lot more disappointment a long time ago.
Actually, you're the one who's confused. This is not an example of a "moral dilemma" but an example of "morals" coming into conflict with laws. They are not at all the same thing (unless I have forgotten since I wrote my ethics thesis for my Philosophy BA cum laude).
Well, while you were writing your ethics thesis, you must have forgotten your formal logic. Here, I'll spell it out for you:
Moral principle: It is bad to disobey the law.
Alternative form: If something is against the law, then it is bad.
Support: None provided. Hypothesis.
Fact: Principle X directs one to violate the law under a certain set of circumstances.
Alternative form: According to Principle X, it is good to violate the law under a certain set of circumstances.
Support: Assumed as part of the thesis.
Conclusion: Principle X conflicts with the legal principle above.
Support: Modus tollens.
Definition: A moral dilemma is a situation in which two moral assertions conflict.
Support: formal logic, with the "moral" qualifier.
Conclusion: The union of Principle X with the legal principle constitutes a moral dilemma.
Support: Modus ponens.
Now, of course, you're free to dispute my legal principle (which you've done). That doesn't make it any less of a moral principle, just a (possibly) incorrect one. And once you grant the moral principle for the sake of argument, the rest follows. No confusion there.
And when you state, baldly and without qualifiers, that this moral principle is the source of confusion, you do your alma mater no favors. There's certainly good reason to think that laws don't have moral force a priori just because they are laws, but it's a quite a stretch to move from there to blandly asserting the confusion of anyone who talks about the moral force of law.
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