are traffic laws vallid? is the act of turning social conventions into mandated law vallid?
take speed limits: stop signs (and traffic lights), and posted upper limits.
is it one’s duty to adhere to them?
an analogy comes if you evaluate roughly what makes law wrong. is the law there to codify and recognize bad behaviours which the society admonishes regardless of personal views? or is it the consolidation and embodiment of authority solely for the purpose of empowerment through familiarity?
so is the wrong of the law the act you do, or projected from others and so your wrong no further than “getting caught”?
also the concept of harm to other parties matters how? is a law unjust if it personally doesn’t apply to you (IE jaywalking in rural or suburban environments), and what degree of harm and certainty thereof legitimizes the criminal aspect?
take murder for a seccond, murder implicitly contains (by popular definition) 100% chance of whoever murdered the victem/corpse of harmful intent (mens rea) and arguibly harm. is the non-negotiable post hoc aspect of harm what makes what happened criminal? or could reckless/intoxicated driving even without manslaughter also be criminal despite there not being any actual personal harm occuring.
seccondly, to what degree is harm frivelous and by what metric is it measured? is the active variable: pain, fiscal-loss, potential victem count, antipathy/intent, social disruption, …? how intense does the harm need to be or how long can it be? is crippling someone with a life of pain worse than murder due to the integral of suffering, or is murder worse because it impacts more people….
see the crux of your position is a double negative it is entirely based on ” breaking it wouldn’t cause more harm “
the key being wouldn’t and harm. but how minimal is harm for it to be relevant is subjective, and partial. and you can’t really make partial/favorable rules without breaking the rule of law. when setting up any metric you need a primal unit to reflect the least significant unit possible; 1. if you allow everyone to define what qualifies as 1, then some people will be happy with the general census, but others will be upset either finding cenus too harsh/easy on the convicted. if one respects all personal opinion instead of the census, then there is no backing for law. you might find murder harmful, but others may not, and if you aren’t allowing either appeal to popularity or appeal to authority then one voids the pretence of law.
this circles back to any/every contentious issue. abortion as murder, a woman’s sexual autonomy; necessity of vaccine, religious freedom; right to discipline children, respect of shild’s human right of agency without coercion/assault… in general, the right to choose to not follow popular wisdom.
how do you know your ethical code is better than the law? what gives it more cause for respect than the law? because it is yours?
the ideal of individualism is very destructive, and allot of our convention is done because by merely having consolidated ritual within the madness will always offer the pretence of control over our lives. in the west we worship ideals under the title of gods because they give us place and companionship. any paradigm shared widely enough would be suffecient- but it needs to be shared widely enough. one way to combat this is to start with a genuine appeal to popular opinion, democracy. it is stupid and ineffectual, and as slow as the voting mode. BUT it is stable.
it is the stability of the status quo which gives it the reliability and the threat of consequence. the law has a long memory, but only as far as the premise is perpetuated and projected. everything less is opinion.