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Are We All Guilty When We Allow Bad Laws to Exist?

Armed with so much evidence of slave-trading abuses that it took him three hours just to summarize it, William Wilberforce put a bill before Parliament to abolish the slave trade.

Putting the blame on every Member of Parliament, Wilberforce said (among many other things):

I mean not to accuse any one, but to take the shame upon myself, in common, indeed, with the whole parliament of Great Britain, for having suffered this horrid trade to be carried on under their authority. We are all guilty—we ought all to plead guilty, and not to exculpate ourselves by throwing the blame on others...

Do you think Wilberforce took the right approach by placing the blame for the effects of slave-trading on every Member of Parliament? Why, or why not?

Do you think his approach applies on all issues, across all years - reaching in the 21st century - when governments make bad laws? Explain your answer.

What if the majority of lawmakers get their way, and the minority of lawmakers cannot put forth change - are all lawmakers still guilty of allowing bad laws to exist? Explain your answer.


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