Does the difference between rules and laws sound confusing to you? Well, you are not alone! Most people use both terms interchangeably because they think they are the same. But what if I tell you that there are differences between a rule and law? However, if you have been thinking otherwise, then this post will help change your perspective. Now here comes the question;
What’s the difference between rules and laws?
Well, rules are set by individuals, while the government or a higher authority set laws. Rules are there to guide people, particularly children, to become better citizens when they grow up. But once you become an adult, then you are governed by the law and will face the full weight of the law upon violation. The punishment or consequences for breaking the rules and regulations vary. However, that of rules tends to be a bit lenient. Parents or partners in a relationship can set rules, and adjust them as situation changes. But laws aren’t that way. They take more time to create and pass through a rigorous process. Laws can start as a bill, and goes through several means of verification and modification, including voting and approval by the president (first citizen of any country) to become a law. Also, punishment for breaking the law varies, and there’s no adjustment or forgiveness, even though one claims to be ignorant of the law. Enforcers of statutes are the police and law enforcement agencies, and punishment could be jail time, house arrest, or a death penalty, as seen in some countries.
So that’s it about the differences that exist between laws and rules. However, you can continue reading to get more information on this topic.
What’s The Meaning Of Rules?
Rules are standard in homes and are what parents use to train their kids. Without them, I wonder what most adults in our societies would have become. Of course, you will find them acting up. Even though punishments for rules aren’t that severe, in most cases, they tend to prepare one’s mind to abide by the laws of the land when they become adults. It creates that feeling in you that there’s punishment for violators.
A pure punishment for breaking the rules parents set could be to ground their kids. There would be no video game playing for a specific period, and no outing. For a child, nothing can be more severe than such punishment. There’s nothing more painful than denying a child something he or she cherishes.
So rules are set in homes and schools, including across several organizations. Laws tend to be too heavy or severe. That’s why you don’t get to see parents or teachers use such terms. For teachers, the rules can be no noise-making or that students are required to put their hands up before asking questions.
Now back to the question, what are rules?
Rules are a set of instructions created to tell people what and what not to do. Those governed by a set of rules need to adhere to them. That means they are under no circumstance allowed to break any rule.
What makes people obey rules?
Well, there must be punishment for breaking a rule. Otherwise, your subjects won’t abide by them. It’s hard to create rules and not designate punishment for breaking any rule, because humans are complicated to rule over sometimes.
Also, you need to have the physical attributes, authority, or position to enforce the punishment. Otherwise, people won’t take you seriously. For instance, class captains might not be the strongest in the class, physically. But because they have the backing of the teachers or head of the school, they might enforce punishment on any student that breaks the rules.
Why Rules Are Necessary To Humans
Humans are a bit difficult to rule. No one can deny this. Starting from kids, you will find them going against your rules over and over. But whatever happens, no matter how much your children disobey, they will still benefit from your rules.
So, rules are essential for several reasons. Let’s discuss each of those reasons quickly.
- Rules are considered essential learning tools. When used at home, they can help to prepare your kids to behave better in society when they eventually grow up.
- The reasons individuals can learn and benefit from rules are because they are flexible, and the consequences for breaking them are lighter. And this offers people a chance to learn and develop themselves into better citizens in society.
- Rules can help to guide individuals to produce desired results, mainly when created and used in an organization. In other words, it can help individuals to succeed.
- Setting rules can enable the rule setter to achieve his or her goals. A teacher might decide to set rules to help tackle noise making and distractions in the classroom. And when the students obey, teaching and imparting knowledge becomes more leisurely. Students will also benefit when they follow the rules. They will all learn better and gain understanding when the class is calm.
- Rules help to ensure there are fairness and respect for the rights of other people.
What’s The Meaning Of Laws?
In the beginning, I made mention that laws have more weight. And I was speaking in terms of the punishment or consequences for breaking them. When rules are broken, the individual involved might not face severe punishment. He or she may also dodge the punishment or have a second chance.
But there’s hardly a second chance for anyone that breaks the law. The punishment for offenders might also be severe. In most cases, the penalty could be as high as a death sentence or a conventional house arrest, community service, or jail time for a couple of years.
We have seen cases where drug traffickers received death sentences in Saudi Arabia and even Malaysia. Their law is that any individual involved in drug trafficking faces capital punishment, which is a death penalty.
However, a law that may receive fair punishment when violated is “do not drink and drive.” The penalty can be as little as preventing the offender from driving for a specific period. Law enforcement agents might confiscate the driving license of the individual.
So what are laws?
Laws refer to a system of rules developed by a government or a higher authority to help curb crimes, social relationships, and business agreements. Laws are also tools used by the government or leaders to govern the people within a country.
What forces people to obey laws?
The simple answer is fear of the consequences. The punishment for breaking the rules would never include a death penalty. It will never happen, irrespective of what or how much of the rules an individual breaks.
But laws are entirely different. There’s no mercy when you face a judge in the court of law. Any judgment meted on an individual for breaking the law must be carried out to the latter. So, the reason people obey laws is due to fear of being punished.
However, we still hear of people committing crimes and attracting capital punishments, particularly in countries like Malaysia, where the penalty can be severe. In such a situation, you just can’t help but wonder why people still violate despite knowing the consequences of breaking the laws in some countries on the Asian continent.
Why Laws Are Essential In Every Society
The punishments for most of the laws enacted by the government might appear harsh and unfriendly. But these laws are necessary to enable the government to run the country smoothly. Even with the stricter laws in place, we still find dozens of offenders now and them.
So, assume there are no laws. What becomes of our societies? Of course, people will become unruly, and there will be chaos here and there.
Let’s look at some of the reasons laws are essential in every society.
- Laws help to keep society running. Without them, there would be chaos here and there.
- Just as rules help parents or teachers to keep the home or classroom organized, laws do the same thing for the government or individual in authority.
- Governments around the world are always seeking new ways to generate revenue. Although no government would like to have a society with rebellious citizens, it also generates revenue when people break the laws of the state. The punishment could be jail term, fine or both.
Wrapping It Up
So, that’s it regarding the difference between rules and laws. I am also confident that you won’t continue to use them interchangeably. Laws and rules are different. They also have similarities. One of them is that they both come with punishments. The reason individuals create rules is to discourage people from misbehaving, and the same goes for laws. The government creates laws to prevent citizens from misbehaving, as there is punishment for any individual that violates the laws and gets caught in every society.