Without delving too deeply into philosophy, it is probably safe to say that some people are compelled to do the right thing only because of the fear of punishment. As a young child, if I had the opportunity to take an extra cookie and not get caught, I may very well have taken full advantage of the situation. However, more often than not, the fear of getting caught with my hand in the cookie jar prevented me from doing it.
As adults, the ethical and moral situations we face are more complex, but often follow the same principles. Laws are in place to define behavior that is acceptable and unacceptable, and punishments are defined to ensure that the laws are followed.
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