natural law. A human action which is, exactly conformable to the laws which require us to obey them. 2. It differs from a legal obligation, because a duty cannot always be enforced by the law; it is our duty, for example, to be temperate in eating, but we are under no legal obligation to be so; we ought to love our neighbors, but no law obliges us to love them. 3. Duties may be considered in the relation of man towards God, towards himself, and towards mankind. 1. We are bound to obey the will of God as far as we are able to discover it, because he is the sovereign Lord of the universe who made and governs all things by his almighty power, and infinite wisdom. The general name of this duty is piety: which consists in entertaining just opinions concerning him, and partly in such affections towards him, and such, worship of him, as is suitable to these opinions. 4. 2. A man has a duty to perform towards himself; he is bound by the law of nature to protect his life and his limbs; it is his duty, too, to avoid all intemperance in eating and drinking, and in the unlawful gratification of all his other appetites. 5. 3. He has duties to perform towards others. He is bound to do to others the same justice which he would have a right to expect them to do to him.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
In its use in jurisprudence, this word is the correlative of right. Thus, wherever there exists a right in any person, there also rests a corresponding duty upon some other person or upon all persons generally. But It is also used, In a wider sense, to designate that class of moral obligations which lie outside the jural sphere; such, namely, as rest upon an imperative ethical basis, bpt have not been recognized by the law as within its proper province for purposes of enforcement or redress. Thus, gratitude towards a benefactor is a duty, but its refusal will not ground an action. In this meaning “duty” is the equivalent of “moral obligation,” as distinguished from a “legal obligation.” As a technical term of the law, “duty” signifies a thing due; that which is due from a person; that which a person owes to another. An obligation to do a thing. A word of more extensive signification than “debt,” although both are expressed by the same , Latin word “debitvm.” Beach v. Boynton, 26 Vt 725, 733. But in practice it is commonly reserved as the designation of those obligations of performance, care, or observance which rest upon a person In an official or fiduciary capacity ; as the duty of an executor, trustee, manager, etc. It also denotes a tax or impost due to the government upon the importation or exportation of goods. Legal duty. An obligation arising from contract of the parties or the operation of the law. Riddell v. Ventilating Co., 27 Mont. 44, 69 Pac. 241. That which the law requires to be done or forborne to a determinate person or the public at large, correlative to a vested and coextensive right in such person or the public, and the breach of which constitutes negligence. Heaven v. Pender, 11 Q. B. Div. 506; Smith v. Clarke Hardware Co., 100 Ga. 163, 28 S. E. 73, 39 L. R. A. 607; Railroad Co. v. Ballentine, 84 Fed. 935, 28 O. C. A. 572.