Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Rules and Laws

justice-scaleRules vs Laws

The main difference between rules and laws is the consequences associated with breaking them. While each is developed to invoke a sense of order, fair play, and safety, the weight of a law is much heavier than the weight of a rule.

Laws are like the legal version of rules. When you are a child, a parent sets rules to be followed. When you are in a society, the government sets laws to be followed. When a rule is broken, the consequences tend to be uncomfortable but mild in comparison to the breaking of a law.

Laws are enforced by a higher governmental office, usually the police and the prosecutor’s office. Laws are written in specific code so that they can be interpreted as needed. When you break a law there is legal action that follows, provided that you are caught.

Rules are more flexible and carry low end consequences. You can set up rules for games, rules for the home, even rules for fighting or being intimate with a partner. Rules are personal in nature, and they are often adjusted as the conditions and circumstances of the home change.

Laws must be passed through due process in order to take effect. A law starts off as a bill, and must go through a series of checks, balances, and votes in order to become a law. Rules are merely set and adjusted as the need arises, and should be followed out of respect for those setting the rules.

Rules help us learn to prepare for living in society. As youngsters, we tend to learn that there are rules about hitting, stealing, lying, and being wasteful. As young adults, we are held accountable for these rules by becoming law abiding citizens. Laws are not meant to set teaching boundaries, but are there to be enforced, and are punishable by imprisonment and even death if they are broken. By the time you are old enough to contend with the law (outside of children killing children) you have already learned the process by dealing with various sets of rules.


1. Laws are the legal variation of rules.

2. Laws are enforced by governmental factors such as the police and prosecutors.

3. Rules are set by individuals.

4. Laws are set by the government.

5. Laws must go through certain processes to become laws, including a voting process.

6. Rules are set by organizations and individuals.

7. Rules are more flexible, and have lighter consequences when broken.

8. Laws are inflexible, and carry stiff penalties including imprisonment, and in some cases, death.

9. Rules are set during childhood to prepare for living in accordance with laws.

10. Laws are not a teaching tool, but a tool for keeping order in society.

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  1. This information is straight to the point and extreamly helpful. Thank you!

    ~ HZ

  2. Something that the Founders of the USA understood is that all laws made by men must be subject to the higher laws of God. When those laws made by men violate those higher laws of God it the right and the duty, of those governed by consent, to throw off that government which violates those higher laws.
    Of course, for citizens of the USA, the Founders made provisions to modify our government peacefully without going to the extremes of throwing off the government the way that they did. But by the Second Amendment they ensured that the people would have the power, being equally armed with the power of their government, to forcefully throw off that government should it become absolutely necessary.

    The laws and lawmakers of the US government of today have so thoroughly violated the higher laws of God by the laws they have created and violated the very Constitution which gave them the power to create those man-made laws, that it is time of the citizens to have a peaceful revolution by voting people of character into office who can fix those violations.

    We have three layers of Law: The laws of God which cannot be violated without indiscrimate consequences, (logic, mathematics, physics, light, energy, gravity, motion, morality – murder, immorality, injustice), the laws of a nation which help the citizens to maintain peace within the higher laws of God, and the rules of men which help us to avoid breaking the laws of our nation.

  3. Laws came into existence long before the universe was made. Whether made by an all knowing Almighty or simply by Nature The laws of the universe brought order to the solar system via gravity and energy. Humans discovered that these laws already existed by studying the orderliness of the universe and looking at the reason for such ordeliness. Even these laws are broken and celestial bodies crash into each other.
    Rules are made by a person or persons to bring ordeliness to our lives and those around us. It is interesting to note that rules are there to be broken as soon as they were made as Adam ate the apple and Kane got rid of Abel.

  4. interesting artical but i think thats more then just to detail of the individgual rights as well when it comes to rules and or laws even those that have not commented any to towards those that may do so or and have doing so to them for just manner things as living

  5. I am appalled at the number of comments that reference “laws of God”. Get real, guys.

  6. The word “rule” has multiple meanings (“senses”)… and the legal meaning of “rule” includes the notion of mandatory compliance with penalties for non-compliance.

    For example, the U.S. tax regulations include “laws” enacted by Congress and codified in Title 26 of the United States Code (26 U.S.C.), and “rules” ordered by the Internal Revenue Service and codified in Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations (26 CFR). Federal agencies are empowered by Congress to create rules, so those rules have the force of law. Penalties for non-compliance with federal rules can be very serious.

    Other authorities can also create rules; for example, the judicial authorities in each state implement rules that apply to court procedures, and in some cases the penalties for non-compliance can also be very serious.

  7. I feel like rules are to help with your well being and laws are to protect the well being of others from those who are not law abiding.

  8. It helped with my work and is very useful and taught me about laws and rules!

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