Like Martin Luther King Jr once said “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” With these words in mind, I affirm the resolution resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified. I offer the following definitions to help clarify the round: Civil disobedience is nonviolent refusal to follow the laws or demands of government to prove a point and the person participating in civil disobedience has to accept the consequences. A democracy is a government by the people, where the people elect representatives or the leader. Not everyone has to vote in a democracy but, the leaders or representatives have to be decided by the majority of eligible voters.
Civil Disobedience is the unjust in the government, and I for one believe unjust should be demolished. Martin Luther King was influenced by the writings of Henry David Thoreau to non violently take action when the rights of the citizens are in jeopardy. Therefore, civil disobedience can change society for the next generation. Disobedience and rebellion bring about social improvements in society because it will improve the lives of God’s children. Henry David Thoreau argues that men must always do what they think is righteous, non-violently, especially when they think an aspect of government is not working.
Peaceful resistance is a necessity and an integral part of a society because without the ability to peacefully resist the society is not truly free. The use of peaceful resistance has been a common way of expressing a person or group of peoples ideals since Henry David Thoreau wrote his essay called Civil Disobedience in 1849. Thoreau was a famous American writer and philosopher, and the essay talks of how he believes people need to put one’s morals and ideas over laws they may find unjust (Saxby). This is the basis and definition of what peaceful resistance is. The United States Constitution puts emphasis on the individual and if an individual believes in an ideal that goes against a law, they should be able to peacefully resist, especially
I consider civil disobedience to be an easily-ignored pillar upon which our democracy was founded. In fact we are only established as a nation now because our founding fathers engaged in civil disobedience themselves. We were in a “social contract” of sorts with Great Britain and when we felt that they had not upheld their part of the contract (they did not allow us to create courts to maintain order, or to create a navy to defend ourselves, or to sustain our economy due to an inability to trade with any other countries), Thomas Jefferson concluded that it was our not only our right, but also our duty to break away. And it was Thomas Jefferson that combined all of the works of the great thinkers before him such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke
Civil Disobedience: Righting the Wrong The foundation of civil disobedience is rooted in the concept of moral principal. When existing laws or accepted social behavior are viewed as being unjust, discriminatory or otherwise considered to be morally unfair, many citizens are compelled to take action in an effort to affect change. In 1849 Thoreau wrote about civil disobedience in his work titled On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. Thoreau believed that a government with too much control minimizes the ability of the people to exercise their own judgment. He claims, “That government is best which governs least.”
People's justification to engage in civil disobedience rests on the unresponsiveness that their engagement to oppose an unjust law receives. People who yearn for a change in a policy might sometimes find themselves in a dead end because their “attempts to have the laws repealed have been ignored and legal protests and demonstrations have had no success” (Rawls 373). What Rawls says is that civil disobedience is a last option to oppose an unjust law; therefore, providing civil disobedients with a justification for their cause. Civil disobedience is the spark of light that people encountered at the dead end and they hope that this spark of light will illuminate to show that an unjust law should not exist at all. Martin Luther King, Jr, in his “Letter from
Humanity. It is what connects everyone together, and what drives us to continue to pursue justice and change, even if it is not accepted. Time has shown us that change is possible, if the voice we use to enact it, is strong and powerful. Changing a law, a state of mind, and a country comes as a long and arduous journey, but the reason to fight is much stronger than any challenge it may come with. The Bill of Rights entitles all American Citizens to specific freedoms, including Freedom of Speech, and we, as people may speak out, if we feel we are being deprived of any of our rights.
Law and order, as far as most westernized intellectuals are concerned, is the absolute protector of rights. Every advanced democracy subscribes to the continuing presence of law and order, and it’s hard to argue with the results seen and enjoyed today. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Let every man remember that to violate the law is… to tear the charter of his own and his children’s liberty.” While this sentiment is deeply relevant, it trivializes legitimate grievances citizens have against the legal system. Many of these issues can, indeed, be worked out within the system, and permanent change is achievable.
Civilized? Disobedience Civil disobedience is the refusal of certain groups of people in the society to refuse to conform to certain laws, among them being refusal to pay fines and taxes with the view of staging a peaceful political protest. I also like to add Kimberly Brownlees’ view of civil disobedience in her literary piece, Is Edward Snowden a civil disobedient? “Civil disobedience is a constrained, conscientious, and communicative breach of law that aims to raise awareness about a cause and bring about lasting changes in law and policy.” In understanding American history, the call to end segregation in the country led to several civil disobedience occurrences that were organized and supported by
Throughout past, present, and for years to come mankind has changed, evolved, and eventually progressed through disobedience of higher power, a social hierarchy yearning to be surpassed. The fundamental virtue of man is disobedience. It is engrossed in the idea of free will itself. Through extensive observations of society of past and present, the idea of disobedience being the way progress has and will be made is a true and factious claim; looking at the original sin of Adam and Eve, the exposure of sexual misconduct in the film industry, and the public views on the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. The age-old tale of Adam and Eve, the original sin of man and the basis of free will and choice.
When a law can be resisted without bringing harm to anyone, then that law should not exist. There are, currently on the books, sodomy bans and legislation against atheists taking political office: These laws are insane. Further, it is the state's job to ensure not only that civil disobedience is possible, but that it works. When civil protest fails to achieve results, violence follows. If a people realize that their peaceful voices will not be heard, such as what occurred in France in 1789, then they shall instead use violent methods.
In the Crito by Plato, Socrates argues against civil disobedience, seeing it as an unjust act. Contrasting this view, Martin Luther King argues for civil disobedience against unjust laws, and seeing it as a responsibility of citizens. Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey certain law, commands or requests of the government. I will argue that the view of Socrates is superior to the view of Martin Luther King on the justness of civil disobedience. Using the argument against harm, I will show that even if a law is viewed as unjust, you must not repay an evil with another evil, as evident in the Crito while contrary to ideas presented by MLK.
The question of whether or not peaceful resistance toward the law impacts society in a positive way is really a question of circumstance. If I were to refer back to the historical aspects of the subject, then my immediate answer would be yes, it does; peaceful resistance has often prevailed in situations that required immediate attention, yet were simply overlooked by the general public, despite their importance. One extremely important example of this would be the many boycotts during the civil rights movements of the 60's. Civil disobedience was a way to communicate the true inequality represented by the phrase, ''separate but equal'' by peacefully marching for their beliefs. For example, many white officials used various schemes to prevent