Henry David Thoreau's Idea Of Justice

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The definition of justice A just society has just and fair laws, but that is not always the case. In cases like that, rebels are inevitable, there will always be someone who is willing to define justice. In the letter from a Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King Jr. found injustice in the society and shared his idea of justice and injustice. Similarly, in the essay on the duty of civil disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, Thoreau also stated his perception on justice. After examining the two articles, it is not hard to notice that there are some similarities between their of justice, as well as differences. First of all, they both wrote the article to protest against the government…show more content…
Martin Luther is a Christian man; he believes that justice squares with the moral law or the law of God, and injustice is when it is out of harmony with the natural law and the law of nature. He also quoted some bible verses to support his argument. He believes that equal right brings justice to his people. Overall, his idea of justice came from a Christian point of view. On the contrary, Thoreau’s idea of justice was more complicated, his idea of justice mainly came from the principle of reason, conscience, and humanity. He also supported his view with the law of natural, moral law, and other religious theologies. For example, he strengthened his view by quoting the Confucius master : “ if a state is governed by the principle of reason, poverty and misery are subjects of shame; if a state is not governed by the reason, riches and honors are the subjects of shame.” So instead of God-centered justice that Martin Luther defined, Thoreau’s interpretation of justice is more focus on individual and conscience. He believed that justice exists in the absence of government, where King’s justice exist after the government changes their legislation. He believes justice is to follow your conscience and reason, where king’s justice is to get equal
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