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. I will also show that civil disobedience is an action in which it is probable that anarchy will
Irish author Oscar Wilde claimed that disobedience is a valuable human trait, and that it promotes social progress; thus, without it, social progress would not be made. Civil disobedience is to social progress as hard work is to academic success. With hard work comes academic success, and with civil disobedience comes social progress. Though some see disobedience as a negative trait, it is what has promoted social progress in history by challenging social standards and requiring new social rules to be made.
Martin Luther King Jr once stated, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” in his Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963. He was invoking the principle of civil disobedience. He wasn't justifying breaking laws just because, but instead, meant that you break the law and accept your punishment, in hopes that people will come to see that the law is unethical. Civil disobedience plays an important role in how our society has been shaped up until this point. It is out of the selfless act of heroes and heroines of civil disobedience such as Mahatma Gandhi that the society is enjoying the fruits today. This speech is going to demonstrate how civil disobedience has played roles in social reforms, containing unjust rulings
Oscar Wilde, Irish writer, theatrically said in 1891 that “progress has been made” because of “disobedience and... rebellion.” Furthermore, Wilde argues that disobedience is man's original virtue. Disobedience of law led to the American Revolution, desegregation, and improved civil rights across the board, proving that Wilde is correct. However, Wilde's claim ignores disobedience or the law that is regressive and detrimental to the health of the public, such as the Confederacy seceding for slavery, school districts that refused to desegregate, shootings that kill dozens of people. Additionally, in early human life, obedience was important for survival, leading me to believe that disobedience is “man's original virtue” if motivated by greed,
Plato’s Crito depicts a conversation between Socrates and Crito. Socrates’ friends intend to help him escape from prison before he is executed. Their conversation touches upon subjects like justice, injustice and the appropriate response to injustice. Socrates argues that one must not answer to injustice with more injustice as that would be an injury to the laws and to the city of Athens.
Disobedience has paved the way for many of the most important decisions in our history as the United States of America. In some instances, the act of disobedience resulted in a major change in history itself. A widely known example would be the events leading towards the American Revolution, where a simple band of colonists took on the entirety of the British army.
Civil disobedience is the refusal to obey governmental laws in order to do or change something (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Sophocles’ Antigone and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” both described civil disobedience within situations which they were the oppressed. However, Antigone and King engaged in civil disobedience in different ways. Antigone chose to disobey the law solely because of her religious views, she knew that her disobedience could lead to others’ suffering, but she was unwilling to abandon her plan, and her attitude toward the people against her was crude and stubborn. King, in contrast, based his disobedience more on logical reasoning and allusions, then he proposed a nonviolent action so his disobedience would not hurt others, and he respected those who were against him with his collected tone throughout the letter.
There are times when people must rebel to make a change. It has happened throughout different movements to change unjust laws, and go against unjust people. One big example of civil disobedience during the civil rights movement were sit-ins. Sit-ins were when people continued to peacefully sit in on a restaurant when they were denied service. It was almost a way of life for many people. Sit-ins were a justified act of civil disobedience during the civil rights movement because they were non-violent, they spread the news, they brought people together, and they helped people to stand up for themselves.
As kids people get taught what is wrong and right from a parental figure or experiences of life teach us how to react to different situations. When we finally turn adults no one is there to remind us of what’s good and what's bad so we have to use our past experiences and our knowledge to help guide us. Each adult shapes their societies for their generation and many more generations to come. Mohandas k. Gandhi and Susan B Anthony’s speech along with the article Selma to Montgomery March on history show that civil disobedience is a moral responsibility.
For example, a little black woman who refused to stand on a bus showed civil disobedience because she believed in the rights of African Americans. This woman’s name was Rosa Parks. In 1955, on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man. This act went against all social norms of the time and sparked the majority of civil rights debates. Through her act of civil disobedience, change occurred, and the first steps toward rights for African Americans were being taken. This defiant event is a situation in which Thoreau would approve of civil disobedience. It is known that Thoreau would approve because in his essay, he declares, “If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man” (Civil Disobedience, Thoreau). Thoreau means that if a person cannot live how he/she wants, then that person will suffer. Rosa Parks was suffering until she stood up for herself, by sitting down, and chose to live the way that she wanted to
For example, Martin Luther King, Jr. and his use of civil disobedience is extremely honorable and still memorable today. He used the power of speech and marches to fight for African American rights. Also, Mahatma Gandhi is another influential leader that practiced civil disobedience while leading India to independence. Similarly, both heroes were harmonious in the way they stood up for their beliefs. They used nonviolent resistance to spark waves of revolution throughout the world. In the end, both of them succeeded and the use of civil disobedience was in fact effective. A more recent example of civil disobedience in history is the protesters of the Keystone XL pipeline. There is a scene in the “Reject and Protect” video of a man speaking in front of a crowd holding a banner. He is using his voice to get his strong message through to others instead of using violence. If more people join their protest, the more likely it is that they will succeed because the president will see that an extreme amount of people are unhappy with the idea of the pipeline. Thankfully, the protesters achieved success and the president vetoed the building of the pipeline. All of these influential people have fought ridiculously hard for their rights; however, they fought a bloodless revolution with wise, nonviolent actions instead of using ruthless violence. Ultimately, there are many past leaders in history that
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
Civil disobedience is the deliberate action against an unjust law to invoke a positive change in government and society. Civilians have the right to refute these types of unjust laws to eliminate inequality and government’s unjust nature by following conscience before laws for moral guidance. As demonstrated in Antigone, this is depicted by the daughter of Oedipus, who disobeys Creon’s law for the greater good because of the laws unjust nature. In Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist, promotes this concept as well through his philosophical standpoint of the flaws of the government. Lastly, in Dr. King’s letter he qualifies the idea of civilians disobeying their government through non violent campaigns to stand up against