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 has been discerned in numerous time periods of American history. The definition of disobedience can be interpreted when one or a group prioritizes their conscience of their beliefs over the dictation of laws through rebellion. Notable historical events of slavery and independence has been marked with the disobedience of government laws. Even though the disobedience of societal laws can undermine the corruption of the government, disobedience has undeniably steer societal progress. A form of civil disobedience was the fight for independence of the colonies in the American Revolution.
Civil Disobedience What is civil disobedience? What does it do? Why is it important? Is it a right thing? These few questions might pop into one 's head when they hear civil disobedience.
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.”
Accounts of civil disobediences have made their way into the paper many times since the start of this country: the Boston Tea Party, Thoreau's refusal to pay a poll tax, and Rosa Park's decision to stay seated on the bus. All of these examples represent a time of distress when people responded in non-violence to prove a point. But many would ask if this is really proving a point or if it is simply disregarding the law and setting a bad example? Well let me ask you this: would it be better to sit back and to hope that someone will speak out about the problem, or to go forward in violence thinking that that is the only way to achieve something? It seems that an act of non-violence is a way of being heard without coming across as irrational or
If American people in the past had not participated in peaceful resistance, the United States would not be the same nation as it is today. Many people argue that because the United States took so long to be created, public defiance to laws should not be encouraged. However, civil disobedience to laws often positively affects the free society in many ways. Not only has this changed the United States in the past, but even now allows for people to peacefully protest for what they think is right. Civil disobedience encourages the voice of the people to be heard: for it to be acted upon.
Despite the fact that acts of civil disobedience may be harmful when isolated or disorderly, they can produce significant, positive effects when occurring in an organized series. Civil disobedience can accomplish a goal, but only when conducted in a repeated, orderly manner. Otherwise, the consequences of acting solely or destructively would outweigh benefit; rebellious actions will not gain the government’s consideration if they cause severe disruption in the public. Antigone 's action of burying her brother was explicitly illegal, but she performed it anyway. When caught, she pleads to Creon, "I beg you: kill me" (Fitts and Fitzgerald 210).
One day in my Honors World History class sophomore year we began to learn about the start of rapid, aggressive imperialism along with the rise of fascism and totalitarian governments. As we delved deeper into this era of history, we began to cover the rise of Hitler and the extermination of the Jews. Like any other person, I could not begin to comprehend how the masses of people, a whole country, would approve of such hate and racist rhetoric. As I continued to try and realize how such actions could be justified, I looked at other examples in history of hate being the norm. I realized this was a pattern in history, exploring slavery, the rule of Stalin, the Armenian Genocide, and other injustices through time.
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
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.
A peaceful resistance to law does impact free society in a positive way. If it weren't were random acts of rebellion, many of the civil rights we have today wouldn't have come into being. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Daniel Ells berg have all committed acts of civil disobedience that have reached the history books and impacted our society for the better. However misunderstandings of the definition of civil disobedience and the actions that can be taken can lead to a bad ending. Some people can confuse peaceful resistance to going against the law for everything they disagree on, resulting in charges and eventually police arrest.
In a country as abstract and diverse as the United States, many decide to be unique individuals and go against the natural way of a citizen. We know these acts as Civil Disobedience. In the many acts of Civil Disobedience, people go against the basic laws of their country peacefully and accept the consequences for the actions that they commit. Civil Disobedience is strongly frowned upon and negatively impacts a free society because it tells people that they can deliberately break the laws that make us the United States of America, it gives a great hindrance to the many citizens trying to live freely by following the rules, and it could start a mini revolt on the country. Civil disobedience tells people that they can absentmindedly break the
"Civil Disobedience, I shall argue, is an unsuccessful attempt to combine, on the level of principle, revolutions and conventional political action" The anonymous author of "The Case Against Civil Disobedience" asserts that peaceful protesting does not play a significant role in reforming political norms. His words often ring true in protests. In many instances of Civil Disobedience, the "peaceful" protests become dangerously violent. They tend to cause more tension and discourse than they cause change. Protests lead to increased divisions between the two viewpoints, causing support for current implication to solidify out of fear of change.
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.