Martin Luther King Jr And Socrates Comparison Essay

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Political activists and philosophers alike have a challenging task of determining the conditions under which citizens are morally entitled to go against the law. Socrates and Martin Luther King, Jr. had different opinions on the obligation of the citizens in a society to obey the law. Although they were willing to accept the legal punishment, King believed that there are clear and definable circumstances where it would be appropriate, and sometimes mandatory, to purposely disobey unjust laws. Socrates did not. Socrates obeyed what he considered to be an unjust verdict because he believed that it was his obligation, as a citizen of Athens, to persuade or obey its Laws, no matter how dire the consequences. He held that upright life is the only life worth living. To him, justice was a matter of knowledge and hence, a truth aspect. Meanwhile, he honored and acknowledged his duty to obey the Laws of the state. From Socrates' perspective, Laws are absolute. …show more content…

Their radical thoughts were necessary even though they were perceived to be extreme and radical figures. Though Socrates and Martin Luther King Jr. lived in different times, their theme of justice is similar. They believed that equality and inclusion had to be incorporated with justice for their society's fundamental and cohesive development. To them, obedience did not have agency and progress required ideas of principle. Socrates and King offered a plethora of principles in their defense against their accusers and the wrongs of their societies. However, Socrates’ method was flawed. There are situations where the laws of a state have to be disobeyed. By using Hitler as an example, King points out that although what Hitler did was legal, it was unjust as it degraded humanity. I do not think Socrates would have given up his life under such circumstances just to avoid causing harm to his state. King makes a better

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