Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail

821 Words4 Pages

Civil disobedience has been a topic of discussion throughout the last two articles we have read in class. Martin Luther King Jr’s, Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and Plato’s, Crito, start with MLK and Socrates in jail. King tells of how he is an extremist to end oppression and gain freedom for African Americans. He did what he believed was right and protested in response. Socrates, on the other hand, is arguing as to why he will accept his punishment of death because he disobeyed the government. He doesn’t allow Crito to help him escape from jail because it would be unjust. Because of Socrates's strong belief in the law, I believe Socrates would not support King’s decision to march in Birmingham. The main reason why Socrates would not support …show more content…

In jail, Socrates told Crito, “Then we ought not to retaliate or render evil for evil to anyone, whatever evil we may have suffered from him” (Plato 6). I think that Socrates would argue that even though King has suffered from this law, retaliating against it is not the answer. That we should follow all laws regardless of whether or not they are unjust because the law is the law. As well, laws are designed to be followed and obeyed by their citizens. Socrates brings up another good point when he adds, “are you going by an act of yours to overturn us- the laws and the whole State, as far as in you lies? Do you imagine that a State can subsist and not be overthrown, in which the decisions of law have no power, but are set aside and overthrown by individuals?” (Plato 7). Socrates argues that if we start ignoring the laws and government, they will become useless and that the states would no longer have its support. When King protested for a change in Birmingham, I believe that Socrates would see that as trying to overturn the government and he would not agree with King’s action or anyone who is partaking in protesting against laws that have been set in place for us to follow. Even though a law may be unjust, it is still a law that has to be

Open Document