No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau" "Civil Disobedience," Introduction. In the case of Thoreau, the Transcendentalist author of Walden refused to pay taxes to support what he considered to be an unjust conflict, the Mexican-American War.
What the hell did Jesse Jackson say Civil Disobedience: Contrasting Socrates, Thoreau, and M. King Civil disobedience comes in many forms. Depending on the circumstance, the definition of the term can vary on its particular relevancy.
It can be affected by the time in history, the situation being described and the actual people who use it. Our three philosophers here, Socrates, Thoreau and M. King use the term quite differently in relation to their particular surroundings. Their civil disobedience, all though similar in ideal, differed in the method they advocated in protesting the laws of the State.
In the case of Socrates, he was found guilty and sentenced to death for corrupting the youth. In his mind and in the mind of his supporters it was an unjust sentence.
His method of protest was completely passive. By refusing an offer to escape to a place where he could live in personal freedom, he set an example not only to the courage of his own convictions, but to all who were looking for some guidance on how to conduct themselves when confronted with injustice.
This is similar to our own modern day axiom: Two wrongs do not make a right. In my opinion he felt it enhanced the significance of his protest to allow his sentence to be carried out. In other words, escaping would be as much an evil as the sentence of death that has condemned him.
Thus, he has no use for subverting the laws of the state. This is not the method of Martin Luther King, as we shall see. King participated in many protests in his life. We have focused here on the stand he took in Birmingham Alabama, in He was jailed for not having the proper permit to carry on a lawful protest.
King claimed it was an excuse for Birmingham officials to keep the demonstrators from exercising their right to peaceful protest.
Unlike Socrates, King was not opposed to circumventing the laws he found unjust. His non-violent method was anything but passive.
As he stated in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail: It was the only way, king thought, to win the fight to remove the injustice as he saw it. King was not a revolutionary in the sense that he wanted to destroy the government. On the contrary, he felt that the Constitution was basically a sound document, but some unjust laws were distorting it.
While talking about the courage of people who sat at lunch counters and were arrested for it, he said: One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence Fourth to the last paragraph.
Knowing that the Constitution had promise, he advocated only removing the injustice that was legally preventing Black people from enjoying the fruits of liberty like other Americans.
His strong belief in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence is similar in thinking to how Socrates respects Athenian laws. But King breaks with him, as he believes in a more direct approach to disobeying the laws he finds unjust. Thoreau, unlike Socrates and M. King is not directly involved in the injustice he protests.
Unlike those other two he is not in jail. He does not have a direct stake in the injustices of his time. However, this does not lessen his opposition to the injustices he protests. Thoreau, in fact, calls for the most subversive act of all three to disobey the law.
He states in his essay: His refusal to pay taxes to the state of Massachusetts is like depriving an animal of food; the state cannot survive without the revenue from its citizens.
He goes further than the other two in his protest. Unlike Socrates, who has the utmost respect for the laws of the government, and King who felt that the Constitution was a worthwhile document and only in need of some surgical mending, Thoreau is willing to bring the government to a grinding halt in order to make his point.
In other words he is opposed to any part of the government because of its protection of slavery as an institution.Review of Angels on a Pin, Letter From Birmingham Jail, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays.
to be used. Civil Disobedience Thoreau's essay entitled "Civil Disobedience" was an excellent way of educating the public on why people should not settle for a less than perfect government.
Free Papers and Essays on Civil Rights And Disobedience. We provide free model essays on Philosophy, Civil Rights And Disobedience reports, and term paper samples related to Civil Rights And Disobedience. Now they discuss just and unjust laws. Thoreau explains, unjust laws exist: Shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to.
Thoreau, King, & Goldman on Unjust Laws Essay - A well founded government is one which has the consent of the people it governs. This system is used to protect its people and provide them with the necessities to prosper.
Conn believes King also recognized the weaknesses of civil disobedience. According to King, the main weakness was Thoreau’s failure to define what an “unjust law” is.
“That is the challenge King takes up in his letter, and perhaps the most important work that he does,” Conn said. “Almost as if he’s directly talking to Thoreau, King writes, ‘How does one determine when a law is just or unjust?’” King offered a . The idea of the consequences of an unjust society and an individual’s personal responsibility when a witness to leslutinsduphoenix.com Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau is the idea of standing up for something in a well-behaved leslutinsduphoenix.com Letter From Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
is about how he wants to be treated equally. His essay argues that individuals must disobey a law when the law is unjust. You can find a copy of the essay here. This essay influenced many thinkers and world leaders to follow, two key figures being Gandhi and King.