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Civil rights finds advocates in martin luther king jr and henry david thoreau

Posted on February 14, 2017 by davidbruceblog Law is a wonderful invention. The philosopher Thomas Hobbes once speculated on what life would be like without law. However, we recognize that occasionally the law is not just.

After all, at one time in the United States, slavery was legal, although it has never been moral. What ought we to do when faced with an unjust law?

Thoreau’s essay became a cornerstone of 20th-century protest

Two philosophers will have an answer to this: Thoreau was against both slavery and a war the United States was waging against Mexico.

To protest the war against Mexico, he refused to pay a state tax whose proceeds he felt would be used in this unjust war. He was jailed, but he spent only a short time in jail, because someone paid the tax for him. Here is another story about Thoreau: On his deathbed, Thoreau was asked to make his peace with God. On this point, Thoreau is in agreement with the conservatives.

However, Thoreau does not ask for no government at once, but for a better government at once. Thoreau seems to realize that the government is necessary for some things; after all, he does not refuse to pay the highway tax — the government is good at providing highways. I also believe that the government is good at providing public libraries. Still, Thoreau believes that the government can on occasion be very bad — as when waging war — and that citizens ought not to resign their conscience to the legislators.

  • However, we recognize that occasionally the law is not just;
  • For both Thoreau and King, their struggles could not be resolved by simple negotiation;
  • Thoreau was against both slavery and a war the United States was waging against Mexico;
  • King is spoken highly of today because, simply, he redefined the values of a nation- the way people thought about themselves, about others, about their own lives and of the government by which they were ruled;
  • He was jailed, but he spent only a short time in jail, because someone paid the tax for him;
  • Posted on February 14, 2017 by davidbruceblog Law is a wonderful invention.

Instead, citizens need to cultivate a respect for what is right instead of cultivating a respect for the law. After all, too high a respect for the law can make one do what is immoral — for example, serving in the Army during an unjust war.

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Let us remember that many Nazi war criminals defended their unjust actions by saying that they were merely following orders.

Fortunately, as the Declaration of Independence states, all men recognize the right of revolution. When a government becomes unjust, its citizens are justified in rising up against it. So what are we to do when faced with an unjust law? Thoreau says that we are faced with three options: What we should do depends on the severity of the injustice.

I suppose an example of this may be some taxes. Many people are against governmental taxation, but taxation seems to be the price for civilization: Someone has to pay for highways and for public libraries. However, when an injustice is severe, as when slavery is legal or when an unjust war is waged, then we should disobey the law. If enough people disobey the law, then the law will be changed. For one thing, he had organizational ties there.

  1. They break an unjust law or one that they regard as unjust openly and lovingly, but when they are sitting in a courtroom, they argue that because they were acting in accordance with their conscience, they ought not to be punished. If enough people disobey the law, then the law will be changed.
  2. Mlk and karl marx connections martin luther king jr, and henry david thoreau can be also king and his people gain no civil rights with all the.
  3. On his deathbed, Thoreau was asked to make his peace with God.
  4. With this little history lesson, my next posting will deal with the legal aspects of civil disobedience. The distinguish civil right leader during the time was reverend martin luther king jr the black civil rights henry david thoreau, explains that civil.
  5. Although his Aunt, against his wishes, paid the fee and Thoreau was released after only one night in jail, his essay on the experience remains today the first in a line of many personal actions of civil disobedience. For one thing, he had organizational ties there.

King had helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. But more basically, King went to Birmingham because injustice was there. Birmingham is where Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a public bus.

  1. With this little history lesson, my next posting will deal with the legal aspects of civil disobedience. Conduct civil rights finds advocates in martin luther king jr and henry david thoreau patrol duties on writing websites for students foot, before and after their.
  2. King does not advocate evading the law, for that would result in anarchy. Thus, although civil disobedience may at first glance be frowned upon, certain circumstances entail objection and action against laws, with the goal to enforce justice and moral foundations for the society.
  3. The distinguish civil right leader during the time was reverend martin luther king jr the black civil rights henry david thoreau, explains that civil.
  4. An unjust law is not. Civil rights activists believed that all men were created equal and therefore should be equal under the law.
  5. However, this should be done in a way that could show he was still a rational and morally upstanding individual. This document is easily accessible on-line and is written by Leo McGrady Q.

Eventually, through a bus boycott King and his followers were able to desegregate the public bus system. In addition, King made the point that he was an American, and a citizen of the United States should be able to go to any American state without being called an outsider. How can King advocate breaking some laws, yet advocate keeping other laws?

After all, King wanted people to disobey the Jim Crow segregation laws of the South, yet he wanted them to obey the desegregation laws that came about because of Brown v. Board of Education — a ruling by the United States Supreme Court which desegregated the public schools. In answering this question, King makes a distinction between just and unjust laws.

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A just law is a man-made law that is in accordance with the law of God and the moral law. An unjust law is not. A just law uplifts human personality. An unjust law degrades human personality. A just law is one that the majority imposes on a minority but that the majority is willing to make binding on itself. An unjust law is one that a majority imposes on a minority but that the majority does not make binding on itself.

An example of an unjust law is any Jim Crow law; for example, the law saying that black passengers have to sit on the back of a public bus and allow the white passengers to sit in the front.

Martin Luther King and Gandhi Weren’t the Only Ones Inspired By Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience’

King does not advocate evading the law, for that would result in anarchy. Instead, he recommends disobeying unjust laws, but the disobedience must be done with the highest respect for the law. This may sound like an oxymoron, but it is not.

When one breaks an unjust law, King writes, one must break it in a certain way. One breaks the law lovingly, in an attempt to change the law and make it just. And one accepts the penalty, whether it be a fine or a prison sentence. When one breaks an unjust law in this way, one hopes to arouse public consciousness about the unjust law.

Civil rights finds advocates in martin luther king jr and henry david thoreau

When enough people are aware of the unjust law, the unjust law will be changed to make it just. They break an unjust law or one that they regard as unjust openly and lovingly, but when they are sitting in a courtroom, they argue that because they were acting in accordance with their conscience, they ought not to be punished. Paul went to jail, and Jesus went to jail. To engage in civil disobedience, you must be willing to accept the penalty. Copyright by Bruce D. Ethics, by David Bruce here: