This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Breaking The Law Or Civil Desobedience

2220 words - 9 pages

History has spoken. The words of the weak started it. Their actions proved it. Disobeying a law is a crime that the offender should be willing to take the punishment for and let his sacrifice be used as a point to rally around to create a just, moral change. Whenever a law is deemed unjust, there is good reason for breaking it to achieve justice. Civil Disobedience will never be legal and those who employ it should be willing to accept the penalty that comes with breaking a law. It has been shown through historic cases, modern examples, and the core values of a democratic society that show Civil Disobedience not only works, but should be used as a tool to demonstrate the moral objectives that are being sought. Considering some laws are unjust and in contradiction with the core beliefs of society, there are certain times when breaking a law is reasonable, but it is by no means encouraged and should be done at the law breakers own risk.
Civil Disobedience is when one breaks the law to prove a point or bring about a potential moral change. This can include just changing the way society thinks about a certain subject. Throughout history, Civil Disobedience has been effectively used to bring about drastic change in not only the way people think, but also their actions. It was Henry David Thoreau who coined the term in the 1848 because he did not believe he should pay taxes that went to the war against Mexico or supporting the Fugitive Slave Law, both of which he saw as immoral. A key factor in Civil Disobedience is that the offender should generally be willing to accept the punishment for it, as it shows how they still have respect for the authority; the priority is simply change (“Civil Disobedience”).
One of the main aspects of Civil Disobedience is utilizing it to combat laws that are unjust. The goal is to achieve moral equilibrium. Martin Luther King Jr. clarifies when he says “A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.” He goes on to say that there are times when a law is a good law on the outside, but when it is put into practice it then becomes an unjust when it is used against a minority group while the rest of society does not have to follow it the same way. For example, the law King Jr. broke to get into Birmingham Jail was a law against parading, that one has to have a permit to do so. He argues that it is unjust because it was used to stifle the blacks’ first amendment right to free speech and public protest (King). Another popular theory about Civil Disobedience is that in today’s society it no longer applies because government does not pass laws that are in violation of human rights. In most cases this would mean there is no longer justification for the breaking of any law, but to the contrary there are still many laws passed without adequate approval from society and therefore have no real power in a Democracy. These laws are then...

Find Another Essay On Breaking the Law or Civil Desobedience

Breaking Barriers or Burning Bridges? - The Al-Jazeera Story

1544 words - 6 pages Europe and the rest from Asia. Also impressive are the 52% male and 29% female statistics, with 65% of these falling into the much sought after 20-35 years age group (Vesely, M., 2002).Friend or Foe?If quality reporting is judged by the enemies it accrues, then Al-Jazeera is an undeniable success. The network has shouldered broad criticisms from the United States and Israel, other Arab countries as well as from members of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Due

How the Civil Law Depends Againist Bullying

1063 words - 5 pages victims may have actions for intentional infliction of emotional distress. That tort responds to “extreme and outrageous conduct” by a defendant who intended to cause, or recklessly caused, the plaintiff’s severe emotional distress (Citron). Bullying is defined as a harmful act against a person, which is also stated under tort law that is considered a civil wrong which unfairly causes someone else to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal

The Scarlett Letter: Civil and Natural Law

1220 words - 5 pages Failure to respect God's standards often roots obscurity in recognizing one's own sins. For this reason, Nathaniel Hawthorne attempts to maintain a dark and truthful view of mankind, his romantic historical fiction novel; The Scarlet Letter reveals both the author and man's common struggle to discern the difference between Civil and Natural Law, the means by which they deceive themselves, justify their actions, and seek redemption. Not to

The Difference Between Civil Law and Criminal Law

979 words - 4 pages other words, there is no logical or rational reason to doubt the defendant’s guilt. This is not the case in civil law. Civil law is about private disputes between individuals or between individuals and organizations. Civil matters include areas such as contract law, family law, tort law, property law and labour law. The person suing for a wrong has the burden of proving their case on a "balance of probabilities." This

What justifies the breaking of the law - High school english - speech

877 words - 4 pages What justifies the breaking of the law What does it take for a human being to be able to step out of the comfort of their own well being just to stand up for the liberty of others under an unjust government? If it was not for the practices that Gandhi posed, there would be no independence in India. If it were not for Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement, no telling what the U.S. would look like concerning the

Was slavery the cause of the civil war? Was one particular event the breaking straw that made the war unevitable?

1068 words - 4 pages The Civil War, fought between 1854 and 1862, between the North and South was a bloody battle that eventually led to the end of slavery. Even today, many individuals feel like slavery was the cause for this war. It is true that "had there been no slavery, there would have been no war." Ironically, it is also true, that many of the soldiers on either the North or South side were not fighting "for" or "against" the policy of slavery. Although


1156 words - 5 pages Civil law is concerned and deals with the relationship between individuals and relates to civil rather than criminal wrongs with the aim of compensating the suing party for such wrongs (Gibson, Rigby, Ryan & Tamsitt, 2001, p28.1). A civil action is generally brought by the party who has been injured or otherwise suffered some form of loss as the result of a wrong which only directly affected him (e.g. trespassing into private property). When

Criminal and Civil Law in the English Legal System

1893 words - 8 pages impact on society itself. For example: a murder, theft or rape. Criminal law is dealt with in the Magistrates court and if very serious in the Crown court. It is said to be more difficult to win a case in the Magistrates court and Crown court than in a civil court as in a magistrates and crown court the evidence has to be proved beyond doubt and in a civil court evidence can be proved on a balance of probabilities

The law concerning civil unions and gay marriage

2274 words - 9 pages church verses individual rights will cause the split of American Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion.Recent Articles and LegislationUpon analysis, this group discovered a number of recent article and legislation regarding the topic of sexual preference. For example, a new Florida civil rights law is being thought of as a "breakthrough in fighting discrimination based on race, religion, gender or age and gives the state new legal weapons

Causes of the civil war - political or social?

868 words - 3 pages had almost always been apposed to slavery but peoples' moral opposition to it increased, eventually leading up to the civil war. With the Fugitive Slave law in operation, a freed black man was stripped of all his rights. Some northerners reacted by warning freed men of slave catchers. It was assumed that all free black men were escaped slaves. On top of that, in the case of Scott vs. Sanford, it was ruled that nowhere in the constitution was a

SB 1070; Is It The Right Law or Not?

1331 words - 5 pages accused of breaking any laws including immigration laws. In the situation where “a van s given a speeding ticket in a highway known for smuggling: the van has 10 individuals that don’t speak english. There is reasonable suspicion. If they are legal they will be allowed to go on; they must have doucuments anyway.” (The Police Shoud...) Basically the law states is that reasonable suspicion will get you you pull over, this measure is placed to ensure

Similar Essays

Breaking The Law Essay

717 words - 3 pages it is characters or historical people, the world has been changed and shaped by those who challenged the laws that are wrong and unjust. Antigone was a rebel because she broke a law for the honor of her family. She knew the consequences to her actions and she did it anyway. She knew that the law preventing her from giving her brother a proper burial was wrong and this caused her to break this unjust law. She wanted Ismene to scream from the

Is Canada In Danger Of Breaking Apart Or Civil War?

903 words - 4 pages Is Canada in danger of breaking apart or Civil War?Canada is in a slight danger of breaking apart, yet it is probable that Canada is not in danger of civil war. The basis for the separation of Yugoslavia's various cultures was due to ethno-nationalism. When compared to Yugoslavia's conditions prior to their break-up, Canada's situation is somewhat similar; although, Yugoslavia and Canada are entirely different countries on a variety of levels

When Is Breaking The Law Justified?

918 words - 4 pages As heard often in movies and other media, “Laws were made to be broken.” This holds true, especially when the law that is being broken is morally unjust and requires a citizen to disregard or act in an unjust manner to their fellow citizens. Any law that requires that kind of action is not beneficial to the common good of society, and creates a contrast between the “good citizen” part of a person and the “decent human being” part of a person

The Civil Law And The Religious Law

1194 words - 5 pages largely supplemented or modified by local custom or culture. The civil law tradition, though secularized over the centuries and placing more focus on individual freedom, promotes cooperation between human beings (PAUL M. HEBERT LAW CENTER). Whereas Common law are a body of rules that delineate private rights and remedies, and govern disputes between individuals in such areas as contracts, property, and Family Law; distinct from criminal or public law