Justice Shall Be Essay

2247 words - 9 pages

Justice Shall BeBeginning with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights, and the government is constantly creating other acts and laws regarding the present time, the government of our American society has created many rules and regulations about the way we live our lives. Such laws apply to everyone, therefore everyone is effected, regardless of whether just or unjust. How should we feel about these laws, and can we, as citizens of the United States of America, affect the way the government governs us by the actions we take? I believe we can. If citizens feel that an injustice has been perpetrated against us, incorporated by unfair laws, we can stand up for what we believe in and can do this without violence. Taking action does not necessarily need to involve violence; achieving improvements can come through actions and words passively. Many, including Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther Kind, Jr., have experimented with this hypothesis and have found nonviolent ways to change federal laws.As one example who experimented with the view of non-violent opposition, Henry Davis Thoreau explains his idea of how the government is insignificant and plays a miniscule role for good in our society. In his argument, "The government is best which governs least" (375). Thoreau hopes for less force from the government, but while waiting for change, he encourages "Civil Disobedience" to counteract unjust laws (375). "The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it" (375). Thoreau explains that the people have selected and voted for this government to govern and protect them, when in actuality, the government does very little."Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? -In which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subject afterward" (376). By this, he claims that we are endowed with a personal conscience of how we should do things. Why do we not use that conscience instead of following laws that are corrupt and unfair that obviously are not of our conscience. We should follow our own intuition. By following these personal, natural impulses, also entails to follow these instincts compliantly, or without resistance. Our conscience does not tell us to suddenly burst out violently and act out of control, but to take the necessary action as passively as we can. We have the ability, initiated from our conscience, to determine what defines right or wrong.Thoreau explains this idea of civil disobedience with a device presented as "passive resistance…to examine our lives and our ethics, and to act"...

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