Obligated Disobedience Essay

740 words - 3 pages

As Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” This statement summarizes a belief that I have come to believe: legal obligations do not always align with moral obligations. Although I believe that following the rules is correct most of the time, I think that there are exceptions to everything. Therefore, since there have been many historical instances where people have disobeyed the law and are now considered “right,” I disagree with the statement “Doing what’s right means obeying the law.”
To begin, rules are created by humans based on the economic, political, technological, and social standards of the time. Our standards become more ...view middle of the document...

One such liberty is the freedom of speech. Any anti-policy or anti-government media will be shot down immediately and there is no way that the Chinese people can express their varying opinions without breaking the law. The freedom of speech is an inalienable right and it is neither moral nor just to restrict it. As President Thomas Jefferson once stated "If a law is unjust, a [person] is not only right to disobey it, he [or she] is obligated to do so." Likewise, any exploited citizens have no reason to follow the law, so refusing to comply with regulations can be considered moral.
Finally, I sincerely believe that if a people do not have a say in the law, it is not necessary for them to follow it. For example, when the United States was strictly controlled by the British king, many American patriots shouted “No taxation without representation!” The simple fact was that the British parliament did not ask nor care about the grievances of a large portion of their own citizens. Thus, a democratic government in which the people have the power is the only legitimate government whose laws should be respected. In this unfair, monarchial government, our Declaration of Independence was...

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