Promoting The Use Of Civil Disobedience

699 words - 3 pages

According to St. Augustine “an unjust law is not a law at all”(p186). This belief has been shared by many influential leaders in the past, including Henry Thoreau, Mahatma Ghandi, and Martin Luther King. They all believed in a non-violent approach to solving their social grievances. In most cases their approach was successful and was noticed by society and brought about a change in the laws. This nonviolent perspective stems straight from Jesus, who says, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”(p192). Others believe that by being disobedient you are under minding the laws and thus creating chaos within society. But, if unjust laws are not brought into light or under minded, then there will be no change in those laws. Martin Luther King felt there is a misconception of time in that the very flow of time cures all ills. On the contrary, time is neutral and it can be used either destructively or constructively(p190).
The way in which one should go about voicing their grievances is in a non-violent fashion which is within the bounds of the law. First, one should go to the system of government to appeal the law. If this does not work or work fast enough or if the system fails then one should resort to publically breaking the law in question in a non-violent manner on the sole bases of ones conscience. In the case of Thoreau, it was not paying taxes, for Ghandi it was hunger strikes, and for Martin Luther King it was the organization of site-ins and public demonstrations.
Some agree with the ideas of Henry Thoreau in his literary work “Civil Disobedience,” in this work he discusses the need to prioritize one’s conscience over that of the law. It is felt that the government is seldom useful and it receives its power from the majority because they are...

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