Tuesday, December 25, 2018

'Comparing Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King on Unjust Laws Essay\r'

'In today’s society, it is often unclear where to draw the stage business between fair morals and telling government. It is for this reason that m some(prenominal) eons, unslopednesss that argon enacted for the â€Å"good of the people” can be in direct conflict with a item-by-item’s moral sense. Due to the various struggles that the coupled States has faced in building a government, this topic has been a popular word throughout American literature. Although they did non bouncing during the like m, American writers Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther exponent, jr. ach wrote about how a person should non follow laws that they mean to be immoral.\r\nThoreau’s main c erstrn pertained to the legal universe of slaves and slave-owners, and a century later, great power talk out against legal segregation in the South. In his â€Å"Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr. shares the same attitude with Henry David Thoreauâ €™s work, â€Å" polished Disobedience” concerning exactly and unjust laws; however, they for each one had contrary means of executing their beliefs. two men agree that if a law is unjust, it is one’s duty to expose that law, and do instead what they believe to be adept.\r\nThoreau considers that when unjust laws exist, a person has iii choices of march: obey them, obey them small-arm working to change them, or smash them at once. He proposes, â€Å"It is not a man’s duty…to hold himself to the eradication of…even the most marvelous wrong; … only when it is his duty, at least, to brush his hands of it, and…not to give it much his support. ” (Thoreau 4). Thoreau also ponders whether it is ameliorate to decide what is priseable and wrong by one’s own conscience. He declares, â€Å"It is not coveted to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.\r\nThe only pledge which I have a right to as sume, is to do at any time what I think right. ” (Thoreau 1). King, who was a god-fearing clergyman, places one’s moral obligations downstairs the eyes of God. He defines a just law as â€Å"…a man-made code that squares with the…law of God. ” (King 177). King and Thoreau believe that the act of pass against the law should be done in a motionless manner. King explains, â€Å"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create much(prenominal) a crisis and entertain such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is hale to confront the issue. ” (175).\r\nThese writers also coincide that once someone has broken a law, he or she must be automatic to accept the consequences, including the possible penalty of imprisonment. In fact, twain men washed-out time in prison for their acts of civil disobedience. Thoreau was displace to toss after six days of refusing to pay his taxes, due to his op scene to both the Mexican-Amer ican War and slavery in America. King was sent to jail for leading some(prenominal)(prenominal) peaceful protests, including a boycott. However, King was imprisoned for much longer than Thoreau, who only spent one day in prison, that was un volitionally bailed out by his aunt.\r\nIn fact, it was from jail that King wrote his letter, in an struggle to defend his actions in Birmingham, which he believed to be completely necessary and justifiable actions of protest. two Thoreau and King felt that by going to prison, and dealing with the consequences of their actions, they were solidifying and hence modify their protests. Thoreau and King were also of the same theme that a law must be respected regardless of whether it is just or unjust. King fears that anarchy will expiry if laws are not respected; Thoreau describes that rise will be the consequence if laws are not given respect.\r\nKing declares, â€Å"…An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjus t, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in world expressing the very highest respect for the law. ” (King 179). King states his position as one that disagrees with a law, and therefore goes against it in an effort to change it with respect to the government. Both writers agree that getting unloose of the government is not the goal, scarce earlier to change its ways.\r\nThoreau articulates, â€Å"…to speak practically and as a citizen…I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man accept known what kind of government would overshadow his respect, and that will be one shade toward obtaining it. ” (Thoreau 1). Exercising passive resistance is the instauration of the title of Thoreau’s work, and King presents several examples of civil disobedience in his letter, such as the Boston Tea Party. King himself not only exercis es passive resistance, but he provides the procedure to be followed for any nonviolent campaign.\r\nWith the exception of King’s added religious beliefs, Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King, Jr. divided the same ideas concerning civil disobedience and the ways in which one should deal with just and unjust laws, although they demonstrated their viewpoints in different ways. Both of these writers believed that any law that was in conflict with a person’s conscience should be respected, but restrained challenged in a passive manner. To levy this belief, both Thoreau and King practiced it themselves.\r\n'

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