Civil Disobedience

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Civil Disobedience Works Cited Not Included I believe that civil disobedience is justified as a method of trying to change the law. I think that civil disobedience is an expression of one's viewpoints. If someone is willing to break a law for what they believe in, more power to them! Civil disobedience is defined as, "the refusal to obey the demands or commands of a government or occupying power, without resorting to violence or active measures of opposition" (Webster's Dictionary). This refusal usually takes the form of passive resistance. Its usual purpose is to force concessions from the government or occupying power. Civil disobedience has been a major tactic and philosophy of nationalist movements in Africa and India, in the civil rights movement of U.S. blacks, and of labor and anti-war movements in many countries. People practicing civil disobedience break a law because they consider it unjust and hope to call attention to it. In his essay, "Civil Disobedience," American author Henry David Thoreau set forth the basic tenets of civil disobedience for the first time. The independence of India in the 1930's was largely a result of the nonviolent resistance by Mohandas Gandhi to the British colonial laws. In the United States, the nonmilitant efforts of Martin Luther King, Jr., helped bring about civil rights legislation. There are numerous examples that illustrate how civil disobedience is justified. In late 1955 Rosa Parks, a leading member of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was jailed for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. I don't blame Parks at all for what she did. The African American people had to take a stand on some issue... ... middle of paper ... ...because it is not right to ban a piece of literature no matter how unethical it is. These laws limit human freedom and hinder spontaneity. I think there are always times when disobeying a law is morally justified. "They are sometimes unfair and repressive; common sense, social custom, and religion already provide enough guidance; and morality can never be legislated" (Kessler 154). Thoreau argued that any given law is not as high or not above what you believe in or what your conscious tells you is right. "We all have a moral duty to obey our consciences" (Kessler 154). I believe it is very clear how I stand on the subject of civil disobedience. After researching this topic and formulating my own opinions I have learned a great deal about my morals and myself. It simply shocks me when I think of the accomplishments of people like King, Gandhi, and Thoreau.

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