In the Theory of Justice by John Rawls, he defines civil disobedience,” I shall begin by defining civil disobedience as a public, nonviolent, conscientious yet political act contrary to law usually done with the aim of bringing about a change in the law or policies of the government”. Rawls is saying civil disobedience is the refusal to obey certain laws; which are usually motivated by a need to change the policies and laws held by the government and state. Civil disobedient actions require publicity, nonviolence and conscientious breach made to the law they are trying to take down. Their aim is to bring about a change in laws or government policies. Civil disobedience is often intended to point out injustices in the law, and undermine the law’s effectiveness.
Thus, the only time a person can be sure he is right is if he is constantly open to differing opinions; there must be a standing invitation to try to disprove his beliefs. Second, there is the criticism that governments have a duty to uphold certain beliefs that are important to the well being of society. Only "bad" men would try to undermine these beliefs. Mill replies that this argument still relies on an assumption of i... ... middle of paper ... ...s beliefs are not reflected in their conduct. As a result, people do not truly understand the doctrines they hold dear, and their misunderstanding leads to serious mistakes.
It is a form of protest intended to draw attention to a wrong or injustice which the protesters believe is serious to morally justify violation of the law and is usually non-violent. The goals of civil disobedience are to publicize an unjust law or a just cause and to appeal to the conscience of the public so as to end injustice which flows from obedience to unjust law (“Civil Disobedience, Environmental Protest and the Rule of Law”). With rules, laws, commands, demands by the authority, it make sure that everyone has the the freedom and right. However, no law can satisfy everyone because of the system and the majority rule. With civil disobedience, individuals can express their opinion on how the law should be.
King emphasizes the fact that one must follow just laws to avoid anarchy and respect the rights of other human beings. However, he and others have a “moral responsibility” to fight against unjust laws for the benefit of society. He states that individual “who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law” as they are adjusting the basic intent of the law to realign with its moral law through the form of civil disobedience. It is important to note that this view is not ‘new’ or radical according to King. Legality is a very arbitrary term within a historical context as King points out that what the Nazi’s did was legal while what the “Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal.
When someone believes that they are being forced into following unjust laws they should stand up for what they believe in no matter the consequences because it is not just one individual they are protesting for they are protesting for the well-being of a nation. Thoreau says ?to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.? People should only let wrong and right be governed by what they believe not the people of the majority. The public should always stand for what is right, stand when they think a government is wrong, and trust in their moral beliefs.
But who can confirm that the government will only intervene and suspend civil liberties in times of crisis? The source would choose security over freedom because it suggests that in times of crisis, the government should protect its citizens by taking “decisive action”. This decisive action suggests that the government would not consult the people in making decisions and instead make them on their own. This secrecy on the government 's part, prevents the people from keeping the government accountable. We should not embrace the source because completely embracing it would lead to a society where civil liberties are undermined, where the government has too much power and where democracy is crumbling.
In this quote you can see that King is very much for the idea of negotiating but realizes that if negotiations are not being heard, direct action and civil disobedience is necessary. King also states “My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for
How are the people, oppressed by others and by the government, supposed to react? Certainly, they do not enjoy being treated unjustly, however, they should still obey the laws. Is it to the laws of the land that command total submission or to his convictions by which he is convinced that the system is totally unjust? Therefore, how should citizens defend their liberties, without using violence or disobeying the law, if they think it’s unjust? If an individual obeys the law, he would automatically be thought of supporting the unjust system but in case he does not, he would be accused of disobeying the law.
Like Rauch says, people must not try to eradicate hate speech, rather criticize and try to correct it. There is no wrong in standing up for yourself but there is an enormous wrong in limiting speech, hateful or not. V. Conclusion If it wasn’t already obvious, I believe that Altman is wrong. I believe that strengthening the proverbial skin of society is more important that pitting it’s individuals against each other on issues of what’s ok and not ok to say. Altman appeals to his own morals in which giving individuals the equality that is due to them and the right to not be treated as a lesser member of society are of ultimate importance.
The lack of clear disobedience to authority needed, resulted in this being one of the most controversial experiments of our time, leaving behind an example of blind obedience and negative results. In conclusion, we as a society need to learn the difference between blind dangerous obedience, and reasonable obedience. Your response to authority, whether to obey or disobey, should be based on how it affects your rights and the rights of those around you. Authority should be in your life to create a better environment for you, and not hinder your rights. Just keep one thing in mind, “ones who strike out on their own path tend to continue on, while the ones who choose compliance are unable to free themselves” (Asch 15).