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Letter from a Birmingham Jail

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Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Is an individual ever morally justified in breaking a law? The answer to

this question is yes. There are several reasons that have made me believe that it is

morally justifiable in breaking the law; however the most convincing comes from

Dr. Martin Luther King in his letter from a Birmingham Jail. " We can never

forget what that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal..." (Classic

Arguments 668). King went on in his letter to say that it would be against man

made law to help a jew in Nazi Germany. What King said in his letter has to

make a person think that not all laws are good for the group in society and

morality is a justifiable excuse in breaking the law.

Those who oppose my view on this question may be quick to ask me how

come we go by law and not morality in society. Last year at St. Louis

University I had a roommate with the complete opposite view on this question.

He explained himself this way:

Human nature consists of three basic components. These are to live,

propagate, and to dominate. If humanity was left without any

other parameters, this natural state of existence would govern its

behavior. Fortunately there are parameters, and they are laws. (Mosier)

What this basically says is that laws are made up to maintain order, monitor

actions, and work for the best interest of society as a whole. If their were no

laws chaos and anarchy would be widespread. This is why society has set up

governments. To maintain order and to gives us safety.

All of the above sounds good to me; however I have written a term paper

on international politics that points out where our own gov...

... middle of paper ...

...ve a debt to owe to immoral or unjust laws that harm other people or

groups of peoples. So to restate myself it is completely justifiable to break a

law if it can be seen as unjust or destructive to many peoples. Dr. King would

have been more than right by helping a Jew in Nazi Germany even though it was to

be considered illegal.

Works Cited

Huston, Tim. "International Politics." Essay, International Business,

St. Louis University 1996.

Mosier, Mike. "The self as I See It." Essay, Philosophy 115, St. Louis

University 1995.

Rottenburg, Anette. "Dr. Martin Luther King, Letter From a Birmingham

Jail." Elements of Argument.. Boston: St. Martin's Press, 1991.

Sandisara, Samir. "Principals of Morals." (1996): Online. Internet.

Available internet http://www.schoolemp.com/papers/science/philosophy/mor.txt.
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