Comparisons On The Advocacies Of Henry Thoreau vs Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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"There is a higher law than civil law- the law of conscience- and that when these laws are in conflict, it is a citizen's duty to obey the voice of God within rather than that of the civil authority without," (Harding 207). As Harding described in his brief explanation of Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience, there are some instances in which it is necessary to disobey a social law. Martin Luther King, Jr., in addition to Thoreau, reasoned that should a civil law be judged unjust, one had a moral obligation not only to himself but also to those around him to disregard that particular law in exchange for a higher one voiced by God.
The idea of challenging an unreasonable law is central to both King, Jr.'s and Thoreau's plights, though…show more content… First we are told in Civil Disobedience to make every effort to disconnect ourselves from the unjust system of ruling, and then we are told in Walden that very few of us are actually capable of any thought warranted as intellectual. Thoreau sets himself apart from King, Jr. by making himself a moving target. Although King, Jr. took many steps beyond Thoreau's advocacies of civil disobedience, his actions rang true to the central theme of standing powerfully, and non-violently, against an unjust system of government. Both advocated disconnecting oneself from social law as to better follow the divine laws set forth by God, and despite the great diversity in which each man carried out his beliefs, the underlying fact still remains: "we cannot, by total reliance on law, escape the duty to judge right and wrong" (Alexander Bickel), the distinction between just and unjust rests on the shoulders of mankind and it remains the duty of each individual to act accordingly.
BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. WALDEN by Henry David Thoreau 2. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE by Henry David Thoreau 3. LETTER FROM A BIRMINGHAM JAIL by Martin Luther King