Henry David Thoreau 's Civil Disobedience

1123 Words Nov 21st, 2016 5 Pages
Throughout history and in today’s society, people have always done what they felt to be right. In Henry David Thoreau “Civil Disobedience” he stated “The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right.” Although doing what you believe to be right may feel right, it’s not always the best decision in all situations. There are many situations where doing what you feel to be right can benefit you, but can affect others negatively. Thoreau believed that following the law, created by most of the people can be morally and socially wrong. A person should not feel it is their obligation to follow a law they don’t believe in; that would be giving up their individual consciences. People should always do what they personally believe is right.

Thoreau had many valid points, but living life doing what you feel is right "at any time" is risky. Although some laws may be unjust, others were put into place to keep us safe. If everyone did what they felt to be right, the world would be into shambles. In Thoreau 's case he prefered laissez-faire government “…I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government” (Thoreau). He believed that a man can change an unjust system by refusing to be unjust, and by being entirely willing to make a sacrifice. Thoreau sacrifice was a night in jail, after he refused to pay what he believed "unfair tax". Him doing what he felt to be right, cost him his freedom.
The “Letter from Birmingham Jail”…
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