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Martin Luther King Jr. And Socrates : The Idea Of Civil Disobedience

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The main idea of civil disobedience is that citizens have the right and the obligation to challenge the laws of the state when they feel that the laws opposes certain superior ideals. Martin Luther King Jr. and Socrates have different opinions towards civil disobedience and how they should react toward laws that are unfair. I agree with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s tactic for civil disobedience just as I agree that steps must be taken to reform the laws that we find unjust. However, I do agree with Socrates on why we should follow the law but if no one ever challenged the laws then some old unjust laws would still be set in place today. In Crito, there is a conversation between Crito and Socrates. Crito is attempting to convince Socrates…show more content…
To Socrates laws only have meaning because the people give them meaning and only by following the laws do we see the actual value of them. According to Socrates the relationship of the people and the states are like that of a child and their parents. He claims that state raises the people by guiding them with laws giving them order and educates the people of what’s right and what’s wrong. Socrates does not believe in disobeying the law to set examples as you would not disobey your parents just to prove a point. Socrates is appreciative for what state has done for him and feels as if it is his duty and obligation to repay them or show gratitude to the state by following its laws. Martin Luther King Jr., was a civil rights activist who spoke freely about civil disobedience in the Letter from Birmingham Jail while he was locked up for civilly disobeying the law. He was writing to eight white clergymen that also felt that many of the laws were unjust, however they showed agreement with Socrates by stating that he should not disobey the laws. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “one has a moral responsibility to disobey just laws because if we did not disobey them then unjust acts would continue to occur, causing our country to be harmed”. He also stated that “an unjust law is no law at all”. Martin Luther King Jr. did believe that laws were setup and enforced to assist and support the residents of the state however, if a law was unfair or unconstitutional, then the law would
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