The Need For Civil Disobedience Essay

1172 Words5 Pages
Martin Luther King stated “Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.” Conscience is the main sense of human being that helps to distinguish what is wrong and what is right. Thus, conscience has to be a main driving force when people encounter unjust laws of government. One of the philosophers who favored this idea was Henry David Thoreau. Specifically, he proposed a theory that a personal conscience is the main sense, which is responsible for basic rudiments of social principles and argued that if…show more content…
Therefore, in compliance to Thoreau’s view, true honor is derived from civil disobedience, according to the reasons of own conscience of individual, to government unjust policy rather than tacit disagreement, coupled with social passivity. One of the reasons of Thoreau’s reach for this conclusion is interlinked with happen with slavery and Mexican war associated with USA. Therefore, Thoreau claimed: «There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them; who, esteeming..., and say that they know not what to do, and do nothing; who even postpone the question of freedom to the question of free-trade, and quietly read the prices-current along with the latest advices from Mexico, after dinner, and, it may be, fall asleep over them both» (Thoreau, par.10). Thus, despite the fact that such injustice is being observed and disapproved by society, the main problem consists in social omission and lack of personal interest to resistance for governmental unjust policy. Hence, as a solution, Thoreau calls for non-violent resistance, in the form of civil disobedience, due to the fact that violent acts contradict the moral principles.

“In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.” (Mahatma Gandhi) First of all, following conscience can be one of the factors of being right person. According to dictionary.com, conscience is «the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or
Get Access