Civil Disobedience Essays | GradeSaver
On Rawls's account of civil disobedience, in a nearly just society,civil disobedients address themselves to the majority to show that, intheir considered opinion, the principles of justice governingcooperation amongst free and equal persons have not been respected bypolicymakers. Rawls's restriction of civil disobedience to breachesthat defend the principles of justice may be criticised for itsnarrowness since, presumably, a wide range of legitimate values notwholly reducible to justice, such as transparency, security,stability, privacy, integrity, and autonomy, could motivate people toengage in civil disobedience. However, Rawls does allow thatconsiderations arising from people's comprehensive moral outlooks maybe offered in the public sphere provided that, in due course, peoplepresent public reasons, given by a reasonable political conception ofjustice, sufficient to support whatever their comprehensive doctrineswere introduced to support (Rawls, 1996). Rawls's proviso grants thatpeople often engage in the public sphere for a variety of reasons; soeven when justice figures prominently in a person's decision to usecivil disobedience, other considerations could legitimately contributeto her decision to act. The activism of Martin Luther King Jr. is acase in point. King was motivated by his religious convictions and hiscommitments to democracy, equality, and justice to undertake protestssuch as the Montgomery bus boycott. Rawls maintains that, while hedoes not know whether King thought of himself as fulfilling thepurpose of the proviso, King could have fulfilled it; and had heaccepted public reason he certainly would have fulfilled it. Thus, onRawls's view, King's activism is civil disobedience.
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Arguments Against Civil Disobedience Free Essays
Objection: Civil disobedience cannot be justified in a democracy. Unjust laws made by a democratic legislature can be changed by a democratic legislature. The existence of lawful channels of change makes civil disobedience unnecessary.
Argument Essay On Civil Disobedience Free Essays
One could say Henry David Thoreau"s Civil Disobedience inspired Martin Luther King"s Letter from Birmingham Jail. ... It wasn"t Thoreau"s Civil Disobedience or the abolitionists influenced by it that ended slavery. It was a civil war that killed at least 618,000 Americans. ... It secured them through nonviolent protest: lunch counter sit-ins, marches, and boycottsaE"precisely the civil disobedience advocated by Thoreau, and later King. ... Because Thoreau wrote against enormous opposition, as the Civil War made evident, he wrote Civil Disobedience less to change the minds of millions of southe...