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Connection paper - Essay Example

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Full name Professor Subject Date A Comparison Between “Civil Disobedience” and “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” and Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” express the freedom fighters’ beliefs and principles…
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Connection paper

Download file to see previous pages... For King, his imprisonment became the very reason why he wrote his letter while Thoreau’s imprisonment in a way influenced his perceptions and understanding as well as his courage to express his arguments in his article. The two are principled men who did their best to stand on what they believed in even in the midst of chaos. They both present their discourse on the basis of reason, using quotations from the Bible and well-respected men; seek to be understood, appealing to sense and sensibility of the people concerned who are politicians, Whites, Blacks, and Clergymen as well as discuss just laws, unjust laws, eternal and natural laws. Firstly, the aforementioned freedom fighters reflect in their written works of their influence from the Bible. As a clergyman, it was natural for King to mention God and the Bible but he emphasized how men should work with God to accomplish His purposes here on earth. Despite his co-clergymen’s discourse that the social issues King is fighting for are issues that the gospel has no real concern for, he argues that “human progress comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God”. ...
Such quotations show how Thoreau uses information from the Bible to reflect on the circumstances he is facing. To make their arguments even stronger, the two authors named and quoted other philosophers such as Socrates, St. Augustine, Martin Buber, Confucius and Paley. King claims that he does not seek to go against government while Thoreau stands on the other side of the balance and they both are expressed the reason for their actions. King debated that he and his colleagues have brought their concern to the people in authority for it to be resolved. However, their pleas for equality and just treatment have been disregarded so that they had to resort to taking action. He presented how they have acted with all the discretion in accordance to the circumstances in Birmingham and explained how they finally have to “create constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth”. Similarly, Thoreau accounts that he is not a man who is violent in expressing himself but, he “quietly declares war with the State”, speaking about his reactions to the demands for him to pay “a certain sum toward the support of a clergyman”. Using the quotations and philosophers mentioned above, the two writers presented their reasonable actions. They effectively explained the principles on which they stand on and tried to persuade their audience using intellectual arguments instead of the violence that they have been perceived to hold. King and Thoreau believe in the existence of unjust laws. King defines and contrasts just and unjust laws to make clear his understanding of the subject. He quotes St. Augustine saying “an unjust law is no ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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