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Martin Luther King and Henry David Thoreau - Essay Example

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According to the two authors, a democratic society comes from just laws and therefore unjust laws cannot sustain democracy. Although the two…
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Martin Luther King and Henry David Thoreau
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Download file to see previous pages Martin Luther considered conscience as an important aspect in distinguishing between just and unjust laws. Conscience enables a person to differentiate between laws that should be obeyed and laws that should be defied. Thoreau had similar views concerning conscience as the basis of determining just and unjust laws. Conscience is the notion of right and wrong according to the moral of a given society. The writer also argued that majority rule or democracy is not a basis of justice (Jacobus 12). According to Thoreau, majority rule is incomparable to human conscience in distinguishing between just and just laws. However, Thoreau considers that majority rule or democracy should be applied as a last resort. The majority rule should therefore be applied in places where other mechanisms such as human conscience cannot be applied. The positions taken by the two authors concerning just and unjust laws are similar. However, martin Luther bases his conscience on moral law or the notion of right and wrong according to the law of God.
Although the two writers had different basis for differentiating between just and unjust laws, they had similar views on how a person should handle both the just and unjust laws. Just laws are beneficial both to the subject and the nation, obeying such laws is not only a legal duty but also a moral responsibility. Martin Luther considered laws that uplift human personality to be just laws while those that degrades human personality to be unjust laws. Thoreau also had similar views concerning just and unjust laws. According to the writer, just laws are beneficial to the people while unjust laws were of no benefit to the people. Unlike martin Luther, Thoreau’s arguments concerning human conscience, unjust and just laws were based on the insufficiency of democracy or the rule of the majority. Thoreau used the weakness in democratic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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