Civil Disobedience Essay

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The act of civil disobedience is a difficult issue to discuss. While most acts of civil disobedience are not legally acceptable, the question is often raised whether or not these acts are morally acceptable. There are many factors to consider when deciding if an act of civil disobedience is moral. I personally believe that environmentally inspired acts of civil disobedience can be morally acceptable if certain criteria are met. After reading Rudolph H. Weingartner’s Justifying Civil Disobedience, I was able to come up with several guidelines of my own to use when justifying the morality of an environmentally inspired act of civil disobedience. First off, civil disobedience should only occur if all alternative methods have been tried and not produced a result. Next, the motive of the act must be a moral motive, in order for it to be considered morally acceptable. Along with this, the act must be well planned and thought out to avoid any unnecessary consequences unrelated to the motive. If these criteria are met, I believe an environmentally inspired act of civil disobedience can be morally accepted. In a democracy, governmental authority comes from the decisions of the people. This belief gives the right to the people to impact governmental decisions. Weingartner believes one should not engage in civil disobedience until all other alternative methods have been attempted, which I feel is an important aspect in an act of civil disobedience. When addressing the environment, it is hard to get in touch with the government to propose a change. Actions of civil disobedience may often be the only way to get a point across to the government to stop the destruction of the environment. In a democracy setting in which the opinions of the people matter, if there is no other way to get a point across about an environmental issue, an act of civil disobedience can and should be
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