Civil Disobedience Essay

2064 WordsAug 8, 20129 Pages
Civil Disobedience The question before me is "What is the most effective means of protest?" I have studied three different positions on effective means of protest. Socrates stance on the most effective means of protest was persuasion. Socrates believed there was never a time when one should break the law, even if that law is unjust. Next I considered Martin Luther King, Jr.'s view on the most effective means of protest. King believes non-violent direct action is the best method because no one is actually being hurt in the process and in the end you are still protesting for your rights. Finally, I examined Malcolm X's view on the most effective means of protest. His view was to use "any means necessary", a mindset which showed that he was not afraid to be violent, nor would he hold back when it came to violence. All three of these philosophers have at least one thought in common, they all believe that there are certain beliefs or ideas that are far greater than life and are willing to give up their life for that belief. Socrates is accused of breaking the law and he attempts to persuade the jury of his innocence. He is ultimately unsuccessful and put to death. Dr. King knew that by taking his stance he too was putting his life in jeopardy. He was shot in Atlanta on April 4, 1968. Malcolm X was assonated in New York City in February 21, 1965. Although each philosopher had the same goal in mind, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s position of direct, non-violent action was the most successful. Examining these three philosophers and their philosophies; Socrates believed that there was never a time one should break the law, even if that law was unjust. Socrates used persuasion to attempt to change laws. In the Crito, (Plato, 348 B.C) Socrates stated three arguments explaining why it is unjust to break the law. His first argument explains how the state is

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