“Every individual in a society has a responsibility to obey just laws and to disobey and resist unjust laws. ” While some aspects of certain laws may not be convenient for certain people or certain groups, my opinion is that if a person truly sees that a law is morally unjust, then disobeying it would be the just thing to do. Laws and regulations are the super-glue that holds society from being complete anarchy, but sometimes bringing the flaw of a law to the light can be a catalyst for progression.
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Today, in the United States, we elect our law-makers, they are representatives of the people that elected them into power to ensure an orderly society, so for the most part, the laws we have in place today, in my opinion, are just and should be obeyed. However, back in the 60’s, a time of terrible racism and segregation, the insubordination of unjust laws was essential for the desegregation and mixture of two different, feuding ethnicities. Martin Luther King Jr. deliberately disobeyed laws for the good of his fellow African-American brothers and sisters. Mr.
King thought segregation was “not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound” but also “morally, wrong, and sinful. ” Because segregation was against all of the morals that were instilled in Mr. King since birth he urged his fellow African Americans to fight the segregation ordinances and take a stand in what they believe is right. There are many laws people break today because they find them to be unjust. For example, marijuana use, I believe marijuana should only be used to help relieve people in great pain or people that are terminally ill, however, many abuse this substance as just something fun and recreational.
The only way I personally would break a law would be if I felt like someone was in immediate danger. For example, if I had to distribute prescription medication to a family or friend in need, physically defend someone who was being bullied, or even kidnap a kid who was being abused by their parents, I would do
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it if I thought it was morally right and just. Much like Martin Luther King, I just want the best for everybody and if I need to break a law to do so I wouldn’t think twice about it. Although I believe unjust laws are meant to be broken, I also believe there should be restrictions to what happens.
Imagining a society where the public can completely decide for themselves would lead to complete chaos. For example, Islamic terrorists believe that killing non-Muslims is just in order to “overcome people who do not accept Islam. ” In these extremists eyes dying in Jihad is a great honor and is an assured way of gaining access to the Islamic heaven known as Paradise. A world where people were going around and doing what they desired is a recipe for disaster, but having said that, society is always moving forward and evolving, so some aspects of laws and regulations are meant to be changed.
However, bringing attention to the aspect the needs to be changed has to be done in a peaceful and non-violent manner. Another reason I support the insubordination of unjust laws is because of the progress human civilization has achieved by resisting conformation and standing up for what they believe in. A man named Howard Zinn once stated “Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it” which means that protest is absolutely essential to the advancement and progression of civilized society.
Imagine if some of the British libertarians didn’t come to America to flee religious persecution. Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. never stood up to the immoral and degrading treatment of colored people. Imagine if Galileo Galilei listened to the Catholic Church and didn’t discover that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Without people standing up for what they believed in, the world would be stuck in a Stone Age like state, moving about as fast as a sedated snail.
Although some laws may seem inconvenient or get in the way of some peoples interests, they were put into place by the people we elected to represent us, and are there for a reason. Without the laws and regulations our legislators have put into effect today, the world would be a chaotic and unpleasant place to live in, but like the renowned Martin Luther King Jr. once stated “an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law”See More on Ethics