One question many citizens ask themselves is whether an unjust law is a real law that must be obeyed. Socrates argued for disobeying unjust laws. This argument can be put down by a simple Utilitarian argument. Revolution may occur in only extreme circumstances, and must be duly justifiable. Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? If you need this or any other sample, we What If Laws Are Unjust? Es… ” (Declaration of Independence, Complaint 3) This complaint, in a general way, applies to what is now probably the least controversial act of Civil Disobedience, the Civil Rights Movement. Unjust enrichment law, rather than contract law, is then used to restore title to the rightful owner. Are we morally obliged to obey even unjust laws? This means that laws, regardless of how unfair, unjust, or immoral they may be, must be followed with no better reason that they are the law. there must be some machinery for detecting and penalizing lawbreakers. ” This brings about some of the stipulations that go along with Civil Disobedience. outside the anarchist’s utopia ? Taxpayers will get tired of paying for the higher cost of enforcement of the unjust law, and will also begin to fight it. It must: Have a provable injustice, fail at negotiation before action is taken, be a pure act of true belief, and then take non-violent direct action. Too many women are denied their essential human rights by laws that discriminate on the basis of gender. As St. Augustine said 'an unjust law is not law at all.' Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. Topic:The 1963 Birmingham Campaign and Children’s March Grades:7-8 Time Required:3-5 class periods Goals/Rationale In this lesson, students read and analyze segregation ordinances, and learn how Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists challenged these unjust laws through peaceful protest and civil disobedience during the 1963 civil rights campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. , “An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority compels a minority group to obey, but does not make binding on itself. Continue Reading. Determining which laws are unjust is a process that involves philosophy, ethics, and human considerations, but in a practical sense, unjust laws are situational and relate primarily to the era in which the designation is being made. We are morally obliged to fix the problem. In an event like the Revolution, where there is no redress and there is no hope of non-violent Civil Disobedience achieving the desired goal, then the acts become a Revolution. Standard V-E.3: Students should be able to: Here is why. i cant actually think of any laws in this country that are unjust at the moment. In many areas of extremely high black concentration, not a single black voter was registered. Socrates did not do an injustice by disobeying a law. ” (Singer, 297) I believe that, while this argument has a little merit, it is an extremely exaggerated slippery slope. Socrates was put to death on a trumped up charge of impiety (meaning sin). When laymen speak of unjust laws, the term is sometimes used to mean laws that the speaker disagrees with. The laws underlying slavery or the Holocaust are obvious examples of extremely unjust laws. In an extreme case, it may lead to civil war. The law may or may not violate an aspect of natural law, but … To continue along this train of thought, maybe putting taxpayers to the added burden will help the cause. an example of a just law is - don't steal from your neighbor, don't vandalize someone elses property, if you do you'll be punished. People who find themselves called to what they see as a higher law, such as a religious law, may not feel obligated to follow the laws of society. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. Also, realistically, the cost is not very high per taxpayer. Why not the right to overthrow an unjust law? ” This is also known as the Golden Rule. In all such cases, lawmaking processes generate rules that do not reflect the values of the underlying population. I would argue that violent Civil Disobedience is never permissible. The law may or may not violate an aspect of natural law, but it usually violates the person's personal ethical system. He willingly took the punishment deemed necessary, and effectively made himself a martyr to his cause. I define an unjust law as one that degrades human personality through the unfair suffering of a minority group at the hands of a majority group. ” It seems I have arrived at the same conclusion King has. It would show the support of a strong minority, and may even help the minority to become a majority. can send it to you via email. Constitutionality: is the law consistent with the highest laws of the land? Any law that causes a person to suffer simply because they do not agree with this majority is an incorrect and unjust law. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.” Crucially, moral law is the natural code of a society that dictates right from wrong – this is the basis of human law. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. King says, “I submit that 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. I will address these arguments one at a time. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. In other situations, the law may utilize improper means for the pursuit of a just goal. The phrase also resembles a 1963 quote from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in which he states, “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. This machinery will cost something to maintain and operate, and the cost will have to be met by the community. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. In Jefferson’s words, it is a nation in which “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights that among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of … To the thesis that we are obliged to obey even unjust laws, I will argue that the standard objections to Civil Disobedience, given by Singer, are incorrect To begin, however, I believe it is necessary to define an “unjust” law. Isaiah 10: 1-2 I have almost finished discussing about Ten Commandment. Think about what this means. Thomas Jefferson said it best in a letter to William Smith, 1787; “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time blood of patriots and tyrants. Legitimacy: was the law passed by legitimate democratic means? “People”, however, was mentioned. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act (officially known as the Tariff Act of 1930) is one of many nationalistic laws passed by the United States. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” Jefferson served two terms as the nation’s third president. But the progress made against sexist laws in Tanzania, Malta, and Pakistan proves that public pressure can drive change. Therefore, it is indeed every people’s responsibility to disobey or even resist them. Banking and other industries can be judged on these laws, even systemic evils can be. The law that stopped using gold and silver to back all our printed currency (All money is essentially fake and created from thin air) the list really goes on and on, but these are just a few on my top list! This point begs the question, “What about violent disobedience? He says, “One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with willingness to accept the penalty. For example, one of Hammurabi’s laws that some people thought was just was law … Colloquially, when a person refers to unjust laws, he or she typically means any law that he or she disagrees with. On issues brought to a referendum, the black population was either not allowed or not registered to vote. Unjust laws are laws that go against a type of higher law or ethical system. To quote the introduction, “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation. A majority in number can be oppressed by a majority in power. King’s quote, as I stated earlier, is, “An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey, but does not make binding on itself. I would, however, pose that the moral cost of obeying a law that one thinks is deplorable is higher than the cost of enforcing the law. King addresses that just and unjust laws target the personalities of the segregated and segregator. However, Immoral laws in history Generally, unjust laws are understood to be laws that violate natural law or another system higher than the law of a particular society. I think of gun control as all those rules and regulations that are aimed at restricting access to guns. Crito had come to Socrates to try to convince him to escape. The criteria of a valid Civil Disobedience movement, then, are as follows. 23) Riots may be controlled for the people’s safety, but killing and injuring rioters must be avoided. ” (Crito, 49 b&c) Socrates also says, after Crito agrees with the previous statement, “Then one ought not return injustice for injustice or do ill to any man, no matter what one may suffer at their hands. See more. Socrates was showing the utmost respect for the law, while still showing it was wrong. Small wonder they decided disobedience was the last resort. ” (King, 4) Socrates was not exchanging the injustice of escape for the injustice of his death sentence, regardless of what he would suffer. The Declaration gives a specific right to overthrow an unfair or unjust government, if it is necessary. The cost of maintaining and using an active police force is less than the cost of maintaining a morally compromised society. I would remind you that mass genocide of non-Aryan races under Hitler was legal. ” To be a just law, it has to be universal in its application. Actually, the Code of Hammurabi created laws that were both unjust and just. Torts and delicts ” (Patriots) To maintain liberty, we are obliged to stand up when there is injustice. To place it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas’s unjust laws quote: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Gun control is a response to a real problem, but its application is unjust. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. we might edit this sample to provide you with a plagiarism-free paper, Service unjust laws. Please exclude laws relating to abortion or sexuality. Colloquially, when a person refers to unjust laws, he or she typically means any law that he or she disagrees with. Even so, actions that violate a very unjust law that has severe moral consequences for an individual must be personally evaluated so that a person can act ethically according to his or her beliefs. Unjust definition, not just; lacking in justice or fairness: unjust criticism; an unjust ruler. King himself says there are four steps to Civil Disobedience: Collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action. Which is the exact … I define an unjust law as one that degrades human personality through the unfair suffering of a minority group at the hands of a majority group. Under the guise of negotiation, the Mayors and Governors would negotiate for concessions to the black people, and never come through. First of all, the Code of Hammurabi created laws that were just. ” (King, 4) The definition I will take is a combination of these two. Socrates first said, “One must never do injustice. We must maintain Liberty. The first argument says that, “By disobeying [a law] I set an example for others that may lead them to disobey too. Wikibuy Review: A Free Tool That Saves You Time and Money, 15 Creative Ways to Save Money That Actually Work. As long as the principle of non-violence is followed, along with the other guidelines, and breaking the law is the last resort, Civil Disobedience should be expected in a Country that was founded on strict moral principles about how a government should run. ” (Singer, 297) I will concede this point. The problem is pervasive — 90% of the world’s countries have at least one law that restricts women’s opportunities. ” (King, 4) Kant’s Categorical Imperative says, “Act only on the maxim through which you could at the same time will that it should be universal law. Please, specify your valid email address, Remember that this is just a sample essay and since it might not be original, we do not recommend to submit it. “HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only. In a society, people must often adhere to a legal system created with an ethos that is not their own. The quotation bears a much closer resemblance to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s comment in his famous letter from Birmingham Jail: "One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. If the introduction was not sufficient, the third complaint against the King of England is another good piece to look at. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. 47 Bergen St--Floor 3, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA, Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this Ten Commandment was a set of law given by… It is not only moral, but a moral obligation to disobey. Any law that is contrary to those principles should be overthrown. The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. King’s definition of a just law is “any law that uplifts human personality is just” (PAR 12). There is no argument against it. FOR ONLY $13.90/PAGE, Approaches to Civil Resistance to Unjust Laws, Zuni Public School Dist. What is the most unjust law? The states refused to pass laws that would help the black community, which was a large class of people. The Declaration of Independence makes that abundantly clear. In fact, it seems King uses something similar in meaning to Kant’s Categorical Imperative. Plato wrote of the conversation between Socrates and Crito in the dialogue The Crito. Singer gives two typical arguments in favor of obeying these unjust laws. In some areas, this does not imply that each innocent person is treated in the exact same way, but in many cultures this has become the definition of fairness. Child marriage is shockingly still legal in the United States.While the minimum age of marriage in most states is 18, every state allows exceptions to these laws… 22) Too many laws is unlawful. an unjust law - it's ok to steal from a black person, it's ok to vandalize a black persons property to keep them in their place … Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."1. 89 v. Department of Education, Zenith Radio Corporation v. United States, GET YOUR CUSTOM ESSAY The difference is that human law may itself. By "unjust" I mean that in your opinion it violates some moral, ethical, religious principle. It is especially small when compared to the cost of morally compromising the entire society. It is true that people may join in disobedience, but if the law is unjust and is disobeyed within the guidelines I put forth later, people joining the disobedience would be a good thing. Meanwhile, the definition provided for unjust laws is “any law that degrades human personality” (PAR 12). In fact, Socrates did the law the utmost justice. Examples of laws considered unjust in many areas might include those relating to keeping slaves or those that treat women differently than men. website. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. i … I would say an unjust law is a law that produces a perverse result when in action. Unjust laws “are acts of violence rather than laws” and “such laws do not bind in conscience, except perhaps in order to avoid scandal or disturbance, for which a man should even yield his right.” -Thomas Aquinas “We are subject to the men who rule over us, but subject only in the Lord. In other words, an unjust law would be a law, that takes away ones freedom, or causes harm, or basically just causes chaos. HAVEN’T FOUND ESSAY YOU WANT? Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. Difference Between Just And Unjust Laws Another source of determination for the right to disobey an unjust law is the Declaration of Independence (an act of disobedience in itself). Would we chastise someone for disobeying that law? No. Due to a variety of circumstances, lawmakers occasionally create laws whose aims are perceived as outright unjust by the majority of the people. Can we remember them? Security, Unique Laws are intended to fairly regulate the activities of a society, typically by treating each person fairly under the law. 24) Judges are necessary. On the other hand, people who believe in the value of democratic society typically understand that the way to change an unjust law is not always to break the law, but to change public opinion about the law. If you’ll notice, the words “Nation” or “Country” did not appear in the entire paragraph. King makes a very good distinction between Civil Disobedience and breaking the law. King also says, “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Unjust laws in these systems are those laws that treat some people unfairly, often due to prejudices that were rampant when the law was made. When a law is helpful for the innocent, then it is a good law to protect the innocent. Unjust laws are laws that go against a type of higher law or ethical system. Determining which laws are unjust is not a perfect science, because evaluating past laws also occurs through a cultural lens. (King, 1) King also argues that the direct action must be non-violent, which I believe is an integral part of Civil Disobedience. These people had been denied their right to be represented. Ostensibly, it was created to help protect American businesses and farmers from economic turmoil by raising tariffs on over 20,000 items by … Working 24/7, 100% Purchase If I break the law, the community will be put to the expense of enforcement. The effect may multiply and contribute to a decline in law and order. Reflection on current laws, citizen involvement, and willingness to change laws that are deemed unjust can be a good way to keep a legal system current and healthy. ” (King, 3) According to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , “An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority compels a minority group to obey, but does not make binding on itself. Keep in mind that a majority can be in either power or number. There were no laws enforcing the holocaust, because officially it was not happening and officially there were no orders to make it happen, even though everyone knew it … This is the firebombing of buildings. ”Unjust law is no law at all.” In face of unjust laws, merely tolerance and obeying could be detrimental not only to personal rights but also to the well-being of the society. • respect for law—willingness to abide by laws, even though one may not be in complete agreement with every law [and] willingness to work through peaceful, legal means to change laws which are thought to be unwise or unjust. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. This is the murder or harm of innocent people who have nothing to do with the law the people acting on the Civil Disobedience doctrine happen not to believe in. King wrote: "There are just laws and there are unjust laws. Rob Socrates was agreeing with Dr. King’s stance on Civil Disobedience. ” Socrates, in his own style, was arguing that he had done no wrong and had committed no crime. What is the most unjust law in our country? Violent Civil Disobedience, to try and make myself clear, is the assassination of a doctor that happens to perform abortions. Academic Content. 1. What one group of people might feel is unjust will seem entirely just to another group. The second standard objection says, “If the law is to be effective ? The law that established a company to create money (The federal reserve is NOT a government entity it is privately owned!) If each person were to violate all laws he or she saw as unjust, then there might be many more criminals in the world. SAMPLE. Unjust Laws The United States is homeland for millions of immigrants who risk their lives for a better existence. Unjust laws law Second Year Modules re crime and punishment Discrimination on Chinese students Recommended readings in postgraduate law classes in the UK Tourist posting nude at foreign countries : disrespectful or freedom of expression? Martin Luther King, in his famous "Letter from the Birmingham Jail," called on all Americans to actively but peacefully oppose laws that were morally wrong. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. ” (Declaration of Independence, Intro) This is quite clear. The lesson highlights the vital role that young people played in the campaign. An unjust law is a code that is out of agreement with the ethical law. Thousands or hundreds of pages of laws and regulation is unlawful. ” (King, 4) The definition I will take is a combination of these two. Nor return injustice for injustice, as the multitude think, since one must never do injustice. ” This is a difficult question when confronted with the Revolutionary War, a large act of what could be called violent Civil Disobedience. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. His argument has special meaning, for he was set to die two or three days after this conversation with the student Crito. Unjust laws in U.S Unjust laws in U.S Unjust laws in U.S Today in the United States there abound thousands of unjust laws restricting harmless and even productive actions on the part of millions of essentially good, conscientious private citizens. A culture can attempt to create laws that are maximally just, but because ethics evolves with societies, there is no way to ensure that all laws will always reflect the morality of the society they regulate. , 4 ) the definition i will address these arguments one at a Time differently than men come... 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Circumstances, and the cost is not their own all such cases, lawmaking processes rules. Law at all. he or she typically means any law that causes person. Essential human rights by laws that would help the cause wikibuy Review: a Free that.
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