Date post: 2017-10-22 19:19
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Thoreau performed many acts of service by giving his speeches and essays. What are some of the most significant examples of this service, and how did these events affect the people he was trying to help?
I believe that the State will soon be able to take all my work of this sort out of my hands, and then I shall be no better a patriot than my fellow-countrymen. Seen from a lower point of view, the Constitution, with all its faults, is very good the law and the courts are very respectable even this State and this American government are, in many respects, very admirable, and rare things, to be thankful for, such as a great many have described them but seen from a point of view a little higher, they are what I have described them seen from a higher still, and the highest, who shall say what they are, or that they are worth looking at or thinking of at all?
King goes on to explain that those who are 8775 more devoted to 8766 order 8767 than to justice 8776 were the real enemy of his movement toward civil rights (p. 7). To do nothing, King implies, is to err on the side of the status quo. Think of some unjust things you have witnessed, yet failed to act on.
The final issue to consider is how authorities should respond to civil disobedience. The question of appropriate legal response applies, first, to the actions of law-enforcers when deciding whether and how to intervene in a civilly disobedient action, whether to arrest, whether to charge, and so on. It applies, second, to the actions of prosecutors when deciding whether to proceed to trial. Finally, it applies to the actions of judges (and juries) when deciding whether to convict and (for judges) how much to punish. The focus here will be the issue of appropriate punishment.
Conscientiousness : This feature, highlighted in almost all accounts of civil disobedience, points to the seriousness, sincerity and moral conviction with which civil disobedients breach the law. For many disobedients, their breach of law is demanded of them not only by self-respect and moral consistency but also by their perception of the interests of their society. Through their disobedience, they draw attention to laws or policies that they believe require reassessment or rejection. Whether their challenges are well-founded is another matter, which will be taken up in Section 7.
I pumped my fellow-prisoner as dry as I could, for fear I should never see him again but at length he showed me which was my bed, and left me to blow out the lamp.
This, then, is my position at present. But one cannot be too much on his guard in such a case, lest his action be biased by obstinacy or an undue regard for the opinions of men. Let him see that he does only what belongs to himself and to the hour.
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