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 DT's Weekly Musings #1: Civil Disobedience vs. Anarchy, is there really a difference?

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Should the law always be obeyed?
Yes
25%
 25% [ 2 ]
No
75%
 75% [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 8
 

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Darkthought
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PostSubject: DT's Weekly Musings #1: Civil Disobedience vs. Anarchy, is there really a difference?   Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:53 pm

In his short novel Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau promotes the idea that certain laws, such as tax laws and the general philosophy with which the average man lives his life, is or can be completely wrong. Thoreau believed that through what he called Civil Disobedience, one could hope to change the way people thought. He believed that a man was his own master, and that no government great or small was enough to push anyone away from their morals.

Thoreau says this: "Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? ...I do not hesitate to say, that those who call themselves abolitionists should at once effectively withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government of Massachusetts, and not wait till they constitute a majority of one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them ...Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors, constitutes a majority of one already."

And this: "But a government in which the majority rule in all cases can not be based on justice, even as far as men understand it."

Discuss.
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CommonGoods
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PostSubject: Re: DT's Weekly Musings #1: Civil Disobedience vs. Anarchy, is there really a difference?   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:09 pm

Quote :
Democracy; **** the minority.

Not my words, but those of my old history teacher, who took great care to explain to us why demo'crazy' was the best way to govern a nation. The problem with these unjust laws is that it depends on who you're asking. I don't have to remind you of the fact that we are less then a century away from Apartheid, which was actualy viewed as justic by many, and I mean many, people. We're really not that far away from the time where our justice systems viewed black people, hell, women, as inferior.

Yet at the same time, we can't simply disregard all these rules, for although I enjoy playing the devil's advocat, we need someone to be in charge. It's human nature. If anarchy was the way to go, we never would have invented governments. People are social creatures, and social interaction is not possible without rules on a small scale, let alone on a large scale.

It is important to keep in mind that although there might be 'unfair' laws, it is a large step from complaining about these rules (during elections, referenda) to complete and utter anarchy.

Well, this entire rant was based on the piece of text + the title... didn't see the polls lol!

I voted no. Laws can be wrong, there are many different laws, not just national and international, but also religious ones. No is the obvious answer, since 'not always' isn't the same as 'never' or even 'not most of the times'.


Last edited by CommonGoods on Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gloom
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PostSubject: Re: DT's Weekly Musings #1: Civil Disobedience vs. Anarchy, is there really a difference?   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:10 pm

That was really hard, I really struggled to find an answer. At the end of the day their are several points in history were law was followed and polititions obeyed when they really shouldn't have been...I have more personal reasons as well but I'm going to leave them out of this and simply say no not always...
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CDRW
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PostSubject: Re: DT's Weekly Musings #1: Civil Disobedience vs. Anarchy, is there really a difference?   Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:16 pm

I think you would be hard pressed to find somebody who says the law should always be obeyed. I think in D&D they call that "Lawful Stupid." However, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the law should always be obeyed unless you have a morally upright reason for disobeying.
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Fayte
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PostSubject: Re: DT's Weekly Musings #1: Civil Disobedience vs. Anarchy, is there really a difference?   Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:17 pm

Have to agree with Gloom and CD. The law is tricky and sometimes it should not always be obeyed. In fact, most laws should be changed such as the right to defend oneself and ones property without the bad guy sueing u for blowing his kneecaps out when he was the one that broke into the property.

Some laws should be obeyed but most of the time it is common sense. So as much as I hate to go against my own personal grain of laws should be obeyed I will have to go with no, not always. (That makes sense to me. lmao)
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PostSubject: Re: DT's Weekly Musings #1: Civil Disobedience vs. Anarchy, is there really a difference?   Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:40 pm

You cannot easily decide whether or not to obey laws. It is a multifaceted paradox. If you disobey a law that someone else obeyed, the other person may be offended or worse.

For example:

You are driving down the road at the speed limit. A car whizzes past you 15 miles and hour faster. You are irritated by that and now are no longer paying attention to the road like you previously were and are a danger to others around you.

This example explains that when someone disobeys a law it can disrupt a situation thus causing unseen issues to arise.

On the other hand When someone obeys a law in an inappropriate situation It can cause more problems then dis obeying the law.

For example:

( completely hypothetical)
You are standing in line at the airport and someone yells "BOMB"! You start running but realize that you have metal in your pockets and stop to empty then at the detector.

This is a very unrealistic ( but humours) example that points out if you are to obey a law make sure that it does not endanger the lives or well being of others.

Also many laws are intolerable. Such as the laws that are racially or religiously directed.
Also some laws that promote the intolerable treatment of human beings or animals may need to be disobeyed or removed.

For example:

Laws that say a black person needs to ride at the back of a bus, laws that say you must follow specific religions and laws that suggest you must hurt another being.

Finally it comes to a specific conclusion. Most of you can use your common sense to choose whether or not a law will negatively effect a person or people in a given situation, jeopardizing their health, well being or lives. Some people cannot make these distinctions and they are the small portion of our population that either are imprisoned or need to follow laws strictly in order to be guided into a productive path. Generally these people are mentally disabled or morally empty. In my own personal opinion I think of who and what my actions affect determine whether or not it breaks a law and see if it negatively affects me or any other human being significantly. If the law negatively affects someone or something i don't obey it or if it does not and it promotes the welfare of said someone or something I will obey it. Laws a specifically situational and it is very difficult to determine what to obey and what not to obey. This is why we have a court system and judges that spend 10 years of their lives studying these specific ideas and concepts to help determine whether or not our actions are valid or not.
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PostSubject: Re: DT's Weekly Musings #1: Civil Disobedience vs. Anarchy, is there really a difference?   Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:33 pm

No, the laws shouldn't always be obeyed. I know this will sound kind of harsh, but if the government tries to take too much freedom away from the people then they have an obligation to disobey those laws, or else they didn't really deserve to have that freedom in the first place.

As for the thread title, no civil disobedience isn't the same as anarchy. For most Americans, the second they hear civil disobedience they think of the civil rights movements that took place back in the sixties, particularly among black people and women. Now, while he did preach the idea of civil disobience, there's no way I'd call Martin Luther King Jr. an anarchist.
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Darkthought
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PostSubject: Re: DT's Weekly Musings #1: Civil Disobedience vs. Anarchy, is there really a difference?   Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:35 pm

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither”
Thomas Jefferson

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
Howard Zinn

"There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly."
Henry David Thoreau

"Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison ... the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor."
Henry David Thoreau

Oh James...you would argue against me here. What Thoreau is saying in these quotes and he previous ones is to hell with them for obeying unjust laws. Disobey these laws regardless of how it affects those around you. "Any man more right than his neighbor already constitutes a majority of one." To hell with what the majority thinks if they are morally wrong in their thinking. Every individual person constitutes a majority of one. Therefore it is the job of every individual person to do what is right, not the job of the mass as a whole.
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