Because I agree with John Locke, I affirm the resolution that civil disobedience is morally justified in a democracy.
To clarify, I offer the following definitions:
Justice: The quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness
Democracy: Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
Civil disobedience: The refusal to obey certain laws or governmental demands for the purpose of influencing legislation or government policy, characterized by the employment of nonviolent techniques
Value : Liberty
Value Criterion: Every person should have liberty and justice. If civil disobedience is needed to achieve every individuals rights in the United States, then we should enact upon it and change things needed to be changed. Once civil disobedience is accepted as morally justified, every person will have liberty and justice which is the fundamental key to the Untied States of America.
Although there are lawful channels of change where you can vote to get laws altered, civil disobedience is still morally justified. Legal changes can take too long. People shouldn't have to wait to get an unmoral and unjust law changed. If something isn't right, then people should act upon the issue as soon at possible. Our society is based off of justice. If a law is being unjust then we the people have the right to change that. An unjust law is going against a main foundation of our country.
Not only do citizens have a right to override a higher power when a law is unjust, but according to John Locke, we have a duty to do so. We live in a democracy, the type of government John Locke talks about and says is the best type of government for people. John Locke is very important to our country because his ideas during the Englightenment on democracy is a huge part of our constitution. If we are living in a John Locke type of society, then shouldn't we follow his ideas on how the citizens should act and how the citizens have a right to act? Our type of governement is based off of people having the power. The people should have a right to civil disobedience if a law is unjust because since we are the ones with the true underlying power and its something John Locke says, who is pratically a main foundation of our country, then people should be able to commit the act of civil disodebience in order to establish morality and justice to our society. John Locke states that people deep down know the difference between right and wrong, and when a law in unjust and people commit civil disobedience, it's because our coinscience is telling us that there is something going on that is morally incorrect and we have to do something about it as soon as possible to make the law system and our country morally correct and justified.
Although civil disodebience is going against the law, in some circumstances it makes the better for the country. For example, slavery and segregation in America was an extremely unjust act. Martin Luther King Jr. committed the act of civil disobedience, but it made the biggest difference and changed the world for the better. Because of the act of civil disobedience against segregation, everyone obtained equality and natural rights no matter your skin color, race, etc. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love… Our aim must never be to humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding.” This shows that civil disobedience isn’t committed over the littlest things and it’s for a legitimate reason. Not to get back or attack people or just achieve something to benefit you, but to make things more justified for the country. In the end, Martin Luther King Jrs. act of civil disobedience ended up being the right thing to do and made our country justified.
Contention 2: The higher powered leaders and government isn't always telling us the truth these days. This throws off what the citizens are truely voting for because if we are being told lies about what will really happen when we vote to put someone in a position of power, then how can we vote based off of what we think is justified and morally correct?
If there is an unjust law, people should speak their voices and the best way to do this is by going against the law. Sure, there are ways to show you don’t agree with the law by voting against it, but in a democracy, the government often brainwash people by telling lies about what they promise to do for their country and separating one group of people and making them seem bad ( for example making the rich people seem bad, greedy, and selfish to the unwealthy people). You can’t always trust the government or a higher power because it strives for power and sometimes does things that are not better for the community, but better for them. How can we vote for a person when we aren't voting for what we know what they will really do once they get the power, if they are lying to us about what their plans are during the election? In order to vote for a law or person to gain power with complete knowledge of the results, we need to be told the truth and nothing but the truth.
It’s a party against party war for the office and power, and not so much doing the best for the people like George Washington, who put the country before himself. Political authorities and leaders are too concerned about obtaining the most votes and achieving the power and will say anything to the public to get those votes, even if the must lie to get those votes. Doesn't that mean if we don't know what we are voting for then we aren't truelying passing in our vote for what we believe in? We need the complete truth to vote on something. Our governmental officails are lying to get votes because its a political party war and has become corrupt. We need leaders who want to do the right for the community as a whole to make it more justified and morally correct. Since the citizens aren't completely aware of what we are voting for because we are being told lies than how can someone argue that when you vote for a law then you must follow it? Because not all the times we voted for the law- we were lied to and unaware of the outcome of a certain law. If what we vote for isn't what we get then we have the right to civil disobedience to establish justice, make laws right, and obtain more righteous leaders.
Civil disobedience has a history of overcoming oppression and making a change when other methods of protest haven’t worked. Thoreau said that if a law is wrong then you should go against it. He explained that people should go with their conscience. This makes sense because even though the government and higher powered leaders can brainwash people, everyone deep down knows the difference between good and bad based off of what John Locke says and we are in the same type of government John Locke talks about. The government bribes people towards making a decision, not having the people vote based off what they truly believe, with no lies being told to get in the way of the true situation going on. The law is based on truth, but sadly this is not always the case in our democracy.
Contention 3: Although our voting system in our democracy seems very fair which in some cases it is, sometimes it's not fair. . It might end up that there are two democrats running and one republican running for office. This gives the democrats a higher chance on winning. It doesn’t really matter who the person is running for office, but the political party they are in. It doesn’t matter if one of the democrats beats the other, but the point that a democrat got the power. Randy Schutt talks about how the decision system determines a winner, but it does not do it in a way that seems fair or democratic. So, because the way laws and power is chosen is unfair, then we have a right to commit civil disobedience because the voting in the beginning wasn’t even fair.
Once civil disobedience is morally justified in our democracy we will be able to achieve more natural rights and our liberty- what our country is based off of.