Without a doubt, Socrates and Martin Luther King Jr are among the elite in terms of critical thinking and on getting the masses on board with their plan of action. However, they both hold very different views when it comes to the topic of civil disobedience. On one side of the spectrum you have Socrates, who believes that civil disobedience is never justified and should by no means be a course of action. On the other end Martin Luther King Jr, who firmly stands by his argument that civil disobedience is justifiable in the scenario that the original law is unjust.
Martin Luther King Jr goes in great detail in explaining his view on civil disobedience in his letter from Birmingham jail. In his letter he makes his case for being able to bypass the law. He states that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. With that said, he honestly believes that if any given law is unjust, then you in turn are allowed to break in order to make your point clear. However, when doing so, one must not act violently. You must break them in a peaceful manner (marches, rallies, etc). King also states that you must accept your punishment for breaking such laws. If a large amount of people make sacrifices (by going to jail), eventually it will make headlines and let people all over the nation know how corrupt and unjust their laws truly are. He wasn’t just an exceptional public speaker, but also a man of his word. He was one of the many people that took the risk and accepted his punishment. By going to jail he proved that he in fact wasn’t above the law, on the contrary, he used the corrupt law as a tool to create
awareness. King’s letter has plenty of religious references which I believe is the main reason for his views on civil disobedience to be the way they are.
Socrates makes his argument in a conversation between him and his friend Crito. Crito is able to speak to him while Socrates was in jail for “breaking” the law. They claim the he...