Constrast and Comparison of Gandhi, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King on the Topic of Violence

Topics: Nonviolence, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X Pages: 3 (1049 words) Published: November 16, 2006

Violence is an unjust and unwarranted exertion of force or power. It is a tactic to abuse or violate another being. Many people have thought this notion wrong and used nonviolent methods to go against their oppressor and successfully overcome them. Some of these individuals are Gandhi, M.L. King, and Malcolm X. Mohandas Gandhi was such a pious individual and used only nonviolence (ahimsa) to gain recognition and defeat his usurpers. His first concept was known as the law of love, "the force of nonviolence is infinitely more wonderful and subtle than the material forces of nature, like, for instance, electricity" (Pg. 626, 2nd paragraph on column 2). Gandhi explains that spiritual love runs like electricity. Instead of physically hurting someone, a person can resist and use a nonviolent approach. An individual must be in harmony with his/her mind, body, and speech. His second concept is the law of suffering where an individual should endure great suffering to progress in his nonviolent actions. Gandhi talks about a "pure" suffering and uses Christ as an example, "hence did the sacrifice of Jesus suffice to free a sorrowing world" (Pg. 624, Lines 8-9). The last two concepts of Gandhi intertwine with each other, cycle of violence and means/ends theory. He explains that violence breeds violence and this cycle continues. If two individuals keep using brutal force against each other, the cycle will go on and on until the end when they both go down in defeat. An individual should use good means to get good ends because "the means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree" (Pg.621, 2nd paragraph of column 1).

Martin Luther king had also used nonviolent methods which he extracted from Gandhi. His first concept is Agape, "understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill toward all men" (Pg. 629, last paragraph). An individual should have mutual love for all human beings, if not "like" which is an emotional affection. King's second theory is the...

Bibliography: Presbey, M. Gail, Struhl, J. Karsten, & Olsen, E. Richard. (2000). The philosophical Quest: a cross-cultural reader (2nd Edition).
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