Immanuel Kant's Theory Of Enlightenment

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Immanuel Kant would advise Martin Luther King. Jr. to reject paternalism and address the causes of a lack of enlightenment and the preconditions necessary to make it possible for individuals to enlighten themselves. Immanuel Kant’s interpretation of enlightenment would be a general starting point for Martin Luther King to respond to Birmingham’s Racial Segregation Ordinance. Immanuel Kant’s literature on What is Enlightenment argues that the motto of enlightenment is to use your own understanding and reason, however the majority of people are content to follow the guiding institutions of society, such as the Church and the Monarchy. This fallacy is the main proponent of why individuals lack the courage to use their own reason, intellect, …show more content…
Jr. in his letter from Birmingham City Jail voices his reason for engaging in a nonviolent direct action program against unjust segregation laws. Martin Luther King. Jr. believes that unjust institutions negate human personality and human dignity. Kant argues that in order to cultivate our minds a revolution may be needed in order to halt power-seeking oppression. Martin Luther believes that injustice resides in Birmingham and that the only plausible way to relinquish these injustices is by engaging in nonviolent campaigns. Nonviolent campaign is broken down into four components: (1) collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive. (2) Negotiation. (3) Self-purification and (4) Direct Action. In other words, Immanuel Kant would accept Martin Luther King. Jr’s nonviolent campaign, so long as he obeys the framework of social order. Martin Luther King can argue as much as desired in order to relinquish the racial segregation ordinances. Immanuel Kant would find it essential for the African American communities in Birmingham to escape oppression by engaging in civil disobedience to obtain a level of positive peace, which is the presence of justice. Ridding oneself of incurred immaturity is necessary to develop autonomy and free movement in public …show more content…
Jr. understands that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed (5). Only delaying the abolishment of unjust laws is justice denied. He further demonstrates that one who breaks an unjust law must do it openly and lovingly. This tactic parallels to Kant’s theory of “argue as much as you want, but obey.” As a rational citizen and member of a community, every person should be free to publish opinions, arguments, and criticisms for public discussion and debate. The ability to think freely and independently is vital to influence the principles of government and pave the way for greater political and civil

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