Moral Responsibility Essay

1240 Words Dec 15th, 2010 5 Pages
Naina Navni
Professor Adams
UCWR 110
21 October 2010
Moral Responsibility America would not be where it is without the laws that have been placed and the citizens who follow the laws. In order for this to happen the knowledge and acceptance of the laws are needed to establish order. African Americans had been secluded in the past through harsh laws of segregation. Although many believe disobeying the law is morally wrong and if disobeyed a punishment should follow, Martin Luther King’s profound statement, “One has the moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” (King 420) leads to greater justice for all which is also supported by King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Jefferson’s “ The Declaration of Independence,” and Lincoln’s
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Any law that degrades human personality is unjust and all segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. Therefore this supports his conclusion, "Segregation gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority" (King 420). Segregation is morally wrong and sinful, therefore action was needed to be taken to prevent it. In the second phase of this argument, King redefines "unjust law" in such a way as to intersect the democratic argument seen developed in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. King begins his argument by stating what defines an unjust versus just law. “An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal . . . a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal . . . a law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law” (King 421). The segregation laws were enacted by the Alabama legislature, representatives to which Negroes did not vote for because they were denied the right to vote brings up a question "Can any law

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