Socrates Arguments Of Civil Disobedience

At first glance, respect for the social contract and civil disobedience seem to be in direct opposition of each other. However, as king argues, by breaking unjust laws and accepting the chosen consequences for breaking the law the proponent of civil disobedience displays a rich love for the law. Similarly, Socrates values the law above all and honors his commitment to the Athenian law until his death. While some may argue that this affection prevents him from practicing civil disobedience; their argument overlooks the social contract as both a set of rules and their consequences. Socrates fails to meet the requirements set forth by King “One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly and with a willingness to accept the penalty”. When alluding to Socrates, King is right in arguing that Socrates dares to accept the painful consequences of his actions, by choosing not to escape in the …show more content…
While maintaining his innocence in the present Socrates acknowledges that if he was given the choice between moral and civil law; he says “I shall obey god rather than you, and while I have life and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy.” However, his maintenance of his current state of innocence, separates him from the full practice of civil disobedience. King’s requirements for civil disobedience here refer to the spirit of breaking an unjust law to bring awareness of the moral inconsistencies between the law and morality. Socrates in his punishment practices the same love and acceptance of the consequences but never admits to being guilty. Further there are not only principles of the spirit but specific steps to be appropriately following this spirit of civil disobedience and although Socrates may follow the same spirit as King, he fails to follow the correct

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