Civil Disobedience Definition

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The definition of Civil Disobedience by John Rawls, widely accepted by many, is defined as a public, non-violent, and conscientious breach of law undertaking with the aim of bringing about a change in laws or government policies.

Ronald Dworkin has divided civil disobedience into three types: integrity-based, justice-based, and policy-based. Integrity-based civil disobedience disobeys a law he/she feels immoral. Justice-based civil disobedience disobeys laws in order get back some rights denied to him/her. Lastly, policy-based civil disobedience breaks a law to change policies of which he/she believes to be dangerously wrong.

Regarding the question “ If Civil Disobedience could be morally justified”, philosophers have different point of
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I personally agree with Dworkin’s believe that whenever the law wrongly treats a person, they have the right to civil disobedience. It’s doesn’t always have to be about justice solely, but also about other core values such as security, transparency, privacy and so on that motivates people to civil disobedience. However, I also agree with Rawls that no harm should be brought to a just and efficient society. When there is a just and efficient social institution, assuming majorities are treated equally and social development is efficient, the majority should be satisfied with the legal system. And if a government could perform their role in protecting people’s right, no harm should occur to such a society. Civil disobedience is a political act that should be exercised with a good aim to fight for public goods. It’s also crucial to be peaceful and non-violent. Civil disobedience exposes society to harm. It may encourage disrespect towards legal system, it could paralyze financial development and interfere with people’s daily living. A non-violent civil disobedience is a fundamental value to a morally justifiable civil disobedience that aims at bringing minimal harm to society. It encourages people to respect the law in …show more content…
It’s of utmost important to have a clear goal in a civil disobedient campaign. With a majority participating, it could be easy to loose yourself in a long-term protest. Different people have different opinion. Some may raise a new direction in the middle of the campaign that may interfere with the original aim. People should have a common agreement on what to fight for and cooperate peacefully to achieve the aim. Substantial violation is also important. This proves the determination of the people and the blatancy of the issue. With such a serious movement, a high degree of seriousness is needed to justify the action.

Last but not least, people should be willing to accept legal consequences. Participants should respect the law by bearing any possible consequences caused by civil disobedience. The core value of civil disobedience is a political act that is out of pubic goods. Violation of law at the first place is out of desperation and positive aim but not malevolent. Willing to submit to punishment is important in showing respect to the legal system. It also minimizes any encouragement of malicious

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