Civil Obedience Questions 1. What was his position on the Mexican War? He was in the position of authority. Thoreau asserted that the United States government lacked moral power because it overlooked slavery, and he saw the Mexican War, as an attempt to extend slavery to the western United States. Thoreau believed that publicly disobeying the laws of an unjust government would bring other people to oppose that government’s actions. He refused to pay a poll tax and he considered the law to be unfair, even thought the government ordered by the rule of majority. . Thoreau states that, “no government would be best”. However, as a citizen what does he call for at once? Why? He states, “ But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man made known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it” I felt that there wasn’t an answer given of what government would command his respect and had no help obtaining it. 5.
What role should “majority rule” play in the government? The concept of “majority rule’ is something that America struggles to balance. They should play fair and balanced and it be constituted as a majority of one. The majority has the power to rule and the responsibility not to trample the rights of the minority. The minority must have the right to become the majority and have its voice heard. We should not wait until one has a majority of one to do the right thing. “Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already”. . If injustice is part of the necessary function of the machine of the government, then what should one do before changing it? Like Thoreau would say, “ If the injustice is the part of the necessary friction of the machine of the government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth…. Let your life be the counter-friction would stop the machine…” I agree with him, first you should let it go and later perhaps will smooth things when you know it. See things how they are running before we change the injustice. 7.
If the law requires you to uphold an injustice to another, then what should you do? Thoreau says if a law was immoral, that we as moral people must realize that we will not live long enough to change the immoral law by any democratic process and that we must realize that “if it [a law] is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ” I would agree and break the law because it’s a right of civil obedience. Society does accept the moral right of an individual to break a law; it fulfills and orders to uphold the land of the laws. . Why was Thoreau was jailed? He ended up in jail because he refused to pay his pay roll tax in1846. 9. Why did he believed he was jailed? Because he didn’t pay his taxes in order to support the government. 11. When does he believe that a free and enlightened state will exist? Thoreau organizes his beliefs by saying, “There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power. ” He believed when there was an importance of individual rights and power that need to be heard, it was time.
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