Ethics of civil disobedience essay

However, it must be recognised that civil disobedience is a tool and not an end in itself—it can be used for bad as well as good. So how does one determine when it is ethically permissible to use civil disobedience? It is a question the answers to which I frequently find unsatisfactory, so today I will attempt to unpack it myself. Firstly, let us clarify, for our purposes here, what we take civil disobedience to be.

Ethics of civil disobedience essay

Several months ago, I met the leaders of a newly established group of IDF reserve officers and NCOs who now refuse to participate in military activities, in some of the territories that have been controled by Israel since the Six Day War, earlier governed by either Jordan or Egypt.

The issues under debate have significantly changed. In the major issue was whether the military operation waged by Israel could be described as a just war, according to any reasonable variant of the Doctrine of Just War.

Soldiers who refused to participate in military activities, under both circumstances, justified their acts of refusal on various grounds. We are presently interested just in those acts of refusal that have been defended or are defensible on grounds of justified civil disobedience.

The purpose of the present paper is to find out whether a philosophical conception of the nature and justification of civil disobedience, which was naturally applicable to circumstances of the type of the Lebanon War, is also applicable to utterly different circumstances, of the type we now face in Israel.

Our affirmative answer will lead us to a negative evaluation of present acts of refusal qua civil disobedience. First, an act of civil disobedience is an attempt to defend the democratic ideal of the state, when and where some of its fundamental principles have been violated by the regime.

Sending troops Ethics of civil disobedience essay carry out military missions, in which they jeopardise their life, for reasons that are not confined to self-defense of the citizenry and its state, is an example of such a violation. Secondly, an act of civil disobedience is, in a sense, a symbolic one.

When one participates in a demonstration, carrying a banner that manifests a stance, one performs a symbolic act, in the same sense of the term. Demonstartions and acts of civil disobeience are intended to draw the attention of some people, persuade them, motivate activities on their part.

Such acts are instrumental vehicles of expression. Thirdly, an act of civil disobedience involves a violation of the law. Indeed, for an illegal act to count as one of civil disobedience the two previous conditions should also obtain. The illegality of the act should be compatible with its being a symbolic act performed in an attempt to defend the democratic ideal.

The Rule of Law principle is part of that ideal, and acts of civil disobedience do not follow it. Therefore, acts of civil disobedience are prima facie punishable. Acts of civil disobedience are justified only under certain circumstances.

To grasp the nature of those conditions, it would be helpful to use the contract model, which anyway underlies much of the assumed theory of justice.

The question, for the cotract analogy, would be: Given that you are party to a contract that is fair and reasonable, what may be done, when you fulful your contractual duties and would very much like the contract to stay binding and effecetive, whereas some of the other parties to the contract breach it, in a major way?

Particularly, on what conditions, would it be reasonable for you to breach the contract in an attempt to bring it about that the other parties do not breach the contract in a major way anymore? Since acts of civil disobedience have the objective of defending the ideal of democracy and enhancing its embodiment, they are required to be effective in their prospects of changing the situation in the right direction.

As will be presently shown, under current circumstances, these two preconditions of civil disobedience do not obtain. Those practices and institutions form the infrastructure of a democratic regime. Without such an infrastructure, civil liberties are bound to be very restricted and civil rights insignificant.

Consequently, in the affairs of a democracy, attention should be paid not only to the proclaimed adherence to some conception of civil liberties and rights, but also to the current conditions of the democratic infrastructure.

Creation, maintenance and enhancement of a democratic regime all involve constant protection and development of the democratic infrastructure underlying tha regime. Damage to an element of a major element of the infrastructure could be more significant than that caused by infringement of some regulation.

There are two elements of the democratic infrastructure that pertain to the situation under consideration.Henry David Thoreau wrote the essay Civil Disobedience to show his opposition to slavery and American imperialism. His essay has influenced many prominent civil rights activists, including Dr.

philosophy. Curious about the major works and figures in the study of the nature of reality and existence? From Plato to Foucault, we break down the main ideas in philosophical thought.

“Resistance to Civil Government” by H.D. Thoreau (“Civil Disobedience”) • TPL

This essay delves deeply into the origins of the Vietnam War, critiques U.S. justifications for intervention, examines the brutal conduct of the war, and discusses the . "Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of a government or of an occupying power without resorting to physical violence.

Ethics of civil disobedience essay

It is one of the primary tactics of nonviolent resistance. 1. Definitions. The term ‘civil disobedience’ was coined by Henry David Thoreau in his essay to describe his refusal to pay the state poll tax implemented by the American government to prosecute a war in Mexico and to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law.

Ethics of civil disobedience essay

Among the several civil disobedience that took place along the history of modern Egypt (most of which aren't widely known), the Egyptian Revolution of is considered to be one of the earliest successful implementations of non-violent civil disobedience world-wide.

It was a countrywide revolution against the British occupation of Egypt and was started by Egyptians and Sudanese from.

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