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Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have... Options
Daemon
Posted: Monday, July 2, 2018 12:00:00 AM
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Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
KSPavan
Posted: Monday, July 2, 2018 4:15:24 AM

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Quotation of the Day

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
monamagda
Posted: Monday, July 2, 2018 7:23:45 AM

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Context from: [bOn the Duty of Civil Disobedience[/b]

1849 original title: Resistance to Civil Government


How can a man be satisfied to entertain an opinion merely, and enjoy it? Is there any enjoyment in it, if his opinion is that he is aggrieved? If you are cheated out of a single dollar by your neighbor, you do not rest satisfied with knowing you are cheated, or with saying that you are cheated, or even with petitioning him to pay you your due; but you take effectual steps at once to obtain the full amount, and see that you are never cheated again. Action from principle,—the perception and the performance of right,—changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything which was. It not only divided states and churches, it divides families; aye, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?

One would think, that a deliberate and practical denial of its authority was the only offence never contemplated by government; else, why has it not assigned its definite, its suitable and proportionate penalty? If a man who has no property refuses but once to earn nine shillings for the State, he is put in prison for a period unlimited by any law that I know, and determined only by the discretion of those who placed him there; but if he should steal ninety times nine shillings from the State, he is soon permitted to go at large again.

If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth,—certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.

Read more http://www.gutenberg.org/files/71/71-h/71-h.htm



Bully_rus
Posted: Monday, July 2, 2018 10:03:24 AM
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Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
Daemon wrote:
Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


Yeah. The unopposed unjust laws pose a threat to the whole judiciary system or even the whole society...
MelissaMe
Posted: Monday, July 2, 2018 10:57:52 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/10/2014
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Location: Gualala, California, United States
Daemon wrote:
Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


I would say a good answer would simply to respond with a resounding “Yes!”

This is my only now.
MelissaMe
Posted: Monday, July 2, 2018 10:57:53 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/10/2014
Posts: 5,413
Neurons: 347,528
Location: Gualala, California, United States
Daemon wrote:
Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


I respond with a resounding “Yes!”

This is my only now.
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