Comparing Letter From The Birmingham Jail To Philosophical Writers Freshmen Final Essay

1302 words - 6 pages

Adrianna Garcia
Professor Weissman
Philosophy
December 5th, 2017
Philosophy Final
In Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham jail, he addresses the claims made against him by the clergymen of Alabama. These clergymen believed King’s demonstrations to be “untimely and unwise,” which King finds to be an odd claim; since they have failed to recognize the recent incidents that have occurred in Birmingham. As King addresses the many claims made by the clergymen, he does so in such a way that reflects the philosophical teachings of Plato, Descartes, Rousseau, and Mill. Although his letter reflects the teachings of these philosophers, the letter also reflects how those teachings are different from King’s application of them within the segregated society.
1a. In a section of King’s letter, he discusses the meaning of just and unjust laws which reflects the teachings of Socrates in the Euthyphro questioning what is holy and unholy. King, like Socrates, believes that a person has a legal and moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, King believed that a person has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. King throughout this section of the letter gives examples of what a just and unjust law can be. For example, King says “a law is unjust when the majority group compels a minority group to obey a law but does not follow the law themselves. A just law is one in which the majority compels the minority to follow and is willing to follow the law themselves.” He’s saying that a law that only the applies to the minority and not the majority is unjust because it exhibits a difference made legal. Whereas, the law is just if both the majority and minority follow it because then it exhibits a sameness made legal. King continues to give more examples of these definitions to point out how he and his followers are not trying to elude the law but rather disobey an unjust law to raise awareness of its cruelty to the people of Birmingham. King is like Socrates in this sense because in the Apology, Socrates questions the people of authority to ultimately raise awareness of the youth within Greek society.
1b. However, King and Socrates differ in the outcomes of their civil disobedience. King is willing to go to jail for his civil disobedience because he has the backdrop of Christianity, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence supporting his arguments. In the Crito, Socrates conforms as a result of his civil disobedience and accepts death. This acts as his punishment but also as an effort to keep peace with the society from which he was allowed to thrive in. Socrates doesn’t have a concrete backdrop for his civil disobedience because he only has his thoughts. Also, King is different from Socrates in the sense that when questioning the just and unjust laws he was able to come to a concrete definition of the two, whereas Socrates in the Euthyphro was never able to come up with a concrete definition of what is holy and unholy.
2a. Throughout...

Other Essays On Comparing Letter from the Birmingham Jail to Philosophical writers - freshmen - Final Essay

How does the Birmingham Letter relate to you - Tougaloo College World Literature - Essay

686 words - 3 pages Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once declared, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. This very quote resonates deeply because this exact thought is the reason he wrote The Birmingham Letter. King’s letter from Birmingham Jail was very profound in its message. It was to white clergymen and the white moderates, who believed that his way of protesting segregation was causing unrest and tension. In the letter, Dr

What are the advantages and disadvantages of living away from home to freshmen students?

513 words - 3 pages Living away from homeTo many students coming from distant provinces, the experience of living away from home may be one of the best parts in their university life. This can be really unforgettable and exciting, and at the same time, it has a very important effect on students' life, especially freshmen, as for many of whom, this is their first time living so far away from home in such a long period.The major, and also a very common, problem that

A letter from Eliza Doolittle to Mrs Higgins - English - Essay

1118 words - 5 pages did not think that learning phonetics would be amusing. I learned so many things from Mr. Higgins. I learned the different dialects of different region and also the variety of accent which would indicate where a person is from. Mr. Higgins also taught me how to teach and how to use music to show someone how words or sentences sound. Mr. Higgins is tough but I do not let that get to me with the reassurance of Colonel Pickering. His teaching is very

letter of parents to school from edmodo - highschool - essay

878 words - 4 pages EDMODO PARENT LETTER DeJesús Dear Parents, This year we will be using Edmodo in English I & II.  Edmodo is a free and secure learning network for teachers, students, and schools.  It provides a safe way for teachers and students to connect, share content, access homework, participate in discussions, manage due dates, and receive class information. Unlike other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, Edmodo is a

Protest essay talk about what writers used to protest war. - Essay - Writers purpose of protesting war.

502 words - 3 pages Hector Perales 03/27/18 Alternative Romeo & Juliet ending. Ms. Maehrlein. Romeo & Juliet are two teenegaers that are from different families that have trouble against each other The family Montague Romeo’s family and the family Capulet Juliet’s family, even though they wasn’t supposed to be together these two fall in love and get married in secret which makes them have to get away from their families to make the marriage possible. Juliet’s

letter from marco to his wife a view from the bridge arthur miller - literature - creative piece/letter

813 words - 4 pages America. It is beautiful here, although very different from Italy. I would not want you to take the same risks Rodolpho and I did, I would encourage you to do it legally through Ellis Island. It may be more gruelling, but you will not risk getting deported as Rodolpho and I do. I love you and the children very much, and I hope you get by until I return. Regards, Marco.

open letter to the Tennessee Governer - writing composition - open letter, essay,

785 words - 4 pages Cottingham 2 Cory Cottingham Dr. Minichillo English 1010 25, September 2018 An Open Letter to the Tennessee Governor Governor Bill Haslam, I implore you to help change the current Tennessee laws pertaining to discrimination in the workplace, specifically to include protections for sexual orientation. The current discrimination laws don’t protect the hundreds of thousands of LGBT employees that reside in Tennessee, that needlessly suffers from

Boyz n the Hood writers statement - Penola college - Essay

781 words - 4 pages are violence and responsibility. Violence can been seen in nearly every scene from start to finish. For example, the opening statement of the film, ‘One out of every 21 Black American males will be murdered. Most will die at the hands of another Black male’, gives the viewers the dark reality of how extreme violence actually is within the streets of South Central LA. Although there is no conflict between whites’ and blacks within the film, it is

Why the Iberian Lynx must be saved - Writers craft - Essay

696 words - 3 pages method of providing fresh protein to the local community that ultimately resulted in mutual benefits. But as time went by the welfare of the animal slowly dwindled in the minds of farmers since the potential fortune was at the animals expense. But what if the cheap man ends up paying twice. The meat consumed from systematic animal farming does more bad than good. Since the animals live in stressful conditions, it takes a toll on their health which

Essay comparing George and Terry's father from short stories "Dear America" and "Stop the Sun" - Honors English I - Essay

559 words - 3 pages Natalie Du Bois 11/16/16 A Taste of the War - George and Terry’s Father Bullets go off, ​while​ “zooms” go over heads as bullets fly by. The rainy, humid, jungle of Vietnam ​forces​ sweat fall off scarred faces and drip onto the ever changing ground from dry to ​drenched​, being soaked with blood. The bullets fire and ​dramatically​ more screams can be heard. Then in a matter sixty quick seconds, everything goes silent, everything except the hot

Into the wild Final Essay English 11 - English - Final Essay

1605 words - 7 pages cost him that same life. As a child Chris had family problem and which drove him to avoid human relationships. When he graduated from college, it was a turning point in his life. Suddenly he found himself in a position where, for the first time, he could govern the extent of his relationship. Chris used this life decision point to begin his voyage of self discovery by roaming. After he finished college he sent a letter to his parents stating that

Similar Papers

Summary And Analysis Of King's "Letter From Birmingham Jail" Carthage High School Essay

993 words - 4 pages the letter by wishing the clergymen had commended the Negro sit-inners instead of reprimanding them. King states “If I have said anything...that overstates the truth...I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth...I beg God to forgive me.” In Letter from a Birmingham jail, Dr. King points to a number of historical figures so as to support his line of action. In the letter, King talks about Jesus who was branded as

"Letter From A Birmingham Jail", By Martin Luther King And Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience."

786 words - 4 pages extensive emotional and logical arguments in an attempt to persuade the reader to accept and apply their views of justice. However, King better implemented these techniques and overall had a more persuasive essay for many reasons. First off, King's advocation for social reform is certainly more feasible than Thoreau's plan of radical individualism and anarchy; even Thoreau doubted himself. In addition, "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" was much more

Sample Rhetorical Analysis Of King Letter From A Birmingham Jail Ubc Assignment

2226 words - 9 pages MY DEAR FELLOW CLERGYMEN: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But

Letter From Burmingham Jail Summary Essay Cerritos College Essay

868 words - 4 pages Levi James ENGL 100 Ms.Sartin 1/23/19 King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail Summary “Outline” I. Introductory Paragraph a. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” b. This letter was written April 16, 1963 in King’s jail cell within the Birmingham city jail due to being convicted of protesting without a permit c. King wrote the letter under constricting circumstances, in which he began writing on the margins of a newspaper, then on