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Socrates vs. MLK Jr.

             are historical figures with strong beliefs. At the time they were living, each was considered a radical by most of the people in the society of their time. But now, both Socrates and MLK Jr. are looked to as influential and admirable presences that helped change the way people view the world. .
             Socrates and MLK Jr. both dealt with the question, "Is it just to break an unjust law?" In Plato's Crito and MLK Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," this question is addressed. There are similarities and differences in the way Socrates and MLK Jr. deal with this issue. .
             Both Socrates and MLK Jr. use a nonviolent method of disobedience. Neither man used violence in his means of showing his dislike for certain unjust laws and yet both were punished for their actions and beliefs. Socrates and MLK Jr. believe that the majority does not matter. If people are not satisfied with the terms of the law, it is not just and should not be forced upon the public. In their struggles, both men also have faith in some god, maybe not the same god, but they both have faith that some greater force is guiding them.
             There are also differences in the situations of Socrates and MLK Jr. Socrates is being put to death, whereas MLK Jr. is imprisoned. Socrates does not even think he has disobeyed a law in the first place and MLK Jr. consciously disobeys those laws he thinks to be unjust. Both men feel that the majority does not matter, but Socrates stresses that only those who know the truth count. MLK Jr. stresses that if the minority has no part in devising the law, then it is unjust and should not have to be followed. .

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