Morality and Immorality: Actions vs. Results

Topics: Nonviolence, Civil disobedience, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 2 (698 words) Published: March 19, 2012

Morality and Immorality: Actions vs. Results

Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Niccolo’ Machiavelli had their own perspectives on what was moral and immoral. King and Machiavelli view what was morality right and how they would use this judgment in government and how it affected people in everyday life. King fought a moral fight against what was described as immoral laws to oppress blacks during an era of segregation in the United States. He believes that sometime it is moral to take action against immoral laws to get the results he and others that fought alongside him desired. Machiavelli as a Ruler, during a time when his country was unstable and constant political in-fighting, believed it was better to be feared than loved, and he took the immoral action of oppression to gain respect morally from his followers as a result. Machiavelli was a believer of the art of war to gain power, while King believed power was achieved in non-violence.

In “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, King came to Birmingham for what he believed to be crimes against a race of people as injustice. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (482). Practicing what he preached, King nonviolent action still landed him in jail. King’s nonviolent campaigns consist of four basic steps to accomplish sometime unachievable goals. “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue” (483). Protesting and marches was organized because the people that were subject to unjust laws knew that taking their fight before a judge in a court room did not stand a chance. These were the very people that want to keep blacks oppressed. “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed” (484). King had specific actions for desired results against immoral unjust laws, but fought...
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