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An Unjust Law is No Law at All <– St. Augustine <– MLK Jr.


“To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”

One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws.

One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all”.

— Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Philosophy, Politics

 

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