Civil Disobedience Questions and Answers
by Henry David Thoreau

Civil Disobedience book cover
Start Your Free Trial

According to Civil Disobedience, would civil order be transformed if each person always followed his or her conscience? Explain.

According to Civil Disobedience, civil order would be transformed if each person followed his or her conscience because then, unjust laws enforced by the government would not be heeded. Justice would prevail in a society such as this, because people would not obey unjust laws just for the sake of obedience. 

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write2,273 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In Civil Disobedience, Thoreau writes that society would be entirely transformed if people followed their consciences instead of the law. The majority rules not because it is in the right, but because it is physically stronger than other groups. Governments therefore make laws which are often unjust and opposed to the conscience of the individual. If people followed their consciences, they would not act as "the agents of injustice" merely because the law required them to do so, meaning that justice would prevail far more often than it does.

Thoreau singles out war as a...

(The entire section contains 292 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial