Civil Disobedience Questions and Answers
by Henry David Thoreau

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What are some arguments that disagree with Thoreau's thoughts in Civil Disobedience?  Thoreau says that if our conscience doesn't agree with the law, we should go against it by breaking the law. What are some arguments that disagree with that?

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One problem with every individual following their own conscience is that consciences can be wrong. While we are told "let your conscience be your guide," almost all religious groups understand that this advice must be tempered. This is why religions appoint people with authority whom, traditionally, one is expected to consult before acting—or in more equalitarian groups, such as Quakers, one is expected to consult with the group as a whole before acting. This helps prevent people from rash actions that might do more harm than good. It also acknowledges that no one person is God: we all have blind spots and can benefit from consulting with others.

We are an individualistic society, and as I write the above, I am aware that transcendentalists like Thoreau and Emerson would vehemently oppose, at least in theory, relying on authority or other people in making a decision, arguing that this dilutes and corrupts the purity of the individual mind, heart, and conscience and paralyzes good...

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