Ganhi vs. Thoreau

Ganhi vs. Thoreau - Greg Sullivan FS Peace and Justice 02...

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Greg Sullivan FS Peace and Justice 02 October 2007 Prof. Cernosia Civil Satyagraha A Comparison of Mahatma Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau Throughout history peacemakers have battled society in efforts to implement change for the better. Two of the most influential peacemakers of our time are Henry David Thoreau, and Mahatma Gandhi. Many of Thoreau and Gandhi’s Philosophies go hand in hand with one and other. In fact, Gandhi took many of Thoreau’s ideas and used them to help him bring peace to his followers and the people of India. Both Gandhi and Thoreau were peacemakers that used all three components of Head, Heart and Hand to preach their philosophies and implement their ideas to help change the wrongs in society. Gandhi and Thoreau used their Hands through their acts of Civil Disobediences. They also similarly listened to their Heads which told them to resist authority, and accept punishment through jail. And though their approach was different, both Gandhi and Thoreau learned to share their Philosophies with others through their Hearts . The term civil disobedience as defined by Thoreau is a nonviolent refusal to obey certain laws or demands that one does not agree with. Thoreau states that, “That government is best which governs least”. (Civil Disobedience, 1993, p.1) He believed that the American government at the time had many constricting laws that he did not believe in or want to abide by. The statement is Thoreau’s way to show people that he
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does not disagree with the idea of a government, but strongly believes individuals should live their life the way they feel, and allow their conscience to decide right or wrong rather then law. “I think we should be men first and subjects afterward.” (Civil Disobedience, 1993, p.2) Thoreau stressed the importance of the peaceful qualities of individualism and self reliance, over the obligations and demands set by the government. These traits in turn led him to commit acts of civil disobedience towards his government when he did not agree with new laws or demands. Thoreau shows civil disobedience by refusing to pay taxes as an act of
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Ganhi vs. Thoreau - Greg Sullivan FS Peace and Justice 02...

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