"Thoreau's Code of Ethics"

Essay by beachbebe17High School, 11th grade April 2003

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As religion's importance decreases in the American public's view and government strengthens, more and more people have come to stand up for what they believe in. In the 1840's, the masses just followed each other without even contemplating it, but now in the year of 2003, the public has come to question what the government and religion tells and instructs them to do. So therefore the masses have grown even more into a civilized society. Henry David Thoreau had a strong belief about the public and how they should act. This moral belief has came to be called his code of ethics, which simply stated, says that all people should do what is right in their own conscience and not just what the government tells them to do..I believe that by today's standards it is far easier to live by Thoreau's code of ethics than it was back in Thoreau's time, over one hundred years ago.

Even though our government has grown more strict and has a tighter grasp on the public than a hundred years ago, people still chose to exercise their beliefs in whatever manner they seem fit. For example in this time of war that our country is in, a minority of the public have chosen to voice their antiwar opinions in demonstrations, some being peaceful and others not so peaceful. These violent antiwar demonstrations are against the law, yet, people have still chosen to do what is right in their own minds by going against the government in proceeding with these doings. In contrast to these times, in Thoreau's time it would have been outrageous and quite unlikely for anyone (especially a group) to go against their American government in such a way as these people are presently doing. Another example of how 2003...