“Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it.” Albert Einstein
SEL Connection: Schools impose restrictions, whether it be behavioral expectations in class, dress codes or rules for student-athletes. Students hate rules. And that’s because students don’t like to be controlled. Often, they must deny themselves the pleasure of following their conscience in the interest of obeying the rules of the school. This tension between adult rules and an individual’s conscience is always present.
(1) Claim: Einstein sides with the individual here. You should disobey your government if what the government is asking you to do goes against your morals and conscience.
(2) Counterclaim: On the other hand, it’s important to obey rules. After all, if everybody just followed their moral conscience and ignored rules, then there would be no stability. A school couldn’t provide a safe environment and a government couldn’t control its citizens. That is chaos.
(3) Essential Question: Should you ever disobey a rule if it offends your moral conscience?
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