Many students don’t like rules, and that’s because rules often make students turn against their consciences and deny what they think is right. Yet obedience to rules is necessary for stability. Schools, families and governments can’t function without adherence to the rules. The tension between our impulse to obey authority and our duty to follow our conscience never goes away.
Step One: 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.
Step Two: 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.
Dr. Steve Fouts is a social entrepreneur and educator from Chicago with over twenty years of experience teaching a wide range of classes in the mathematics and humanities-related fields on the high school and undergraduate level. Dr. Fouts graduated from University of Chicago’s Masters of Liberal Arts program in 1998 and received his doctorate in education from Benedictine University in 2010. Dr. Fouts has published numerous op-ed pieces focused on social justice in education and is active in Educators for Excellence, a policy advocacy organization representing teachers in multiple U.S. Cities.