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  • Critical thinking should be encouraged

    If you look at studies on families, an interesting phenomenon occurs. Younger children in the family tend to rebel, while the older child grows up more obedient. They both have good qualities. But the scientists, the inventors and critical thinkers - they are always the youngest child.

    Learning blind obedience is a bad thing, because the morality of who/what you are obeying is not questioned (I will not elaborate as another author below has given their opinion).

    Obedience goes hand in hand with timidity in my opinion. This is a bad combination, because frankly you cannot succeed in life if you do not break through barriers.

  • The Role of Obedience in Society. The human race is defined by their actions towards others.

    Obedience is part of the foundation of society. Without obedience, naught would exist but chaos and anarchy. Without stability, productivity and the well-being of the citizens become non-existent. Because of this, one must question how obedient society can be without losing its individuality, for a society with no individuality does not consist of people but of mindless drones, unthinkingly carrying out orders for the hive’s queen.

    Obedience is detrimental when it causes physical or mental anguish. If one is tasked with causing such pain to another person, disobedience in the form of insubordination is the choice that should be taken. If one follows the authority’s task and causes pain to another person, they have lost their individuality and ability to make choices on their own. Once one blindly follows a figure of authority’s directive, that person may conform to the majority if the superior commands many people.

    In Asch’s experiment, he determined that while conforming to the majority occurs often with a single subject, if the subject has at least one partner, they would assert their individuality more often. If people could unite and assert their independence together, their results would be much stronger than an individual person attempting the same would. Asch was optimistic that people like their independence more and would rally for that cause. Being completely obedient is equivalent to being controlled by the authoritative figure. To avoid these feelings of helplessness, people will gradually begin to be disobedient in order to maintain a greater grasp on their own thoughts.

    Milgram reached a startling conclusion that people have the capacity to do evil if instructed. His study, conducted by coercing people to continue to deliver increasingly powerful shocks to human test subjects, is the epitome of dangerous obedience. Had the experiment not been an act, many people would have gone as far as he instructed and severely damaged or killed the subjects. In this instance, Milgram forced the “teachers” to undergo mental anguish by making them think they were causing harm to the “learners.” He deliberately pushed them past the acceptable point of obedience.

    One of the most well-known and well-publicized Nazi generals was Eichmann. During his trial, his defense was that he was merely carrying out orders from those above him. By using this defense, he attempted to remove the blame from himself. He obediently filled out the paperwork that was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews simply because his superiors ordered him to. It was Eichmann’s belief that, because he was not directly responsible for delivering the killing blows, he could escape responsibility because his superiors told him to do it. If society follows the same path as Eichmann, people would be nothing more than tools; unthinkingly carrying out our superior’s every desire regardless of the harm it may cause others. Blind obedience that leads to nothing but pain and suffering is destructive and undeserving of followers; people deserve their independence and should open their eyes to what they are asked to do.

  • Obedience per se, is not!

    We maintain silence in the library. We don't litter. We are mindful of people's feelings. We dont't steal.
    In all the above instances, we obey. We are following certain guidelines imposed by law or understood by society or simply taught to us as good manners by parents.
    In all these cases, obedience is not wrong. It simply makes you a better person.

    But this comes with a caveat. It is important to decide who/what you want to obey or follow. Following a wrong example can make all the difference.


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