To Obey Or Not To Obey
This experiment is going to help answer a question that we've all been trying to face this entire year. How is it possible for humans to enact such atrocities onto other humans? This experiment gives us a more scientific explanation to how such events could occur. And while we cannot define human behavior through one explanation of science, it does provide us with patterns. I think we can learn from this experiment that anyone could be a persecutor even when they don't realize it. We learn that we are accustomed to and follow authority regardless of what we think. But at the same time, although many people gave into the experiment, we see some resistance and worry for other humans. I think it's proof that ultimately we don't wish to hurt other people it may happen because of a misconstrued conception in our mind that we must follow all authority. This is just how people are raised, being trained to always do what you're told to do even if it goes against your belief is. We look to authority figures and we taught not to question it. Obviously this experiment shows that no matter who you are, regardless of social or economic status, you're capable of causing harm to others even if you don't mean to. This experiment shows how easily we are manipulated when we don't know how to speak or think for ourselves. It provides us with a greater understanding of why people served under things like the Nazi regime. The experiment shows how humans deal with authoritative presence and how easy it is to fall under their control. But this experiment also shows that there are instances of resistance and how in certain situations, people are less likely to inflict harm. I see this as optimistic because that means that we are not 100% evil, there are parts of people that will be able to recognize mistreatment and stop. No one in that experiment was causing the shocks purely because they enjoyed it.
If I were to get anything from this experiment it would be that you need to teach people to stand up for others when you believe it is important. We. as a society, need to teach people to not be afraid to speak up and take action if they see something horrible. While it is important to follow certain authorities don't let that make you less of you, and into a perpetrator. This goes to show we need to be more aware of ourselves and our actions and who controls our actions.This relates to Miss Day’s question, “How can you educate a society to combat basic human instincts? How can we turn these instincts around to better serve us? How can these ideas help dissolve demagogues and practices that relate to them?” My answer to this question would be teaching more analytical and empathetic skills in society. With skills like these, we bring in more free thought, more tolerance, and generally more action against injustice. We need to allow people to think freely and we need to listen to people when they speak up. I wouldn’t call this basic human instinct but rather, our society has developed people into trusting and believing authoritative figures, regardless of the case. There has to be a distinction between adhering to rules and to mindless following. With more analytical skills and self reflection, hopefully people will start looking more into such demagogues and practices. I would hope that this means that people strive to look for the rational elements of things. Now my question is, does the time period make a difference in this experiment? If we were to run the same thing today, would the results be different?