How to Explain the Blind Following of Immoral Authority

The Milgram Experiment

Students, parents, teachers, and administrators are frequently encouraged to conform rather than take charge. The Milgram experiment vividly demonstrates the alarming extent to which individuals can be manipulated into following immoral commands from authority figures. It underscores how even individuals with deeply held religious beliefs can unknowingly contribute to the dissemination of harmful ideas. This troubling pattern has long permeated public schools, leading individuals to unquestioningly submit to the "tyranny of experts" instead of actively discerning between right and wrong.

From: Alliance for Human Research Protection

"Stanley Milgram, a Yale psychologist, conducted the first of a series of “Obedience to Authority” experiments shortly after the trial of Adolph Eichman, the Nazi criminal tried in Jerusalem for crimes against humanity. Eichman’s defense was, not guilty, claiming that he had merely followed orders. Milgram sought to learn the conditions that led ordinary Germans to be transformed into perpetrators of torture and heinous crimes against inmates of Nazi concentration camps.

Milgram hired actors to be “learners” and recruited 40 men through newspaper ads who were told that they would serve as “teachers.” They were instructed by white coated experimenters who encouraged them to apply increasingly higher electric shocks whenever a “learner” answered a question incorrectly. A fake electric “shock generator” was used displaying 30 clearly marked switches indicating “Low” (15 to 100 volts), “Moderate” (75 to 120 volts), “Strong” (135 to 180 volts), “Danger: Severe Shock” (375 to 420 volts) and the highest levels marked “XXX” (435 to 450). The experimenters used a series of four prods: please continue or “please go on; the experiment requires that you continue; it is absolutely essential that you continue; you have no other choice you must go on” (Gordon. Mainstream Torture, 2014)  More 

Here is the video from 1962.

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How to Explain the Blind Following of Immoral Authority
James Bartlett (tasks) March 16, 2024
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