Paper 3 Follwing Orders - Allison Morrow 102-3AA April 6,...

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Allison Morrow 102-3AA April 6, 2010 Paper #3: Moral Reasoning and Ethical Evaluation Following Orders and the SS Officers Stanley Milgram made history with his findings. After seeing the destructiveness that lay in wake of the Nazis at the end of World War II after the Nuremberg Trials, he proceeded to study and test obedience of people when given orders to follow. Milgram, in May 1962, looked into this by testing from a set of everyday people. He called them “teachers,” as they taught the other person in the experiment word patterns, and if the so–called “learner” in the experiment got the word pattern wrong, the teacher was expected to shock them. The teacher, however, was completely unaware that Milgram and the other Yale University professionals were testing obedience or the fact that the “learner” was not really being shocked at all. The experiment’s layout involved a number of different scenarios, the most prominent being the teacher and the experimenter who had physical contact with one another, while the teacher and learner were only able to hear one another. In most cases, many teachers went up to the highest voltage even though they were not threatened to keep shocking the learners. Milgram found obedience levels in humans were extremely high within a peaceful setting with or without a threat to our lives. According to the Milgram experiment video, most Americans and other psychologists were shocked at these results. Before the experiment, 40 psychologists had predicted that one tenth of a percent of the people
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2 would shock up to the 450 volt value. In reality, 50 percent complied completely with instructions given by the experimenter The Stanley Milgram experiment was a response to the evil deeds done by the Nazi regime during World War II, which involved the genocide millions of Jews and other minorities. According to the History Channel Nuremburg Video, the Nazi’s responded that they were only following orders. The world wondered how humans could inflict the horrors that the Nazis performed on the Jewish people. Most people considered the Nazis nothing but monsters. Milgram set out to test this idea brought by the Nazi’s at the Nuremburg Trials to see if it was possible for following orders to be a credible defense. Milgrams’ results shocked the world, showing that we as humans are not as innocent as we would like to think. The results also gave us more knowledge on why the Nazi’s complied with orders even though their orders was against moral standards that keep a society in place. From the world’s perspective, humans could not be as “evil” and would not do such efforts as the Nazis. Milgram’s results changed this perspective by showing that humans complied with orders most of the time just for the easiness of it. By studying, for example, the genocide of the Jews during World War II and the Holocaust, we can further understand the reasons why so many Germans, especially the Schutzstaffel ( SS officers) were so brutal. Although the SS was originally created in 1925 as Hitler’s Personal bodyguards,
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This note was uploaded on 06/16/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Bey during the Fall '11 term at University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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Paper 3 Follwing Orders - Allison Morrow 102-3AA April 6,...

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