This takes me back to college and my Psych 101 days. More than 50 years after the fact, many psychologists, philosophers and the like are still debating the tests of Stanley Milgram.
In a series of about 20 experiments, hundreds of decent, well-intentioned people agreed to deliver what appeared to be increasingly painful electric shocks to another person, as part of what they thought was a learning experiment. The “learner” was in fact an actor, usually seated out of sight in an adjacent room, pretending to be zapped.
The participants usually began with what they thought were 15-volt shocks, and worked upward in 15-volt increments, as the experimenter instructed. At 75 volts, the “learner” in the next room began grunting in apparent pain. At 150 volts he cried out: “Stop, let me out! I don’t want to do this anymore.” (Source: New York Times)
Naturally, I always wonder how I would react in this situation ... Would I agree to the experiments to begin with? At what point would I stop? Would I stop?
What do you think? Could you continue inflicting pain on another person if a person in authority urged you to do so?
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