Essay about Disobedience

1306 Words Apr 14th, 2008 6 Pages
This is a critique of Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem by Eric Fromm, written in 1963. Fromm states in his article that disobedience is what originally

set the human race on the path to thinking on their own, but obedience to authority in the

end will be what kills us all. Overall his article has several compelling reasons to believe

his theory, but it is also not completely believable for several reasons. There are several

points that are debatable and his high use of emotion alone could cause one to question

his article on a whole. Fromm being a psychoanalyst, sociologist, historian, and

philosopher may have contributed to his using the pull of emotion so much.

In his article Fromm
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person is not they will continue to obey because at least this way they feel as if they are a

part of that power. Throughout history man has not been able to do this and as a result the

majority of people has been kept under the authority of the minority. It has been taught

that disobedience is wrong and obedience is right, thus the ability to keep the masses

under control. In order to break free from the masses it is necessary to disobey and then

know true freedom.

Adolf Eichmann, who was responsible for many deaths, stated after being

captured that he was only following orders. Fromm then concludes that people have

become so ingrained in the process that they often no longer even realize that they are

obeying, thus making it nearly impossible to break the cycle.

First, there are several fallacies in Fromm’s article. Fromm states that Adam and

Eve were a part of the garden, not above it. That they had to disobey to break this bond

with nature, in order to free of it. That to be fully human man must learn to rely on his

own powers. Yet according to the NIV Bible the story of Adam and Eve goes quite

differently. It states that God made man, and that man was to rule over all the earth (NIV

Bible, Gen.1:26). Man’s time in the

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