Disobedience Vs Obedience

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In society, obedience to authority is ingrained in humanity from an early age, causing some individuals to blindly obey orders without contemplating the credibility of the source. In psychoanalyst Erich Fromm’s article “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem,” he explains that throughout human history obedience has been associated with virtue and disobedience with sin (Fromm 127). Fromm suggests that our conscience is an internalized voice of authority (126). Fromm claims individuals need to distinguish the difference between rational and irrational authority because obedience is effective when individuals want to obey, instead of fearing to disobey (127). Two other authors who examine obedience are Herbert C. Kelman and V. Lee …show more content…

Fromm effectively states that obedience can be established by sheer force or it can be rooted in one’s heart (Fromm 127). Fromm considers Downey’s blind obedience to Dawson based on the trust that he has for Dawson in his heart. However, Dalrymple would refute that Downey extinguishes his existence as an autonomous being by not thinking or acting for himself without approval from Dawson (122). Fromm counters Dalrymple’s conclusions and Dawson’s actions by explaining the humanistic conscience that is present in every human being (Fromm 125). Fromm states the conscience serves our functioning as human beings by having the intuitive knowledge of what is conductive of life and what is destructive of life (125). Logically agreeing with Fromm, Robert Cialdini, author of “Authority Principle” further explains the need for a sense of control. Cialdini writes that this sense of control can be gained in two ways: Individuals can either control things themselves or they can trust someone else to provide the control for them (Cialdini). Fromm and Cialdini would both logically concur that Downey trusts Dawson to provide his sense of control. Cialdini goes on to explain that another type of authority is being an expert, knowing more about something than others (Cialdini). Downey is younger, smaller, and weaker, than Dawson, and as

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