Erich Fromm's Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem

1418 Words 6 Pages
Erich Fromm's Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem


In "Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem," Erich Fromm (1963) argues that society will self-destruct without achieving freedom through disobedience. Fromm begins with analogies of Hebrew and Greek mythology showing how disobedience to a god freed humans. Using this correlation, Fromm shows freedom as a condition for disobedience, and vice- versa. Therefore, Fromm proclaims that without disobedience the human race could destroy itself within a generation.

Fromm’s article, first published in 1963, stems from fear of a third world war. Despite the “outdated” comment by Behrens and Rosen in the introduction, the article still applies to suggestion human
…show more content…
Fromm relates this to the fetus in the womb and to cutting the umbilical cord to become fully human. In both situations, Fromm believes the disobedience in both situation results in freedom.

The Adam and Eve analogy holds true only to creationists, not to evolutionists. Atheists, agnostics, and other religions simply reject the Garden of Eden story. For these people, the process of becoming “fully human” resulted in evolution over thousands of years. However, if the analogy is true for the fetus, one must assume the mother demands the baby to stay in the womb, not to enter the new world. Yet the purpose of procreation is to bring a new child into this world. Birth is a natural process, not a medical procedure, thus cannot be forever prolonged (Childbirth.org). How often is it mothers are disappointed pregnancy did not last longer? Most mothers become ecstatic when pregnancy is over and she can enjoy God’s creation.

Fromm (1963) uses the analogy in his essay to suggest the baby disobeys God. However, once conception occurs, the mother has only one choice under God’s law- giving birth. A few examples of God’s will are in 1 Timothy 2:15, “women will be saved through childbearing,” and how Exodus 21:22-23 mentions morally wrong abortion. With thousands of biblical examples, it should be hard for a religious scholar to suggest a baby disobeys God’s will by leaving its mothers womb.

Disobeying God can…