I’ve been arguing over at Slashdot that Milgram’s Obedience Experiment was not really unethical and that we should have everybody subjected to that experiment once when they are young so that they understand the consequences of blindly following authority figures’ orders. A new study explores the same ground as Milgram in a new virtual-reality study based on similar parameters.
I suggest that the institution of a Kobayashi Maru-style test for young adults would be greatly beneficial to society as a whole. It would show kids, viscerally, that there are serious consequences to blindly following authority; a valuable lesson. Based on Milgram’s results we can conclude that around 60% of the takers would fail it by shocking the person to death. That it is a test/fake does little to calm the strormy state of the soul after such a failure. And it shouldn’t. The idea of taking responsibility for your actions is the root of our democracy…. or what’s left of it. And I suppose that’s the reason why we will never see this initiation ritual instituted; the values of our forefathers have long since been lost to the savage mockery of time and trickery.
Some people would oppose this idea with every fiber of their being because they rely on the stupidity, gullibility, and weakness of the human race to make up the bulk of their followers. That’s all the more reason to implement it.
So what do ya think? Should we give everybody the ol’ Milgram?
“Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who just started playing on my stereo. I shit you not.