Obeying Orders, The Milgram Experiment.
The Milgram Experiment is deemed the most famous and controversial of all obedience experiments. It proved people are capable of causing extreme harm to others, even death, if ordered by a figure of authority.
It went like this:
Social psychologist Stanley Milgram was interested in why normal, well adjusted German soldiers followed orders during WWII and committed the atrocities that they did. They were just following orders was their reasoning.
He set up a test. He hired 40 diversified, men; teachers, salesmen and such, paying them up front. They were told to keep the money no matter what the outcome of the experiment.
In his lab, he hooked up a realistic looking contraption, that had different intensities of electricity, from mild to extreme. Of course, it didn't really work but the participants were led to believe it did. A stooge was always the receiver of the shock. A good actor.
The experimenter looked the part. He wore a doctors laboratory coat and looked like a person of authority. He told the participants that he wanted to find out the effects of punishment on learning.
In full view of the stooge strapped in an electric chair the participant was told to give a mild shock to him if he answered incorrectly. The participant could see the pain he was causing the stooge who was only acting. He was ordered to increase the amount of electricity and he obeyed.
In fact, all but two people obeyed. To the point where the stooge if in real life would have been dead.
What this experiment proved was, yes the Germans were just following orders. They were given orders from Hitler himself, he was the authority figure, they believed they were doing right.
Could this experiment also prove that terrorists today are only following what they believe to be right? Orders from Allah himself.
If yes, we have a problem.
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