Children grow up to obey authorities. They receive approval, praise and reward for doing what authority approves and receive disapproval for non-compliance. Their cognitive abilities is still developing so they are unable to distinguish what is right from what is wrong independently.
Children take this teaching to adulthood even when the thinking ability to reason is fully developed. Grown up children are quick to obey authorities even in times when doing so is immoral. While that of children is understandable as. Incompetency to distinguish between what good from what is bad, adult who commit the same act are out of cowardice . They do not want to be held liable to the consequence of their action so would rather hand the decision-making to an external agent .
For example, an armed robber who threatens one to give away a percentage of his money or risk getting killed is not a perceived as an authority by The victim . The government through its law enforcement agents like Police may threaten you to give wm a percentage of your money or risk going to jail. The clergy threaten one to give away with a certain percentage of his money or risk external damnation. The armed robber is not an authority and the victim will not feel guilty for resisting him but to resist the clergy or the police would be seen as illegal or immoral. The police and the preacher are seeing as agents of authority who act on behalf of government and God respectively whereas. In that case, it is the individual perception of authority that matters.
Sometimes this blind allegiance to authority distort our ability to differentiate what is good from what is bad. It is wrong to kill your fellow man. But when the perceived authority asks one to do so, he is expected to comply. The effect of this can be disastrous. When an “bad” person gets to the seat of power and gives a bad directive, good people tuned down their moral conscience and obey. Adolph Hitler on his own can kill a handful of persons at a time but Adolph Hitler as the commander General of the arm forces can kill a million persons. In other words,. Adolph Hitler is not the problem but the good-hearted soldiers who would never hurt a fly but kill their fellow human without guilt on the order of authority. Religion is not the problem but the good-hearted persons who will not hesitate to butcher their fellow human on the command if the religious books and leaders whom they perceive as agents of supreme Authority.
The authority understands that to continue to have control over their subjects, they have to instill the doctrine of blind obedience. Law enforcement agencies do not encourage their staff to question their superior decision. To disobey a superior immoral order could amount to severe consequence. My heart goes to the dead soldiers who risk their lives believing they are fighting for a just cause whereas they were used as Pawns fighting for the politician who would not do the same for them. Religion encourages members not to ask question. Blind obedience which is nicknamed ” Faith” is emphasized as a sign of a true believer. Whoever question the holy book is a doubter, heretic and should be stoned to death. Health authorities and Scientist tells us vaccine they approved are effective and we must believe them and take them against our will. Whoever posts information doubting the safety of the vaccine is accused of posting false information and the website banned. Meanwhile, scientist are accused of inventing the same virus in a laboratory. Yet we are to believe and obey them . Can one preside over a case where he is a suspect? Medical autonomy is thrown to the wind. Individuals no longer have the right to choose their medication. Soon, authority will choose our food for us. Authority comes in various shades
The aim of this article is not eradicate authority completely. Like Dr Milgram said, obedience to authority may be necessary in certain context . No Individual is inherently good or bad . Individuals can apply golden rule when making decisions. Any of us can fall victim to the pressure of the situation and would love to be treated fairly. Power changes hand. A jailer today might be a prisoner tomorrow. Abba