Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The grotesque and the glorious

While listening to Fresh Air I heard about an experiment in France.
The audience and participants were under the impression they were part of a game show.
They were, much like the subjects of the famous Stanley Milgram experiments of the 1960s, incredibly willing to administer a shock of painful, perhaps even lethal, intensity. In fact, more of them were willing than in the Milgram study.
I couldn't help but contrast that with another story I just recently shared with Thing One.
Hans and Sophie Scholl were founding members of The White Rose Society in Hilter's Germany. They were arrested and executed for treason against the Third Reich because of pamphlets they had printed and distributed. They refused to believe that the German people would continue to support Hilter and his regime if only the full scope of their acts were known.

So you have people willing to die standing against what they believe to be evil and people who will do what they know to be evil if a bit of pressure is brought to bear.

What a piece of work is man.


Doug said...

Amen. I wonder, though, how many would be willing to die in a stand against evil if they didn't expect to survive and be congratulated.

Quilly said...

It boggles the mind to realize that it is easier to silently watch evil than it is to die for good. The heroes on TV make it look so easy ....

lime said...

the highs and lows of our nature.