Objecting to authority

Divine Insight wrote:

otseng wrote: My argument is not whether people can do good or bad things. Of course everyone can do good and bad things. My argument is, if sufficiently tested, anyone can do the most evil and vile things.

I would disagree that this shows that these people are themselves evil or bad people. To the contrary I would say that it just shows that they are stupid, naive, and possibly even afraid to object to authority.

In the case of objecting to authority, as the Milgram experiment shows, it is difficult for people to do this, even when it goes against one’s personal morals. Inside of us, most people know it’s wrong to torture or kill another person. But, when confronted with a situation where we are commanded to do something against our own values, authority easily trumps our own personal ethics. This results in evil being easily committed, whether it’s in the workplace, in schools, in the military, or practically anywhere. How would anyone be able to object to any authority? I believe the only way is to appeal to a higher authority.

In the Nuremberg trials, the Nazis said they were just following orders. The prosecution had to appeal to a higher authority in order to make their case. International criminal law (Nuremberg principles) had to be created to argue against the superior orders defense. But, international criminal law was not in place when the Nazis were killing the Jews. So, how could any Nazi have been able to appeal to any higher authority?

For Christians, God and the Bible are more authoritative than any boss, teacher, general, president, or king. If anyone tells a Christian to do something morally wrong, we can appeal to God which would override any authority on earth.