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ILS4190-Week 8 Final Exam-Obedience to Authority

Jul 27, 2023

    Week 8 Final Exam

    The readings and films that guided our inquiry into the problem of evil can be grouped into the following broad categories:

    • Religious and Philosophical Roots(St. Augustine, Jewish Teachings of “Good and Evil,” “Good and Evil in Islam,” “Good and Evil in Chinese Philosophy,” “What Do We Mean by ‘Evil’?,” Helena Barop’s “Building the ‘Opium Evil’ Consensus – The International Opium Commission of Shanghai,” and “Pope Francis Warns on ‘Evil’ of Drugs, Opposes Legalization”)
    • Creating an Other(Euripides’ Medea, Maria Mackay and Arlene Allan’s article “Filicide in Euripides’ Medea: A Biopoetic Approach,” Nikki Taylor’s article “The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio,” Toni Morrison’s Beloved interview, and Crash Course lecture “Slavery, Ghosts, and Beloved”)
    • Nature, Nurture, Families, and Communities(William March’s The Bad Seed and Jen Baker’s “William March’s The Bad Seed and the Human Propensity for Violence”)
    • Scientific Inquiries(James Knoll’s “The Recurrence of an Illusion: The Concept of ‘Evil’ in Forensic Psychiatry,” José Ramos-Horta’s “Falsehoods and Facts about Drugs and the People Who Use Them,” and Shreeya Sinha’s “Heroin Addiction Explained: How Opioids Hijack the Brain”)
    • Obedience to Authority(Stanley Milgram’s experiment and Hannah Arendt’s thesis of the banality of evil)

    Task: Select one work from each of the five categories to develop an essay that examines what these works help us to understand about the problem of evil. In other words, what problems do our readings bring to our attention that we need to be aware of when applying the label of evil? To help you synthesize connections between readings, feel free to group readings from different categories together to support the main point of the response.


    Compose a persuasive essay that has a clear three-part structure (introduction, supporting paragraphs, conclusion) in response to the prompt.


    Successful essays consist of:

    • A full complete answer
    • A comprehensive, well-thought-out thesis statement – a thesis that ties the works you are discussing together. Remember, the thesis is a statement that makes an assertion about the writer’s main point. It cannot be a statement of fact and should not be a question.

    Cite your sources in MLA format with in-text citations and a “Works Cited” list.

    Technical Requirements

    • A minimum of 2.5 pages and a maximum of 4 pages
    • Clear unified three-part structure that consists of an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion
    • Clear signal phrases and in-text citations for all paraphrases and direct quotations
    • Double-spaced document
    • Select an easy-to-read size 12 font
    • Adhere to standard one-inch margins
    • Carefully edit and proofread the document
    • A cover page is not needed

    Obedience to Authority

    Here, I have selected the experiments from Stanley Milgram and the thesis of Hannah Arendt’s idea on the Banality of Evil. Stanley Milgram has been giving out the explanation based on the justification about the act of genocide that was offered to those who were accused during the Second World War. His examination was eventually based on creating a justification for the Nuremberg War Criminal Trials. Thus, this war was mainly based on “obedience” as they all were likely to be following their superiors. Thus, Stanley Milgram started doing this experiment in the year 1961, which happened a year later, of Adolf Eichmann at Jerusalem.

    Thus, the main aim of the experiment was based on “Obedience to Authority”. Therefore, he could recognize how far people can go, while obeying the instruction of the person, who is involved in harming others. Thus, through his idea, I have developed the theory that leaders who spread wrong, and the supporters who follow blindly, can be considered evil at every cost. Alternatively, in this experiment, Stanley Milgram has established the idea, with the ordinary people who are influenced by committing the atrocities, where the Germans in World War II (Greenwood et al. 2018).

    Stanley Milgram in his conclusion called about his experiment based on the ordinary people who are likely to follow the various orders in order to figure out the authority while killing the innocent people and putting their bodies in piles. Thus, Milgram mentioned that Obedience to authority is like the ingrained, that brings all from the way that we are supposed to be brought up. Therefore, his experiment based on the crimes based on the Second World War mainly tends to state about the people who tend to obey people like Adolf Eichmann, who can be considered as an evil monster, who kills innocent people and is recognized with the authority based on the rights and on the legal basis.

    In this context, Milgram mentioned the article, “The Perils of Obedience”, where he mentioned the legal as well as the philosophic aspect based on the obedience of millions of people, while giving the power to take away lives, in order to behave on a concrete situation. Based on Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted one of the famous experiments, in July 1961, which actually gave rise to the cruelty and evil deed made by the German bureaucrats who are actually responsible for transporting the extermination campaigns while in the case of the Holocaust which was conducted at Jerusalem.

    As concluded by Stanley Milgram, who quoted that being of Jewish origin is not at fault, thus, following the obedience of the authority is a transcript as well as demonstrated as humans based on universal propensity with the destructiveness of obedience, or it is more merely a product based on the cultural moment. Therefore, he mentioned rugged individualism, as well as apple pie, while displaying the lower levels of conformity and the command with authorities that engage a behaviour that might harm others (Greenwood et al, 2018). Thus, at Yale University, which is actually accelerated based on the design to set a national baseline.    

    Compared with this, Hannah Arendt even said boldly about the politics played during the Nazi party in order to make an assurance about how politics can be dangerous and can be evil. This trial was mainly made by Hannah Arendt, who considered Adolf Eichmann to be a colorless bureaucrat who blandly followed some of the orders and had to face certain consequences, while his obedience behavior shall be demonstrated as the “Banality of Evil”.  

    Thus, Hannah Arendt is a humanist thinker, who provokingly mentioned the ideas and her philosophy based on the political danger, that happened to those people who actually call for the following the politicians (Maier et al p. 100). Thus, my understanding of the idea, stated that she has fiercely mentioned the significance of the public and their sphere. As she intensely develops privacy as well as solitude based on the pre-requisition for the life held in public. Therefore, I have learned about how Hannah Arendt has mentioned the political deeds in order to embrace the liberals as well as the conservatives, which enraged her being an open interlocutor from all the political persuasions.

    “Banality of Evil”, is based on the outgrowth of the perverted as well as the paroxysmal criminal version based on the Industrial Civilisation. Thus, he implies the disparities which solely depend on the radical rupture based on the daily technical along with the bureaucratic tasks, based on the consequences, along with an albeit which can end up to a line (Pedersen et al p. 170). In this context, Hannah Arendt, a political scientist, and a philosopher involved her idea in order to discuss the manipulation made by Eichmann based on the Jerusalem community. As a result, she boldly took a step ahead in order to disclose about her critical writing based on Jewish affairs based on the study where she mentioned the cruelty of Totalitarianism.

    Arendt stated that Eichmann was not just a monster. She mentioned that she was struck by the crimes committed by Eichmann, as well as she was struck by his ordinaries. Thus, she mentioned things in order to kill out the malice. Hence, she defines how a man can be responsible based on the transportation of the millions of Jews and their deaths based on the insisting of the Zionist while understanding Jewish interrogatories based on Israel. Therefore, Arendt gave out the idea about Eichmann who can be considered a mass murderer, but she mentioned that it was not simply from hatred. Thus, here in her writing, she mentioned in a mockery that Eichmann never murdered anyone while initially, he resists the physical killing of all the Jewish community people, hence, from the fervent dedication to the Nazi Movement.

    In this context, Hannah Arendt mentioned how humans can be turned to be evil. The New Yorker, fifty years published a series of an article based on the most controversial politics of the 20th century. It is namely, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. This article mainly deals with the ideas and the descriptions that deal with the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS Officer, who is likely to be coordinated by the logistics based on transporting millions of European Jews and their death that took place during the Second World War. As a result, in these articles, Arendt happens to mention portraying Eichmann as likely to be compared with the Nazi criminals (Imhoff et al. p 919). As Adolf Eichmann tried developing a totalitarian society, which is based on a one-man rule with followers, can be considered as one of the cruel and giving a shape to an evil community, with hate speech.

    Thus, Arendt, in her “Banality of Evil”, shouted about the holocaust and was portrayed as an anti-Semitic monster who was involved in petty bureaucrats while speaking openly about the followers of the Jewish councils based on the deportation as well as the destruction of the people (Norwood et al. 2017). Therefore, Arendt initiated with the central idea, which mainly deals with creating a central insight, and named it as “Banality of Evil”, by the 20th-century era. She calls out boldly about the evil that took place due to obedience toward authority. She cried out about the great crimes which gave rise to certain mindless conformity as well as thoughtlessness about humanity. Thus, she critically called against the action of Eichmann and told all about the insensitivity based on legitimate Palestine, while claiming the disregard as well as giving out rights to the minorities and the neighbors. Soon after the series of an article by Eichmann the New York Jewish organization, about the furious plan and conspiracy which took place due to her debate and her animosity.  

    This can be concluded that both Stanley Milgram and Hannah Arendt tried to say about the notion based on the parameters developed by Adolf Eichmann and his cruelty which is framed under the Nazi part, that perpetrates on “Obedience of Authority”, that is followed with the totalitarian rule, and took the transformation to kill innocent people, cruelly which is likely to be Evil.

    Works Cited

    BigHistoryNL. Milgram Experiment – Big History NL, Threshold 6. Youtube, 19 Mar. 2013, [Accessed 13th December, 2021]

    Greenwood, John, et al. “How Would People Behave in Milgram’s Experiment Today?” Behavioral Scientist, 24 July 2018, [Accessed 9th December, 2021] ABOUT HANNAH ARENDT 2020.     [Accessed on 6th December, 2021]

    Imhoff, Roland, et al. “Explaining the inexplicable: Differences in attributions for the Holocaust in Germany, Israel, and Poland.” Political Psychology 38.6 (2017): 907-924. [ [Accessed on 6th December, 2021]

    Maier-Katkin, Daniel, and Nathan Stoltzfuss. “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” (2013): 98-103.  [Accessed 12th December, 2021]        

    Norwood, Candice. “When the United States Closed Its Doors to a Group of Jewish Refugees.” The Atlantic, 27 Jan. 2017,

    Pedersen, Else Marie Wiberg. “The Complexity of Evil and the Banalizing of the Un‐forgivable.” (2014): 169-172. [Accessed 10th December, 2021]

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