Comparing Milgram's Obedience To Authority

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In Obedience to Authority, Milgram introduces an intriguing idea about obedience and its limitation through an experiment. His skepticism of the devastating incidents like the Holocaust, triggered the experiment to measure the willingness of people to obey the authority. Throughout the experiment, Milgram could conclude that although people do not favor obeying the authority, they still obey. The historical figures, such as Martin Luther King and Plato, have distinct idea about authority and obedience. So this result influences the different set of social relations introduced by both King and Plato: Milgram’s result support Plato’s ideas of ideal society while it King’s idea opposes Milgram’s Result. The conditions of Plato’s ideal society…show more content…
Throughout King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, King encourages the people to disobey the government because the government is not fulfilling the promises that they made. King proclaims that, “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds’” (King, 82). This outburst implies that the government is not being responsible about what they promised. King believes that people should not obey the government if they know the government is not doing the right thing. This relates back to the experiment, because the participants obeyed even though they knew it was not right to shock the learners, and King probably would have encouraged the participants to stop. Moreover, King strongly disagrees that the government should have the authority to guide people when there are many wrongdoings in the governmental system. His ideal social relations are far from dependent on obedience because he believes everyone to be equal. Also, he knows that total obedience often lead to tragedies like the segregation and racism that African-American are suffering from. Milgram’s conclusion really advocates King’s belief, because the surprising conclusion of obedience to authority is what King does not believe to be the way of social relations. In the period of segregation, no one was doing anything even though they knew it was wrong because the government was the authority. So King opposes obedience based on his
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