The Obligation To Obey Essay Research Paper

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The Obligation To Obey Essay, Research Paper It has been said that as long as the human species is in a living state conformity shall be part of how human society functions and part of man?s natural tendencies. The more people already agree upon or share a particular idea, the more easily a newcomer will in turn be converted to that idea, and the more difficult it will be for one already converted to reject that idea. Therefore, man will most likely obey to what the majority believes is correct, even if he had a different point of view; he will convert and learn to reject all other ideas that do not match to the majority?s idea. This not only allows the newcomer to feel welcomed, yet it may also give him sense of belonging and of safety. This is the primary reason for why man

is so prone and willing to obey. People who study conformity, not only by current experiments but also by looking at humanity?s history regarding conformity, find that these tendencies have existed as long as Homo sapiens have belong to groups or tribes. However, when it came time to make a critical decision among the people, the majority always determined it; leaving the minority with the responsibility of having to carry out actions they didn?t necessarily agree with. Therefore, people in the minority may be convinced, sooner or later, that what they were ordered to do was the best choice, simply because they have learned to trust in the majority. Thus, they begin to loose individuality and gain confidence in the word of authority. In Doris Lessing?s article, Group Minds, she

says, ?It is a portrait that may not have been acquired consciously, but is part of a general atmosphere or set of assumptions that influence our ideas about ourselves (Lessing 333).? In other terms, she is saying that man?s tendencies to obey have been gained, or obtained, without him having wanted to, unconsciously. She is also saying that man has obtained conformity because of the influences and authorities that surround him; when he goes out, watches TV, reads an ad in a magazine, etc., man is constantly and consistently being transformed from an individual to a group member. One may also look at this type of obligation as evolution, so to speak. In Solomon Asch?s article, Opinions and Social Pressure, he says, ?A child masters his ?native? dialect down to the finest nuances;

a member of a tribe of cannibals accepts cannibalism as altogether fitting and proper. All the social sciences take their departure from the observation of the profound effects that groups exert on their members (Asch 336).? Here he is telling us that what may seem ill and inferior to one group of people may be proper to another; it?s the action of perceiving and observing of what is normal that allows them to do the same on their own. This is how one may compare conformity as evolution; to a certain extent. We all literally begin as individuals early in our lives, however, we begin that phase of metamorphosis once a tribe, group, or society starts to lay upon us their customs: their do?s and don?ts. And in this very manner, do the same to our children; creating a chain of

customs that may last for centuries. When we belong to a group of people, such as a club at school, a group of friends, etc., group cohesiveness is what may keep the group thinking and believing the same ideas over and over. Heylighen, in her article in the Journal of Ideas says, ?Group cohesiveness increases the occurrence of conformity (Heylighen 76).? Meaning that there is a strong degree to which we are strongly attracted to a group and desire to maintain membership in it. Thus, the more people in this particular group the more pressure and likelihood that someone will conform. There is also the most common reason why people conform or simply do things like others do. A person, who is new at something and isn?t sure of the norms in such a habitat, will simply do as others do