Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A link to the Coalition blog

I don't usually cross-post things from the Coalition for Clarity blog here, but this is one post I hope you'll go check out:

Torture: the game show

If you were a contestant on a game show, would you torture someone, even keep going if you believed you were torturing him to death?

80% of these people did.

Eighty percent.


eulogos said...

Just like the people in that famous study that everyone already knows about from freshman psychology! Or just from general reading, as this study is quoted whenever the subject of man's inhumanity to man is the subject. But apparently in France, people haven't heard about that study.

I have no illusions about myself.
I saw old people tied up and drugged against their protests, and said nothing because I didn't want to lose my job. I knew the rationale that this was for their safety was ultimately a lie. I put finishing my assignment in a timely manner over helping desperate people to the bathroom or relieving their pain from sitting too long in one position. Not always, just when the pressure on me was strong. When I did do the right thing, I almost always learned the truth that no good deed goes unpunished. Even now, I do unjust things when unqualifiedly directed to by my superiors in my present job, and although this doesn't immediately cause physical pain, there are some few for whom this results in the loss of their home or bankruptcy. I know that I am someone who will do my best to do good for people, as long as the price isn't too high for myself.

And I am the person whom my supervisors are always telling "You're not a social worker." "You're not these people's advocate." In the nursing home they couldn't say these things because they had to pretend that they encouraged the aides to meet all the needs of the residents....while really prioritizing order and getting done quickly.

What I am saying is that there are myriad situations which test one's ability to choose the good and kindness to others against pressures of various intensities.

It is even difficult to say what one believes to an authority figure whose facial reactions show that he or she is disguted and appalled by what one is saying. I was interviewed as part of a famous study back in the early
1970's which supposedly showed that no emotional harm was done to women by abortion. Between the time I had the abortion at John's Hopkins in 1970 and when I was interviewed in 1971 I had become a Christian, and had to express my disapproval of abortion and my regret to an interviewer who was part of a team so enthusiastic for a certain outcome that they had chosen me from out of their study area because they thought I wouls be a "great subject" for their study ie likely to give the answers they wanted. This woman's face showed so much distaste and disgust for me that at times she turned it away from me. As a good girl who always liked to please the teacher, telling the truth in this situation required much moral courage of me, at least much measured against my small strength.

So these studies,even when presented as a quiz show, surprise me not at all.

Susan Peterson

Rebecca said...

I have to say this--even though this study (and the other one done in the sixties or whenever it was) are very revealing in an important way, I have a major problem with the morality of conducting such a study. It seems to me clear that if leading someone into an occasion of mortal sin would itself be a mortal sin, then those who conducted this experiment are guilty of a serious sin.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

There was a "game" being marketed for church retreats (!) some years ago, in which someone from the group was literally on a "hot seat" while all the others held buttons that could deliver an electric shock. The game involved asking questions, and then evaluating whether the answer was credible. If you think he (or she) is lying, push the button. After some controversy (deserved), the game was shelved.

I'm not surprise by the results of this study either. I've seen too many people who really enjoy Jerry Springer, and look forward to people making an appearance getting into a fight. I believe Springer testified to a Chicago City Council committee "I think this is a disgusting show. I would never watch it. I just do it because they're paying me so much money." I couldn't believe it the first time I turned a TV off when Jerry Springer came on, and someone complained. But he draws an audience after all.