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Humanity's dark side

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posted on Jun, 28 2008 @ 05:30 AM
I got this article in the mail today that I'd like to share.

It's about 5 psychological experiments on human conformity and the results are truly depressing. In one of the experiments the test subject has to deliver electrical shocks to another subject if he gives the wrong answer to a question. The guy is an actor, but the test subject doesn't know that. Yet, he continues to zap the guy just because he's told to do it by an authority figure.

Some of these experiments are over 50 years old and I really wonder if the results would be the same today. I don't think so. Surely we must have developed our sense of integrity? No?

Here's the link:

posted on Jun, 28 2008 @ 05:43 AM
Man....I just wanna say thanks for posting that and bringing it to my attention. It was an interesting read on exactly how messed up the human mind can be. It's amazing how a majority of the people out there are just as sick and twisted as the matters that they oppose.

I like this quote from the article:

Ever been harassed by a cop who acted like a major douchebag, pushing you around for no reason? Science says that if the roles were reversed, you'd likely act the same way.

As it turns out, it's usually fear of repercussion that keeps us from torturing our fellow human beings. Give us absolute power over somebody and a blank check from our superiors, and Abu Ghraib-esque naked pyramids are sure to follow. Hey, if it can happen to a bunch of Vietnam-era hippie college students, it sure as hell could happen to you.

[edit on 6/28/2008 by Mad_Hatter]

posted on Jun, 28 2008 @ 09:21 AM
Those were the famous Stanley Milgram "Obedience to Authority" experiments. He actually started those experiments to answer a question he had while watching the Nuremberg war crimes trials. He wanted to discover whether or not the defense of "I was just following orders" had any validity.

Stanley Milgram was one of the greatest social scientists of our age. In addition to these studies, he was also the one who started and researched the idea that we are each only a few relationships removed from anyone else on this planet.

A good starting point for finding out about this amazing man is

But if you really want to see some research that is even more relevant to what is happening now, check out the famous Dr. Phillip Zimbardo's Standford Prison Study

Welcome to the Stanford Prison Experiment web site, which features an extensive slide show and information about this classic psychology experiment, including parallels with the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University.

How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended prematurely after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please join me on a slide tour describing this experiment and uncovering what it tells us about the nature of human nature.


Should be required reading for everyone.

[edit on 28-6-2008 by metamagic]

posted on Jun, 28 2008 @ 10:25 AM
Humanity will make gains, but in much longer time than an individual.

From the experiments, looks like group consciousness plays a big role in an individual's Life. So, perhaps the adage along the lines of "be the peace/love/life/etc you want to have" is meant to counter this group think.

Thus, "love your enemies" or "forgiveness" is meant to inoculate the individual against group action. We tend to think of these things as "religious" in nature, and certainly many "religions" don't dwell on these topics well

Hell, when you have religions fighting over who loves God more, who does God love more, who/how many will get into Heaven, who correctly interprets scripture, oy vay the list goes on...Give me a moral atheist any day over a very religious person who doesn't act morally.

Oh, the story re the Good Samaritan...yes, it is a good one re time, because the Samaritan had to get off his ass to tend to the person, or at least he was riding this animal in the versions I was told.

Oh, the best act of forgiveness and Love is to do it unconditionally, without expecting the other person to accept or love in return. Again, this strengthens one against what others think. And one doesn't necessarily need a religion/be told by a church leader to do this. Churches can transmit this information, but too often get hung up on dogma to do this effectively.

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