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In order to introduce another point of view, let us set against this position the following statement: Human history was ushered in by an act of disobedience according to the Hebrew and Greek myths. Adam and Eve, living in the Garden of Eden, were part of nature; they were in harmony with it, yet did not transcend it.
They were in nature as the fetus is in the womb of the mother. They were human, and at the same time not yet human.
All this changed when they disobeyed an order. By breaking the ties with Earth and mother, by cutting the umbilical cord, man emerged from a pre-human harmony and was able to take the first step into independence and freedom.
The act of disobedience set Adam and Eve free and opened their eyes. They recognized each other as strangers and the world outside them as strange and even hostile. Their act of disobedience broke the primary bond with nature and made them individuals.
Man had to leave the Garden of Eden in order to learn to rely on his own powers and to be come fully human. For the prophets, history is the place where man becomes human; during its unfolding he develops his powers of reason and of love until he creates a new harmony between himself, his fellow man and nature.
Just as the Hebrew myth of Adam and Eve, so the Greek myth of Prometheus sees all of human civilization based on an act of disobedience. Prometheus, in stealing the fire from the gods, lays the foundation for the evolution of man.
But he does not repent and ask for forgiveness. On the contrary, he proudly says: Not only was his spiritual development possible only because there were men who dared to say no to the powers that be in the name of their conscience or their faith, but also his intellectual development was dependent on the capacity for being disobedient—disobedient to authorities who tried to muzzle new thoughts and to the authority of long-established opinions which declared a change to be nonsense.
If the capacity for disobedience constituted the beginning of human history, obedience might very well, as I have said, cause the end of human history. I am not speaking symbolically or poetically. There is the possibility, or even the probability, that the human race will destroy civilization and even all life upon earth within the next five to ten years.
There is no rationality or sense in it. But the fact is that, while we are living technically in the Atomic Age, the majority of men—including most of those who are in power—still live emotionally in the Stone Age; that while our mathematics, astronomy,and the natural sciences are of the twentieth century, most of our ideas about politics,the state, and society lag far behind the age of science.
Yet they and we discourage disobedience—in the Soviet Union explicitly and by force, in the free world implicitly and by the more subtle methods of persuasion. But I do not mean to say that all disobedience is a virtue and all obedience a vice.
Such a view would ignore the dialectical relationship between obedience and disobedience.
Whenever the principles which are obeyed and those which are disobeyed are irreconcilable, an act of obedience to one principle is necessarily an act of disobedience to its counterpart, and vice versa. Antigone is the classic example oft his dichotomy.
By obeying the inhuman laws of the State, Antigone necessarily would disobey the laws of humanity. By obeying the latter, she must disobey the former.
All martyrs of religious faiths, of freedom and of science have had to disobey those who wanted to muzzle them in order to obey their own consciences, the laws of humanity and of reason.
Erich Fromm | Obedience as a psychological and moral problem in Essays, memoirs FOR CENTURIES kings, priests, feudal lords, industrial bosses and parents have insisted that obedience is a virtue and that disobedience is a vice. Erich Fromm’s essay “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem” suggests that humankind’s evolution has, and continues to rely on man’s capability to exercise disobedience. While discussing the positions of disobedience being considered a vice, and obedience being a virtue, Fromm. Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem by Erich Fromm Erich Fromm (), a German-born, internationally influential psychologist, philosopher, educator, and humanist, became an American citizen in after fleeing Germany to escape Hitler & the rise of Nazism.
If a man can only obey and not disobey, he is a slave; if he can only disobey and not obey, he is a rebel not a revolutionary ; he acts out of anger,disappointment, resentment, yet not in the name of a conviction or a principle.
However, in order to prevent a confusion of terms an important qualification must be made. Obedience to a person, institution or power heteronomous obedience is submission; it implies the abdication of my autonomy and the acceptance of a foreign will or judgment in place of my own.
Obedience to my own reason or conviction autonomous obedience is not an act of submission but one of affirmation. My conviction and my judgment, if authentically mine, are part of me. The word conscience is used to express two phenomena which are quite distinct from each other.
This authoritarian conscience is what most people experience when they obey their conscience.In Erich Fromm’s “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem,” Mr. Fromm described, People must want obey, instead fearing to disobey. Erich Fromm starts his argument on the basis that, human history began with an act of disobedience, starting from the myth Hebrew Adam and Eve.
Steven Ortiz Project Two – Critique of “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem” by Erich Fromm. June 3, Critique of Erich Fromm’s Essay.
Erich Fromm’s work – “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral problem” – lays bare the truth about this problem showing us many examples from history which introduce contrary point of view.
Erich Fromm’s essay “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem” suggests that humankind’s evolution has, and continues to rely on man’s capability to exercise disobedience. While discussing the positions of disobedience being considered a vice, and obedience being a virtue, Fromm.
Erich Fromm’s work – “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral problem” – lays bare the truth about this problem showing us many examples from history which introduce contrary point of view. Erich Fromm's Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem In "Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem," Erich Fromm () argues that society will self-destruct without achieving freedom through disobedience.