Disobedience Erich Fromm Summary

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Fancy Title In his 1963 essay, “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem,” philosopher Erich Fromm argues that disobedience to authority started human history and blind obedience may cause its destruction.
Fromm’s view on obedience to authority is that when we obey authority, even when it goes against our own reasoning and morals, then that obedience is cowardly and destructive while any act affirming individual will and autonomy is an act of freedom. Humanity could easily destroy itself and people wouldn’t think to question the order that did it. From justifies disobedience by using the Biblical example of Adam and Eve and the Greek legend of Prometheus. Fromm believes that human history would not exist if we had always obeyed. We
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However, not all disobedience is a virtue. Anyone who only obeys is a slave, while those who only disobey are rebels; they do not act for their own principles. Rebellion is the same as obedience if it is unquestionably followed; people must have a logical thought process behind their actions. Fromm says that obedience is wrong when we go against our logical and moral beliefs by obeying. We should never obey as an act of submission, only as an act of affirmation to our own logic and beliefs.
Fromm believes that the first step towards independence and freedom is doubt. You can’t be free of thought and action if you are following someone else’s actions unquestionably. You must know that you can question authority and actively seek your own choice. Fromm defines obedience as either heteronomous or autonomous obedience. Heteronomous
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I grew up with this ideology in my life. Dad taught me to always doubt what I am told and to verify information myself. I am always asking questions and looking for answers. I also agree that it takes courage to hold true to your beliefs in the face of authority. If you don’t have courage or self confidence in what you believe, then you will buckle under the scrutiny of others. However, I also believe that most people are lazy; complacency is easier than defiance, which is why more people don’t rebel. Fromm is also thinking like a philosopher; he enjoys taking himself out of situations, analyzing his options and critically judging himself. Unfortunately, most people do not think this way. People don’t like being judged, which results in people not taking responsibility for their actions. I disagree with how Fromm relies on the comparison of our options to our humanistic conscious, morals and the laws of humanity to guide our actions. What if our values are subpar? If someone has little to no morality and believes that he is bettering the future of humanity with his actions, then according to Fromm’s logic, they have justified themselves by obeying their personal morals and how they interpreted the laws of humanity. This could mean that a seral killer felt that his actions were justified as an act of freedom against authority. Fromm assumes that we have higher standards than the authoritative figure

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