I recently read the following:

The idea of blindly obeying orders is perceived by %^&*&$ as an opportunity to avoid responsibility for your own actions. They underlines that it is essential for each of us to make our own decisions and be responsible for them.

  1. When you read “blindly obeying orders”, what does it mean to you? (there are no wrong answers- this is totally opinion)
  2. Can you give an example of someone blindly obeying orders?
  3. Who do you think made this statement? You don’t need to submit an actual name- you can say some characteristic of the type of person who would make this statement

Do not argue at one another about their answers! Everyone is allowed their opinion. Also, be prepared that your answer might contradict the answer of another. Try to grasp why someone’s point of view may be different than yours.

The speaker of the quote will be revealed on Sunday

42 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: Game Time

  1. A very low stakes example – we went to a baseball game this summer. There was an hours long rain delay. Almost everyone else left. When the game was about to start we decided to see if we could sit closer. The usher refused to let us move down to a completely empty section because “the rules say we can’t go there without the proper ticket.” An example of following the rules with no regard for using common sense and looking at the rules in regards to the actual situation.

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  2. What struck me immediately was the blindly obeying orders is something that I shouldn’t do as a responsible adult in this society but that it is exactly what I want my young kids to do when I give them one. So when I say “go to bed,” my six-year-old immediately complies and gets enough sleep. And now that you’ve posed this question and I’ve had to write it down, the juxtaposition makes me laugh.

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    1. When kids are little they listen (mainly…sometimes….oh who knows) but this is why kids are supposed to rebel at 12 and up. If a kid is blindly listening to everything an “authority” says, they’re probably not doing it right. Growing up, maturing means questioning things. It’s what is supposed to happen. As parents it might be frustrating, but it’s healthy for the kid. It’s the amount and type of rebellion that can get worrisome

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      1. I totally agree – it is healthy. And I give them a lot of leeway (not so much with my 2-year-old) to ask why and to negotiate in preparation for when they think for themselves. But that it’s ingrained as parental authority makes me think about my childhood and the expectations I was raised with and eventually rebelled against.

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      2. This is why parenting is so hard. You have to choose your battles, allow them to grow and make mistakes, yet try to keep them relatively safe. It’s healthy to look at how we were raised, the good and the bad, and then choose to parent where we reduce the bad, all while knowing we will screw up something

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  3. One place that I can see where “blindly following orders” might make sense would be when someone’s life is in danger; yet, that also brings in the discussion of when is someones actual life in danger. The issue here is that humans are the ones that are responsible for defining these concepts; and humans think differently, and often disagree. Hmmmm. Still thinking on this….

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    1. I did envision this as a thinking exercise…when I saw the quote it just inspired me….and yes…I want people to think about what they say and do…and to realize that there’s all sorts of interpretations…

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  4. Blindly obeying orders, to me, means not taking the time to consider the impact on yourself and others. I’m not entirely sure I agree with the statement that it’s an opportunity to avoid responsibility for your own actions. While I suppose that’s a possibility, I think oftentimes this happens in situations involving groups (like cults), where that person has lost all sense of self knowledge and self confidence. They put both in the hands of another.

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  5. If this is from who I think it may be from, the quote references a specific group of people. I believe it can be applied more broadly and is common when a person/group views the person giving the orders as having authority. The catch is whether the person giving the order is viewed as moral or ethical. The more moral that person is perceived, the more inclined people are to follow at the expense of their own opinion. The interesting part would be those who follow but don’t agree but then justify their actions by blame shifting to let themselves off the morality hook. Fear of retaliation might also come into play when someone blindly follows an order they disagree with in order to save themselves or another. I believe a very small percentage of people would refuse to blindly follow someone in authority when that a person contradicted their own moral compass. You know….go along to get along. This sounds like the beginning of a dystopian novel! 😉

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  6. My first thought was A Few Good Men as well. I also like the example of the seats at the baseball game (or concert for that matter). We did have an usher who let us move up once so we wouldn’t have to be in the rain.

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  7. I see so much of “blindly obeying orders” in political and medical context these days that I will refrain from real comment. All you have to do is look around or read George Orwell’s works. THEYCALLMETATER’s comment is a perfect nonpolitical example–good job!

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  8. Saying you were blindly obeying orders is just an opportunity to avoid responsibility for your own actions…………I’d guess every captured Nazi during his personal Nuremberg trial use this defense, Eichmann did, though I read in Albert Speer’s autobiography ‘Inside The Third Reich’ write he took responsibility for his actions…………..The Russians wanted him hanged but chief justice Robert Jackson let him off…………………ahh but was Speer’s defense just another way of avoiding responsibility (he denied the Holocaust) to save him from the gallows?

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      1. War films, military action ones, don’t float my boat, but how these chicken farmers criminals and corporals came to power is fascinating. Speer was an academic and so very different to the other Nazi hierarchy, he later spent his 20 year sentence in Spandau writing and trying to come to terms with his role in the Reich…………I should clarify he WASN’T a holocaust denier, Speer’s defense was yes he used forced labour as armaments Minister (a crime) but he always denied being aware of concentration camps! Only he and is conscience knew the truth?

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  9. A few years ago I saw a documentary about this very thing, an experiment to see if people would give ever increasing electric shocks to an unseen person for getting test answers wrong, if they were told to by a figure of authority to do so. What really surprised me was that a good many of them did, even though the person being shocked screamed in pain and said they had a heart condition, (they weren’t really being shocked).

    It really surprised me, It made me wonder if I had been in that experiment how far I could have/would have gone. To be honest I don’t think I could have been able to give the first shock.

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  10. I don’t think I can add anything different to what has already been said, but this example came to my mind.
    “Blindly obeying orders” can be a dangerous thing.” It reminds me of what I read in a book about the Nazi’s and the Holacaust. It told about a soldier who said at first how he couldn’t hurt the Jews physically, but his commander kept insisting and so he did. He felt horrible about it and then he did it again and again and each time something in him died, until he became so cold to the orders he was following that he didn’t feel a thing anymore.

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  11. I’m late, but here goes: I don’t think blindly following ORDERS is a good thing, ever; however, I wouldn’t argue with someone who is at their job enforcing a rule, just like I wouldn’t want someone arguing with me about a rule I was told to enforce…are you going to give me a new job if I move you up a few sections and my “boss” decides this is an infraction?

    In other countries, like Japan, there is no argument. I don’t like that either. It’s too conforming…like there’s a social rule about not speaking on the train. You can hear a pin drop, literally. That’s what I think of when you say blindly following orders. And so, the rebel in me whispered the whole time.

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    1. Here’s my thing. I’m a rule follower 99% of the time. I really believe that without rules and order we have anarchy and bad things happen. And I don’t ever question anything anyone is a position of authority says. However…will really research something and think before I do it. Like we were talking about medicines and side effects. Do we blindly take medicine without giving it thought just because a doctor says to? Or do we look at options?

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