Summary on Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem
People have said that “obedience is a virtue and that disobedience is a vice,” for centuries. History of the humankind was started by an act of disobedience and it is not very unlikely that it will end by an act of obedience.
Adam and Eve, being part of nature in the Garden Of Eden, had disobeyed an order. By disobeying the order they made man emerge “from a pre-human harmony and was able to take the first step into independence and freedom” as Fromm says. Adam and Eve were set free after the act of disobedience that broke the bond between nature and made man individuals. For man to become fully human and to learn all of their capabilities they had to leave the Garden of Eden.
Prophets had said that man had not been corrupted by the sins but were freed by the pre human harmony. History is when 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” says Fromm. The “end of days” is what the new harmony is it’s the period of time where there is peace between man and man and man and nature.
Prometheus had also did an act of disobedience, he had stolen fire from they gods and gave it to the people. Unlike Adam and Eve, he did not ask for forgiveness or repent, Instead, he said “I would rather be chained to this rock than be the obedient servant of the gods.”
Man will ruin itself if all they do is obey, they would follow hate, greed, and fear. Fromm says, “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).” If man follows his own judgement rather then that of others then he is being “himself.”
There are two types of conscience: the authoritarian conscience which is the internalized voice of authority that we are eager to please and are afraid to displease; and the humanistic conscience which is the voice that...
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