Why Do Good People Do Bad Things

Topics: Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment Pages: 2 (779 words) Published: December 11, 2010
Why do good people do bad things? (750 words)
In this essay I will talk about the torturing of prisoners in Abu Ghraib. I will also write about the Stanley Milgrim Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. All of these relate to one of the topics we have covered this term. There is an excellent example of uniforms influencing power in the Stanford Prison experiment which took place in1971, it was lead by Prof Zimbardo1 (see footnote) in which a group of students were selected to act as prison guards and prisoners in a ‘fake’ prison. Even though the students who were selected to take part were completely aware it was a simulation, the experiment descended into chaos, the guards had started to torture the prisoners and even made the prisoners simulate sodomy on each other. The experiment was abandoned after the six days of the intended 2 weeks as it was too immoral. Perhaps the guards tortured the prisoners because of the uniforms. 30 years later, this behaviour was mirrored in a real prison at Abu Graib as I will explain. 1 Boston Globe Article: ‘Good soldiers turn into bad eggs’, May 2004 There is another excellent example of how uniforms influence power and dehumanisation in the prison at Abu Graib. The incident at Abu Ghraib has left a black mark on America’s history but also provides an excellent subject to write about. The incident at Abu Ghraib happened from 2003-2004. The prisoners at Abu Ghraib were tortured and degraded until they managed to get information out of them, this included stripping them naked and piling them on top of each other, putting a leash on them and pulling them around the prison and forcing them to masturbate. The people that we know did this were, Lynndie England and Charles Graner who was Lynndie’s lover “Some residents said Pte England was a model soldier who only did what she was told and must have been acting on commands from above.” This was said in a report from the BBC on the Baghdad prison, this shows that the soldiers...
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