Electric Shocks

Question 1

This video illustrates the Milgram Studies. In 1961, Stanley Milgram conducted a series of experiments where individuals were instructed by the experimentor to administer increasingly severe electric shocks to another subject. The high incidence of “obedience” in the face of extreme suffering was quite remarkable! The mental anguish experienced by the real subjects, even after debriefing, caused public universities in the U.S. to require all research involving people, to be subject to review by a “human subjects” research committee, before the research could take place — this even included my work-family conflict survey at UNL.

Interestingly, such standards must not exist in the UK where this experiment was more recently re-enacted with the same results. To watch, go to: (10:47). It’s quite fascinating. Please share your reflections.

Question 2

Write at least two paragraphs

“Even though the effects of many external factors upon us seem to be just a matter of luck, we do have control over our thoughts and intentions [do we?]. Although their luck differed, both Mark and George [from scenarios 1 & 3] presumably meant well–neither had any evil intentions. How are a person’s habitually good intentions relevant to their moral character?”

[optional] As a bonus you might add something about how a Utilitarian would think about the morality of these cases.

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