October 24 2014
A Spectrum of Good and Evil
Few people believe that mankind is black and white or in this instance brutal or beautiful. However it can be argued that mankind is both. A philosopher named Augustine States “there is no good or evil in the world, if there was Evil would be just necessary as good.” This quote shows us that this great philosopher, along with others, agree to the theory that there is not good without evil and that everyone has a small amount of both within them. Throughout history we have seen multiple situations that display both virtuous and vile behaviors once again proving both good and evil is present within this world. Experiments similar to the Stanford prison experiment show disposional and situational aspects of the good, evil none, or both debate. The world is not black and white it is made of many colors. Whether you believe that the world is benevolent or beastly you mustn’t ignore the fact that there is some good and some evil. Any situation has a measly amount of both in the particular situation There is always some good (the whistler blower) and evil (the person/people responsible for a villainous situation). According to a documentary by Heroic Imagination TV; In 1971 Philip Zimbardo a social psychologist conducted a experiment involving college students. These experiments made ordinary people do things they never could imagine doing. Zimbardo experiment was a physiological
Lynch 2 experiment to show how people respond to a cruel environment without clear rules. Over 70 men volunteered for this experiment and 24 normal men were chosen. After the men were randomly chosen as guards and prisoners. The Witnesses say that the experiment became more like a real life situation, not an experiment. The guards were given glasses and attire and the prisoner were given prison uniforms. On the first day the guards and prisoners were laughing at each other, but one guard would change that. Dave Eshelman started to become more violent and extreme towards prisoners. When the prisoners would protest he would respond by violence. The prisoners rebelled against this and barricaded themselves in their cell. The guards came up with plans involving fire extinguishers. Zimbardo says that he saw human nature transform for good to evil. At this point prisoners began to have emotional breakdowns. Dave says at the time he believed that this people were wimps and/or faking, but regrets what he did. They had prisoner clean out toilet bowls with their bare hands. After the forth day things became sexual. Later that day Zimbardo invited his girlfriend to visit the mock prison. She saw prisoners with bags over their heads as well as being beaten. She states that she couldn’t watch the dehumanizing of these people. She tells Zimbardo what he is doing is terrible and runs off. They argue over the ethics of the experiments and she convinced him to call off the experiments before anymore physiological damage was inflicted on these men. (Stanford prison Experiment; Heroic Imagination TV)
After six days of this experiment Zimbardo realized the evil of this experiment. The whistler blower in this experiment, Christina Maslach, was the good within this experiment, the guards were the evil. The prisoners were innocent bystanders who
Lynch 3 flipped the wrong side of the coin. In this situation you can see that there is clearly good and bad sides to this argument, although each individual displayed an array of characteristics.
In a different experiment known as the Hawaiian/Californian honor system experiment, ordinary people were given the opportunity to pay for their restaurant bills using solely the honor system. In Hawaii ninety eight percent of all participants paid using this system. In the state of California ninety six percent of the participants paid the full…