Archive for World War II

The Hangman

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 9, 2008 by sweetangel16175
Hangman
by Maurice Ogden
1
Into our town the Hangman came
Smelling of gold and blood and flame
And he paced our bricks with a diffident air
And built his frame on the courthouse square.
The scaffold stood by the courthouse side,
Only as wide as the door was wide;
A frame as tall, or little more,
Than the capping sill of the courthouse door.
And we wondered, whenever we had the time,
Who the criminal, what the crime,
The Hangman judged with the yellow twist
Of knotted hemp in his busy fist.
And innocent though we were, with dread
We passed those eyes of buckshot lead;
Till one cried: “Hangman, who is he
For whom you raise the gallows-tree?”
Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye,
And he gave us a riddle instead of reply:
“He who serves me best,” said he,
“Shall earn the rope of the gallows-tree.”
And he stepped down, and laid his hand
On a man who came from another land,
And we breathed again, for another’s grief
At the Hangman’s hand was our relief;
And the gallows-frame on the courthouse lawn
By tomorrow’s sun would be struck and gone.
So we gave him way, and no one spoke,
Out of respect for his Hangman’s cloak.
 
2
The next day’s sun looked mildly down
On roof and street in our quiet town,
And stark and black in the morning air,
The gallows-tree on the courthouse square.
And the Hangman stood at his usual stand
With the yellow hemp in his busy hand;
With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike
And his air so knowing and businesslike.
And we cried: “Hangman, have you not done
Yesterday with the alien one?”
Then we fell silent, and stood amazed;
“Oh, not for him was the gallows raised…”
 He laughed a laugh as he looked at us:
“…Did you think I’d gone to all this fuss
To hang one man? That’s a thing I do
To stretch the rope when the rope is new.”
Then one cried “Murderer!” One cried “Shame!”
And into our midst the Hangman came
To that man’s place. “Do you hold,” said he,
“With him that was meat for the gallows-tree?”
And he laid his hand on that one’s arm,
And we shrank back in quick alarm,
And we gave him way, and no one spoke,
Out of fear of his Hangman’s cloak.
That night we saw with dread surprise
The Hangman’s scaffold had grown in size:
Fed by the blood beneath the chute
The gallows-tree had taken root;
 Now as wide, or a little more,
Than the steps that led to the courthouse door,
And tall as the writing, or nearly as tall,
Halfway up on the courthouse wall.
 
3
The third he took, we had all heard tell,
Was a usurer and infidel;
And “What,” said the Hangman, “have you to do
With the gallows-bound, and he a Jew?”
 And we cried out, “Is this one he
Who has served you well and faithfully?”
The Hangman smiled: “It’s a clever scheme
To try the strength of the gallows-beam.”
The fourth man’s dark, accusing song
Had scratched our comfort hard and long;
And “What concern,” he gave us back,
“Have you for the doomed — the doomed and Black?”
The fifth. The sixth. And we cried again,
“Hangman, Hangman, is this the man?”
“It’s a trick,” he said, “that we hangmen know
For easing the trap when the trap springs slow.”
And so we ceased, and asked no more,
As the Hangman tallied his bloody score;
And sun by sun, and night by night,
The gallows grew to monstrous height.
The wings of the scaffold opened wide
Till they covered the square from side to side;
And the monster cross-beam, looking down,
Cast its shadow across the town.
 
4
Then through the town the Hangman came
And called in the empty streets my name —
And I looked at the gallows soaring tall
And thought, “There is no one left at all
For hanging, and so he calls to me
To help pull down the gallows-tree.”
And I went out with right good hope
To the Hangman’s tree and the Hangman’s rope.
He smiled at me as I came down
To the courthouse square through the silent town,
And supple and stretched in his busy hand
Was the yellow twist of the hempen strand.
And he whistled his tune as he tried the trap,
And it sprang down with a ready snap;
And then with a smile of awful command
He laid his hand upon my hand.
“You tricked me, Hangman!” I shouted then,
“That your scaffold was built for other men…
And I no henchman of yours,” I cried,
“You lied to me, Hangman, foully lied!”
Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye:
“Lied to you? Tricked you?” he said. “Not I.
For I answered straight and I told you true:
The scaffold was raised for none but you.
For who has served me more faithfully
Than you with your coward’s hope?” said he,
“And where are the others that might have stood
Side by your side in the common good?”
“Dead,” I whispered, and amiably
“Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me:
“First the alien, then the Jew…
I did no more than you let me do.”
Beneath the beam that blocked the sky
None stood so alone as I;
And the Hangman strapped me, and no voice there
Cried “Stay!” for me in the empty square.

Stanley Milgram’s Experiment of Obedience!

Posted in ethics, fake shock experiment, Hitler, immoral actions, obedience to authority, people are generally good, personal conscience, stanley milgram, stanley milgrams experiment, study of obedience, unethical experiment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2008 by sweetangel16175

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6GxIuljT3w

stanley milgrams claim is the obedience to authority is stronger than the personal conscience…

 

“Obedience is a form of compliance that occurs when people follow direct commands, usually from someone in position of authority.

Milgrams studies…

Stanley Milgram wanted to study this tendency to obey authority figures. Like many other people after WWII, he was troubled by how readily the citizens of Germany followed the orders of dictator Hitler, even when the orders required shockingly immoral actions, such as the slaughter of thousand of jews. Milgram, who had worked with Solomon Asch, set out to design a standard laboratory procedure for the study of obedience. The clever experiment that Milgram devised became one of the most famous and controversial studies in the annals of psychology.

Milgrams participants were a diverse collection of 40 men from the local community. They were told that they would be participating in a study concerned with the effects of punishment on learning. When they arrived at the lab, the drew slips of paper from a hat to get their assignment. The drawing was rigged so that the subject always became the “teacher” and an experimental accomplice became the “learner.”

The learner was strapped into an electified chair through which a shock could be delivered whenever he made a mistake on the task. The subject was taken to an adjoining room that housed the shock generator that he would control in his role as the teacher. Although the apparatus looked and sounded realistic, it was fake and the learner was never shocked.

As the “learning experiment” proceed, the accomplice made many necessitated shocks. The teacher was instructed to increase the shock level after each wrong answer. At 300 volts, the learner began to pound on the wall between the two rooms in protest and soo stopped responding to the teachers questions. From this point forward, participants frequently turned to the experimenter for guidance. Whenever they did so, the experimenter firmly indicated that the teacher should continue to give stronger and stronger shocks to the now-silent learner. The dependent variable was the maximum shock the participant was willing to administer before refusing to go on.

The shock levels went from 15 to 450 on 30 intervals.

26 out the 40 subjects administered all 30 levels of shock. Although they tended to obey the experimenter, many subjects voiced and displayed considerable distress about harming the learner. The horrified participants groaned, bit their lips, stuttered, trembled, and broke in sweat, but continued administering the shocks. Based on these results, Milgram concluded that obedience to authority was even more common than he or others anticipated. Before the study was conducted, it was predicted that 1% of the subject will continue until the end of the series of shocks!

In interpreting his results, Milgram agrued that strong pressure from an authority figure can make a decent person do indecent things to others. Applying this insight to the Nazi war crimes and other traversties, Milgram asserted that some sinister actions may be due to the actors evil character so much as to situational pressures that can lead normal people to engage in acts of treachery and violence. Thus, he arrived at the distrubing conclusion that given the right circumstances, any of us might obey orders to inflict harm on innocent strangers.”

 

this is what i wrote before we studied this experiment:

i disagree that obedience to authority is stronger, even though this experiment shows that.

it’s just so hard to believe.

i think he did an unethical experiment because people had to live with the guilt of killing someone if they raised the machine to 450 volts.

i agree that if you gradually do something, it becomes easier and easier.

 

and this is what i wrote after we studied this experiment:

i believe people are generally good, unless you prove me otherwise, they are good.

people should know right from wrong and should know that hurting someone is wrong, and people should have ethics. if someone told me to do that experiment, i wouldnt do it, even if i didnt know what the experiment was about.