Most people in the contemporary world regard obedience as a virtue. However, the dilemma with obedience is that a person may have to accept wrong orders from a superior in an organizational or any other setting. In this phrase, wrong means going contrary to one’s responsibilities and beliefs.
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By obeying the orders, a person relinquishes the ability and accountability to make the right decisions. Most people, when faced with such situations, use the excuse that they are merely following orders. “I was only following orders, is referred to as the Nuremberg defense” (Rose). It is easy to relate disobedience with negative situations and obedience with positivity. Despite the common view of disobedience as a societal evil, intelligent disobedience brings countless benefits to mankind.
Sometimes disobedience is not only good, but also necessary. Intelligent disobedience such as hacking provides individuals with a wide range of entertainment and educational opportunities. People learn how to use recent technologies leading to global, technological advancements.
This enhances provision of high quality content at minimal or no prices, which is advantageous to the low end citizen. When Apple and Napster started the music sharing concept, Napster operated by stealing copy right music and would later sell it online as well as share with other users (Lifehacker).
Although the Recording Industry Association of America intervened by making arrests and suing music thieves, the positive disobedience of hacking had numerous benefits to offer. The desire of online clients to acquire digital copyright content illegally led to an increased demand for portable devices to store the music content. In addition, the entire entertainment industry experienced improvement due to the creation of online music file sharing services.
Existence of diverse file sharing services ensures sharing content with as many people as possible (Lifehacker). This is economical to the common user as it removes the need for purchasing. In addition, some music contains enlightening content, which serves to educate and inform the audience.
Staunch Christians believe in salvation and an afterlife with their God with high regard and would do anything to have it including breaking the law (Gray 1-3). Religion stands guilty of promoting useful disobedience whether knowingly or not.
The Christian religion argues that obedience is one of the virtues that lead to salvation and an afterlife with one’s creator. If so, what do we make of the martyrs who declined to observe the rule of the land as they believed it was against their faith? Martyrs of diverse religious faiths disobeyed orders in order to obey their individual conscience, reason, and humanity laws (Fromm 3-4).
They acted in the name of principle and conviction. The Church advocates for obedience to the law in order to achieve peace and understanding in the society. The same Church also believes that God is the highest power who should be obeyed without question. This raises numerous questions in cases where the law conflicts with the beliefs of the Church. However, the Church has one answer to this; any law that goes against that of the almighty should be disobeyed. This is what the Church defines as proper obedience.
Disobedience that caters for human health and wealth is beneficial. It may sound like a cliché, but human beings have to eat to live. However, some methods of food growth and production are questionable. For example, the issue of genetically modified foods, which have not been received well by most nations apart from China and a few others. The European Union is especially cautious in adopting the use of these foods and has put on a wait and see attitude.
Authorities in San Francisco continue to prohibit the growth of fruit trees in the cities in order to keep the city clean (Wilson). However, a secret group is disregarding the laws of the city and growing grafted fruits on public, non fruit trees on the city sidewalks. The women behind this operation hope to supply urban residents with fresh fruits as they earn a living from them. In fact, some residents are happy about this action (Wilson).
This argument proclaims not that obedience is entirely a vice and that disobedience is in every respect a virtue. Such a view serves to ignore the entire nature of obedience and disobedience. Fromm argues that a person who only obeys without disobeying is a slave, and one who disobeys without obeying is a rebel (3).
Thus, it is human nature to disobey and obey. An individual’s conviction may allow them to decline or accept foreign judgment or will in place of their own, this depends on whether they view it as submission or affirmation. Obedience is a component of the basis of community, without which the world would be in a state of lawlessness. Lack of obedience can lead to lack of stability, individual well being, and productivity (Leveille 1).
The paper has examined the benefits of constrictive or intelligent disobedience to mankind by evaluating the fields of information and technology, religion, and health. It has demonstrated that disobedience can be positive depending on the situation and its consequences.
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Fromm, E. On Disobedience: And Other Essays. Routledge. Web.
Gray, C. L. Philip. Blind Obedience? 2008. Web.
Leveillee, P. Nicholas. The Role of Obedience in Society. 2011. Web.
Lifehacker. Why We Hack: The Benefits of Disobedience. Web.
Rose, L. The Devil’s Right Hand. 2003. Web.
Wilson, J. Fruitful disobedience: Guerrilla Grafters grow undercover orchards. 2012. Web.