A friend sent me a book review of Philip Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect by a therapist and former educator named Stephen Prichard, MDiv. In the review Prichard picks out a quote that Zimbardo uses (by C.P. Snow in Either/Or). Got that? Prichard quotes Zimbardo who is quoting Snow…
“When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find far more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have been committed in the name of rebellion”.
My friend connected this quote to some of my thoughts on Rwanda. There, a genocide was committed under the guise of obeying the government.
I like this quote even though I am not sure of Snow’s context or meaning. Of course, all crimes are rebellion–rebellion from God’s decree. But still, we use obedience (either by demand or by denial) to excuse bad behavior and our responsibility in it.