The Bad Show

I’m not really sure what to say about this episode, other than it was very depressing. Hearing stories about the worst types of humans is not exactly uplifting. I think that the stories about the creator of Zyklon B and the Green River killer were interesting, albeit disturbing, but I don’t quite understand how they relate to the topic of rhetoric and composition?

I do understand the link between research ethics and the Milgram experiment, though. I’d studied the experiment before, and I go back and forth as to how I would respond in that situation. I would like to think that I wouldn’t hurt another person, but I’m honestly not sure I would care in that situation, particularly if I was being paid and had faith in the researchers. Thinking about it is scary, nonetheless.

I am also ambivalent about the morality of the experiment. I understand that being put in that situation might be unsettling and perhaps scarring for a person, but I think that some things cannot be tested properly and confine to APA guidelines. I’m also not entirely sure whether this experiment was necessary; did the researchers really learn anything that they couldn’t have got from other sources? I think that a more clear-cut example of a breach of research ethics might be to explain the actions of Imperialist Japanese Unit 731, which is something that lots of people aren’t aware of.

I think another interesting question that is somewhat related is whether it is ethical to use the findings of unethical experiments in current research. Despite the atrocities committed by the Nazis and Imperialist Japanese in World War II, some of the research that they conducted led to things that could be potentially useful in making people’s lives better or even saving lives. I’m not completely aware of what the official stance on this is, but I think it has something to do with the use of these experiments somehow encouraging further unethical studies.


2 thoughts on “The Bad Show

  1. I think you raise a very interesting point about whether or not to use information/results from unethical studies. My initial opinion is that if the information is there and available, it might as well be used, but I’m sure there’s a lot more to it than that. I’m also unsure about how I would act in Milgram’s experiment, as I tend to be over-trusting in authority figures.


  2. I agree that the study isn’t as clear cut “bad” as others. Its they gray area that makes it so interesting to me and such a topic of conversation. I think that the reason that this study was deemed as “necessary” by those carrying it out is because it would finally give more hard, research based proof that could be used to make cases in court and to pass laws to prevent such perversion of authority. This information could be inferred otherwise but it wouldn’t hold as much value as a proper experiment. I’m indifferent as to whether or not I find the study unethical, given the time frame and circumstances in which it was conducted.


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