The Consequential Results of Following Your Conscience
Erich Fromm, a famous writer and thinker from the twentieth century, an existentialist best known for, ”Escape from Freedom”, “The Art of Loving”, and “To Have of To Be?”. Shortly after the Cuban Missile crisis, around 1963, Enrich expressed his views of human history and how it’s created in his article, “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem”. He asserts that history started with the act of disobedience, and will subsequently end with an extreme act of being obedient. Fromm’s main idea is that from the beginning of time, humans grew up with the knowledge that being obedient is rewarding, and being disobedient is looked down upon. When looking back on history, majority of it started with being disobedient to a higher power. He confirms this idea using religious, mythological, and factual stories that are still being used to teach people in today’s society.
The first idea he brings to light is the story of Adam and Eve; without breaking away from the garden of eden and separating themselves from nature, they would have never discovered themselves as individuals and remained together in God’s paradise. “They recognized each other as strangers and the world outside them as strange and even hostile” (Fromm, pg.683). By breaking the bond from nature and disobeying God’s orders; creating “Original Sin”, they were able to discover what they were truly capable of doing as humans, creating the start of human evolution. Fromm also uses the story of Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods to give to mortals. Prometheus wanted mortals to have fire because he wanted to help them evolve. By going against the Greek god’s orders, he was sentenced to earth, tied to a rock while an eagle fed off of his liver once a day for eternity. By giving fire to mortals, they were able to further evolve. “I would rather be chained to this rock than be the obedient servant of the god’s” (Fromm, pg. 684).