philosophy and empty deceit

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philosophy and empty deceit

Discussion: Exploring Social Psychology in Science and Scripture

By Ruth Mosley


For this discussion, I wanted to focus on Milgram’s study of obedience. His experiment focused on authority versus conscience. This experiment included a participant whose job was to push a button that was believed to be delivering an electric shock to another individual in a different room, an experimenter who was to prompt the participant to continue on with the experiment, and a learner who was supposed to make the.

Participants believe they were being shocked and in pain. 65% of Milgram’s participants delivered all shocks even though the learner was clearly in extreme pain by the end. This experiment goes along with our book’s definition of social psychology. Milgram was able to further study how the. participants were influenced by authority, how they did or did not relate to the learner’s distress, and how the participants thought through shocking or stopping.

Most participants went against their conscience and moral sense. (Myers & Twenge, 2019, p. 149-159).  This experiment does align with our textbook’s definition of social psychology.

Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one take you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition,  according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” God has called us as Christians to maintain a certain level of respect for the authority He has allowed to govern over us in this world. But, respecting authority does not mean blindly following evil directions.

We answer to God before we answer to men. We have hope as long as we hold ourselves accountable by God’s standards given to us in the Bible.  No law should be held higher than that of God’s. As sinful humans, we are all capable of terrible and evil acts, but we are called to be set apart and to love.

The results of Milgram’s experiment are shocking and disturbing, as they should be. We as humans need to place a higher value on morals and ethics than we do on following corrupt authority.



Crossway Bibles. (2016). Colossians 2:8. Esv: Study Bible: English standard version.

Myers, D. G., & Twenge, J. M. (2022). Social psychology. McGraw Hill Education.