(Q) Is obedience always desirable ? (NYJC Prelim 2014)
Note that these are just some ideas. This outline is not meant to be taken as the only or final answer to the question.
Stand : Obedience – despite its advantages – is not always desirable.
Point 1 : An orderly society >>> peaceful, stable, less crime + look for peaceful resolution to conflict
Point 2 : Fairness (provided rules protect fair competition) >>> healthy climate for doing business and being innovative
Point 3 : Tradition, religion, nationalism – all thrive because of a certain degree of obedience. And this is not necessarily a bad thing
ON THE OTHER HAND…..
Point 3 : Excessive, unthinking obedience is repressive and unnatural for a thinking, feeling human being >>> kills personal leadership >>> Dulls our ability to adapt or be responsive to (sudden) changes
Point 4 : Hinders creativity >>> affects innovation, competition
Point 5 : Quashes necessary debate or challenges to the status quo that could improve society, promote justice or protect human rights
Other insights :
(a) There is a need to consider how disobedience is demonstrated too. Certain expressions of disobedience are more productive or effective than others. Some could actually be destructive and counter-productive
(b) It is not obedience itself that is problematic. It is the purpose for that obedience : is it aimed to oppress and benefit a small few, or is it truly for the greater good ?
Also, higher education, greater awareness of rights and a desire to participate means that obedience that is a achieved via more consultative means could have potentially more benefits in the long run compared to an imposition of poorly-justified rules.