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Old 07-02-2019, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
767 posts, read 264,759 times
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I dont consider myself following orders at work. Im performing the tasks Ive agreed to perform and accept instruction from my supervisor when needed. Ive never been asked to commit an illegal act, but I naturally don't agree with everything they say we ought to do.

But it is my understanding that I am paid to be an agent of the company to the best of my abilities. Following policies and instructions is part of that to me. Some decisions are above my pay grade, and I will accept what the company chooses the do in those instances.

The difference between that and “following orders” is that if I am asked to do something immoral and indefensible at my job I could walk out and find another job. If I am a soldier refusing to follow orders, I could be sent to prison. While it is allowed - even required - to disobey unlawful orders, the distinction between lawful and unlawful may not always be obvious in the situation and thus the decision weighs much heavier than whether to quit a job or not.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:44 AM
 
2,752 posts, read 1,767,648 times
Reputation: 5993
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnojr View Post
Huh? Google "Nuremberg Trials". Nobody accepts "I was just following orders"!
I remember reading in William Shirer’s rise and fall of the third Reich that some even tried to claim that they were “saving” people by moving them to the other line at the train stations to the camps.

Last edited by Thatsright19; 07-02-2019 at 06:56 AM..
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:14 AM
 
20,241 posts, read 11,216,518 times
Reputation: 20253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
Since Nuremberg trials the soldier not the commanding officer is responsible for carrying out illegal orders
Umm...they hung the commanders.
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:29 AM
 
20,241 posts, read 11,216,518 times
Reputation: 20253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas Vincit View Post

The difference between that and “following orders” is that if I am asked to do something immoral and indefensible at my job I could walk out and find another job. If I am a soldier refusing to follow orders, I could be sent to prison. While it is allowed - even required - to disobey unlawful orders, the distinction between lawful and unlawful may not always be obvious in the situation and thus the decision weighs much heavier than whether to quit a job or not.
I would like to point out that with regard to the US military, it's somewhat more distinct in most situations (particularly since the trial of Lt William Calley).

An "illegal order" is, simply, an order to commit an illegal act. Every person in uniform gets mandatory annual training in what are "illegal acts" in their particular military specialty in terms of war crimes. There are, of course, other situations which could be criminal, such as someone in the pay office diverting funds illegally.

But a soldier is required to refuse to follow an order to commit an illegal act, and giving or conveying an order to commit an illegal act is illegal.

There was an Air Force Lt Colonel who refused deployment orders to Afghanistan during the Obama administration. He was a "birther" who claimed that because Obama--the commander-in-chief was in office illegally, then all military orders were illegal and should not be obeyed.

On that basis, he refused to obey his orders to deploy to Afghanistan.

The problems were:

1. Getting on an airplane and flying to Afghanistan is not, per se, an illegal act.

2. The person who signed the order was an Air Force general. The authority of a military commission is derived from Congress, not from the president. Congress gives authority to the position, the president just names the person in the position.

His intention was to pull the question of Obama's validity into the courtroom. His third error was not realizing that military courts are a special system created by Congress specifically to maintain order and discipline in the uniformed services. The court-martial system has no jurisdiction over the president and no military judge would ever even begin to entertain a charge against presidential authority--that's called "mutiny."

So his court-martial was pretty simple. It took two hours for the jury to convict him.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:11 AM
 
959 posts, read 447,231 times
Reputation: 1601
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOrdinaryCitizen View Post
There's a popular question: "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?" Look it up on Google and apply it to your everyday life and your workplace.
Already addressed this notion in a previous thread of mine:

You Can Choose To Be Right Or Be Happy? I Choose Right!
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:13 AM
 
959 posts, read 447,231 times
Reputation: 1601
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
When your definition of not following orders is "I'll take as long as I want or I'll pack up my tools and go home," you aren't yet experienced enough to discuss the moral, legal, and ethical obligations of disobeying orders. You throw this phrase out, like so much of your posts, like it's a game. Your experience of the world and understanding is way to narrow.
I like that because I don’t agree with you, it’s because “ I’m not yet experienced enough”.

Couldn’t be that I just see things differently? NAH! There’s too much nuance to that.

I carry this viewpoint over to all aspects of my life, not just work.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:48 AM
 
105 posts, read 22,361 times
Reputation: 121
I think most replies are just weighing the odds of two opposite notions:


At 24 years old, you have mastered your field. You know as much or more than nearly all others. You have not only mastered the technical part of your field (mechanics, was it?) but also the business-part, where compromises are necessary to make a profit and pay the bills. You - yourself - at 24 - have mastered these things.


Or - option 2 -



One or more of the people you have run across, or anyone here has run across, actually does, in fact, know more, do more, and teach more - more than you realize, more than you admit, and more than you're willing to see.


Is it not possible - even slightly - that someone somewhere in your field knows more than you? And when that guy tells you, "You're doing that wrong. Slow too!" will you just pack up and hit the road?



So the folks that follow orders are generally SMART ENOUGH TO REALIZE they may not have all the information required to make the best decision. It's not a "sheep" attitude in all cases, or a sign of weakness. It's simply a necessary step to the success of large groups that must work together.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:00 PM
 
6,702 posts, read 2,411,431 times
Reputation: 15407
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy12345678 View Post
A person who says that tells me a couple of things:

1. That person is unable to think for themselves or question what they are told, simply if a person in charge said it, it must be true and the right thing to do.

2. They don’t want accountability if they do something bad or wrong.


We need to foster an attitude of constantly questioning all authority and seeing whether it is righteous and justified or not. Blind obedience only benefits those in charge.


Thoughts?

I'll disagree.


There are some people who seem to be wired to CONSTANTLY defy authority and question everything. To the point that they're a pain in the butt.


If you're one of those people, than by all means, fight the man. But that's your battle, not necessarily everyone else's. And you shouldn't be trying to rope other people in to your circus.


And furthermore, someone NOT joining your circus doesn't make them unable to think for themselves. They've made a choice to not join YOUR cause...and you haven't made a convincing argument. That's about it.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:14 AM
 
959 posts, read 447,231 times
Reputation: 1601
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lekrii View Post

And if that answer is "there's more going on here than you realize, you don't need to know the answer, you need to trust me and do what I ask" sometimes that needs to be good enough. If you don't trust your boss, why are you working for that person?

Nope that’s not good enough, there’s no answer to a question I ask that “I don’t need the answer to”. If I ask, I expect an answer.

I don’t trust anyone’s judgement more than my own, that’s why I don’t trust anyone in a position of authority. They’re in a position to screw a lot more people over, so they need to be under more scrutiny than the average person.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:16 AM
 
959 posts, read 447,231 times
Reputation: 1601
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
I'll disagree.


There are some people who seem to be wired to CONSTANTLY defy authority and question everything. To the point that they're a pain in the butt.


If you're one of those people, than by all means, fight the man. But that's your battle, not necessarily everyone else's. And you shouldn't be trying to rope other people in to your circus.


And furthermore, someone NOT joining your circus doesn't make them unable to think for themselves. They've made a choice to not join YOUR cause...and you haven't made a convincing argument. That's about it.
Nah, while I know that everyone’s not going to agree, even those that do will be too scared to “rock the boat” because you’re supposed to obey your boss without question. People in general are afraid to go against the grain and against what the majority says.
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