The Lucifer Effect: Why Good People do Evil

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil This morning I caught an interesting segment on CBC’s The Current, with Anna Maria Tremonti interviewing Philip Zimbardo (RealAudio). Similar to the Milgram Experiment, Zimbardo has explored the question of what makes otherwise good people act evil, stepping well beyond their own ethical boundaries. The segment intro:

The Current: The Lucifer Effect

The now infamous Stanford Prison Experiment occurred back in 1971, when a psychologist at Stanford University named Phil Zimbardo gathered 20 perfectly healthy and mentally stable young volunteers. He randomly assigned them to the role of either prisoner or guard. The prisoners got workclothes and had their names replaced with numbers. The guards got billy clubs and sunglasses to obscure their faces. The guards’ only task was to maintain order among the prisoners. The experiment was supposed to last two weeks, but after six days it had to be shut down because the guards were humiliating and tormenting the prisoners with an intensity no one had predicted.

Johannine Advent: John 1:9-10 & 14

eyes-closed.jpg As we carry on in our Johannine Advent blogging through my Advent Daily Office with the prologue to John’s gospel, we arrive at a pair of fairly significant verses… I might even say favorites, and if the structure of the passage didn’t convince me otherwise I might say that verse 14 is the climax of the passage. Well, in many ways it is the thematic climax, but the main point is yet to come. Verses 9-10 and 14 are linked in their subject matter, both positively and negatively. In 9-10 the Word comes into the world he created but his people don’t recognize him; in verse 14, he “pitches his tent” among his people and at least some recognized him and “beheld his glory.”

Allelon Site Relaunch & Seabeck Video Report Website I’ve been pretty much too busy to read or write for the past …almost two weeks now. As my friend Bill Kinnon mentioned, the project that’s had me snowed under for that period of time has been the redesign of the Allelon website. There are a few bits and pieces yet to come and some small tweaks to be made, but there it is in all its glory! I came into the project at the 11th hour when most of the design was done, but as Bill mentioned it’s been a large amount of work by a small number of people. The new site is much easier to navigate, and I found all sorts of things that I’d never seen on the old site… and that’s without even browsing through all the articles. We updated some site content today, including a new article by Sally Morgenthaler and a video report from Seabeck and our Missional Order conversations this past October. You’ll find me talking in the video… but that’s not the best part of the eleven-and-a-half minutes. Bill spent a lot of time editing today, and he did a great job… he left me asking, “So, when is the next gathering?”
(RSS readers can click through to this post to view the video.)

Random Acts of Linkage #32

Coloured Matchsticks We’re kidless this weekend, as the munchkins are camping out with their grandparents, my in-laws, just for something to do. What would you do with a kidless weekend? We booked ours up with two brunches, an evening out with friends for Chinese food, and are watching the timetables for the nearby second-run movie theatre. While we do that, I’m leaving you with a whole boatload of reading to do. This is far more than my usual collection of links (my largest yet), but let’s just say that on more than one occasion in the past week, I discovered that Google Reader can’t count past 1,000 unread items. You want to know how much reading (skimming, let’s be honest) you have left, and it just doesn’t know. I’m caught up now, but it probably won’t last. It never does.

Random Acts of Linkage #29

M*A*S*H Signpost Another installment of my “random acts of linkage” means I get to mess with your heads again by pointing you in umpteen different and completely unrelated directions all at once. Again. Eeeeeexxelllent….

To kick off, I’m going to offer you something new, a “Top Ten List that Cuts to The Chase.” So, the number one sign that Sunday School isn’t having the impact you thought it would: you pick up your kid after the service and he hands you a picture he drew of “Joseph and the Goat of Many Colours.”

Truism of the week, a new observation of mine: if you find yourself choosing between serving God and serving your brother, you are doing neither.

Random Acts of Linkage #28

Calendar September hacks and gasps its last for this year, and it’s been quite a week in the blogs… but I’ve set aside quite a few that have nothing to do with you-know-who talking about you-know-what. Okay, there are a couple in there… and I’ve saved a good clincher for the end. Also have lots of book mentions in here as well for those who need more reading material. If you only come by here weekly, I think almost every post I’ve done this week has had some significant discussion around it, and it’s not too late to jump in. I certainly feel like I’ve written a lot, but I’m not the only one who’s said noteworthy stuff this week. So then, on with the linkage!

  1. This week is a good one to end with a classic from the archives: Michael Lee’s “Why I Am Not Emergent” from November 2005.

Random Acts of Linkage #26

Globe Puzzle I suppose I should dub this the back-to-school edition of my weekly Random Acts of Linkage. By the series number, I guess it’s also the 6-month mark. I have a lot of “remaindered” stuff at the moment, as I’ve been setting aside a few topics for further reflection once I get a little further past the missional series, which is now 14 posts… the most recent one contains a sidebar with links to the preceding ones. Meanwhile, I’m still thinking about the nature of Christian community, and what a missional community looks like in relation to that.

  1. Which wolf will you feed?
  2. Tim Bednar’s Semi-definitive list of “church sector” Web 2.0 applications: an old post that mysteriously popped up in my RSS reader this week.

The Dangers of Missionalism & The Dangers of Language

Back in March of this year, I read the Winter 2007 issue of Leadership Journal. Most of the periodicals I read I read online, but in this case I made a point of going out to my local JesusJunkHaus Christian bookstore and paid good money for it. The theme for the issue was “Going Missional,” so I was naturally eager to read what LJ would have to say about it. The online page for the issue reads, “Break free of the box and touch your world.” It had to be good.

Or not… I readily identify with the emerging/missional church, and have written a lot on the subject of being missional… but this upset me. To be sure, there are several good articles in the issue about being missional and how some are practicing it… but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that we weren’t quite talking about the same thing.