Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shaken Glass Theory versus Bathsheba Syndrome

Here is another theory about the Navy's CO firing dilemma. Take a look at this THEORY.


s said...

I got the impression that the Anchor Watch's author thinks military commanders are so....wonderful? perfect?....that they do not succumb to human temptation, and that they sometimes do means they were unfit for command in the first place. Is that an accurate take?

CWO4 Brian Ashpole, USN-Retired said...

In answer to "S" above:
Negative on your impression that the Anchor Watch author thinks military commanders are so ... wonderful? ... Perfect?
The author views leadership through biblical perspective, which states that all men (and women) are fallen men.
Please read his BLOG and look at the words that he uses, you'll find it enlightening (and to some, offensive), but try to stay away from "skimming" the words and taking the time to digest the meaning.
In reference to the Bathsheba comparison, I recommend that you read the story in 1 Samuel - this should provide you with the perspective that the author is coming from.
Take care keep that critical thinking cap pasted to your head.

s said...

Replying to Mr. Ashpole:

I suppose I deserved the upbraiding, which is what I get for making quick comments. I will keep this in mind when making my future posts on this blog.

The Anchor Watch author thinks the Bathsheba Theory is wrong. I think the issue is not so open-and-shut.

Anyone, no matter how apparently upstanding and honorable, is subject to having his water badly shaken -- there are limits of human endurance, after all -- such that the person makes horrible judgment call when he otherwise would not. So the Navy does what it can to teach the officer corps how to keep a lid (if you will) on the water jar so that in the event the water does get shaken, at least none will fall out. The Bathsheba Theory, though, admits the possibility that the lid can be taken off, or at least recognizes that the seal on the jar might not be 100% watertight. We should ask, Who is able to take off the lid: the individual or an external force? Or both?

The easy (and, I think, correct) answer is that the individual is always ultimately responsible for what happens to his water jar, but does that relieve other actors for any part they played in getting that water poured on the ground? Can the severity of an external force be a circumstance that mitigates the officer's culpability and punishment?

Shaken Water Theory is helpful, but I don't think it fully displaces Bathsheba.

Mike Lambert said...

To "s" and to Brian Ashpole. Thanks to both of you. It's the discussion that matters. I hope these discussions are going on in wardrooms around the Navy. We'll all be better for it.

CWO4 Brian Ashpole, USN-Retired said...

Your above comment brings to bear even more questions, specifically the "but does that relieve other actors for any part they played in getting that water poured on the ground?" comments.
Based on that, I see some of your points. Thinking back in history to the culpability of German soldiers (Some Nazi party members, others not) during the mass genocide of individuals in concentration camps. The common response was "I was following orders."
The big question here is "how far should a subordinate go in his/her advice to seniors - particularly when it deals with moral and ethical issues?" I would hope that the junior would continue until told to back off. In this case, if told to back off, the problem has been identified. A wise man surrounds himself with those who will tell the truth (remember the story about the emperor and his not having any clothes on and only one person (a small boy) stated that the emperor was naked?
You've brought up a lot to think about here. Thanks - my head hurts.

Anonymous said...

I've known Gero since I was a kid... It's amazing that he would do such a thing. Murray what were you thinking?