You are here: News Area News Is man inherently good?
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Elmont Online

Is man inherently good?

Will Cain says the people responsible for horrific events don't define the rest of us.

Read Full Article


0 # Aubrey Phillips 2013-04-18 05:25
I could not have said this better - different yes, but better - NO.
It's time to look beyond the traditional notions of evil. The traditional murderous and violent psychopath (even so, there are explanations for their predispositions) is a very, very small minority of the human race. The greater, more monolithic evil that we should be aware of are the corporate, religious and political sociopaths who exploit our human weaknesses and psychological blind-spots (some explained below).

There's the evil (I refer to evil as a social phenomenon as opposed to human wickedness) of ignorance. The mother who falsely thought that immunization leads to autism. The AIDS-denialist who thought that vitamin was the proper treatment. Caretakers who failed their loved ones by resorting to homeopathy instead of proper medical treatment. Parents who prevented their child from having a blood transfusion. The father who taught that an excessive beating was the only way to teach his child. The mother who failed to report the rape of her daughter by the father because she honestly thought it was the right thing to do (keeping the family together).

Next, the evil that caused honest, kind people to commit atrocities (if you can get people to believe in absurdities, you can get them to commit atrocities) - the 'Banality of evil. The thesis that great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal. The agents of such an evil: blind obedience to authority, deindividuation (of self), over-identification with a sub-group, dehumanization (of targets) etc. This phenomenon is explained in great detail in the book (and YouTube video) titled "The Lucifer effect' by Phil Zimbardo.

Other agents of evil:

Group polarization: tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclination of its members. Normal people with an initial (but moderate) hatred of a sub group may meet on an Internet forum and emerge as radical extremists. People who were mere opponents before are now mortal enemies.

Apathy & the Bystander effect: The case of Kitty Genovese. The people who walked by and ignored a toddler who was ran over by a car. Gamers who saw someone murdered in front of them and carried on playing. It is also proven that busyness (a hectic lifestyle) erodes empathy.

Most of these non-traditional evil can be explained by psychological blind-spots, ignorance and a lack of self-reflection.
Shane - CNN Commenter
Report to administrator

Comments are now closed for this entry


What do Elmont residents want at Belmont Park?

stop domestic violence 1 rectangle decal

If you know SOMETHING, please
DO something! He or She may never save themselves!

The National Domenstic Violence Hotline warns, "Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224".

Domestic Violence is NOT a private matter, It's a crime against the SOCIETY!


open letter-02

Today, we are talking to people about sustainable economic development, because we think it's important to show support for key issues that affect our community - like places in the Elmont for young professionals to live, shop and be entertained; like keeping families closer together and rebuilding the economic and social pillars of the community.

Related Articles

No Related Articles were found.


Elmont Youth Soccer Club


Latest Comments

  • Elmont Residents - "Not Another Stadium"

    • Joan 12/14/2017 00:27
      Elmont does not need a stadium, it will destroy the ...


  • Elmont's taxpayers being setup to bailout Ledecky's $100 million loss

    • Dan 12/10/2017 15:51
      Where is your source? Ledecky has absolutely not ...


  • The American Dream

    • Margaret Walker, MSW 02/15/2016 01:50
      I'd like more information regarding the pudding ...


    • Ali A Mirza 01/15/2016 18:30
      the reason I asked you the above question is to ...


  • While You are WORKING...

    • Randolph Johnson 12/23/2017 02:54
      This sounds like a Tammie Williams post. Elmont ...



Next Week and ...