evil-doers-its-not-all-your-fault

Creating scapegoats is not without its hazards to the perpetrators or community at large.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgI believe that our young anti-authoritarians -- our potential heroes -- have far less of a need for hero courses in their schools than a need for help in battling against the systemic, authoritarian aspects of their schools.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoMany of the ethical missteps we see in everyday life are made possible when we assign blame to other people ("The cashier gave me too much change, I didn't make her do it").
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgTrained in the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military interrogators and guards who tortured and dehumanized prisoners in U.S. custody after 9/11 were hardly without ethical bearings.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoEven when children learn to care about others' welfare, they are often taught to restrict caring to their own group. For caring to become inclusive, to expand beyond members of one's group, significant contact with members of other groups is of great value.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoWithout dispute, the Sandy Hook shootings were despicable and inhumane. But in light of this clear trend, can we reasonably call the shootings "unimaginable" or "unfathomable?"
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoViolence and evil are no strangers to our world, and they are never going away. However, if we learn to recognize the sources of derelict behavior, we may be able to intervene and prevent good people from making tragic decisions.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoAs a child in Romania, I watched the Communist authorities come into our house and pull my grandfather from my grandmother's arms -- taking him to a prison where he was eventually kicked to death by a guard.
We may gravitate toward a world view based on stable personality type -- one populated by unambiguously good and bad apples -- but we don't know people as well as we think we do.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoWhy are we waging this war? Why are we continuing to terrorize parts of Central Asia with our drone strikes?
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoCan we combine the insights from religion and science in making sense of death and suffering?
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoEvil is not simple and does not fit in a box; it manifests itself in many shapes and forms, from the victim who becomes a torturer, the Nazi who follows orders, and the psychopath who kills without remorse, to the bystander who remains silent in the face of terrible injustice.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoWhilst the word 'evil' is used as if it is an explanation ("He did X because he is evil"), in fact evil is just a word meaning "the absence of good", getting us into a dangerous circularity ("He did X because he is not good").
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideoJust as Phil Zimbardo talks about the slippery slope of evil that begins with the subject mindlessly taking the first step toward aggression through a seemingly minor action, when mobbing begins, workers are not initially encouraged to be cruel to the targeted worker.
2013-03-08-PhilipZimbardo_2008stageshot1.jpgWhy did some kids give in and start down that slippery slope of evil, while others resisted and stayed on the right side of that line separating good from evil?