Our Relationship with Society - Seeds of Unfolding

Our relationship with society develops in stages that ..

12 warning signs you're dealing with an evil person - …

According to Claudia Card, an institution, in sense (2), i.e., a socialpractice, is evil if it is reasonably foreseeable that intolerableharm will result from its normal or correct operation withoutjustification or moral excuse (2002, 20; 2010, 18, 27–35). Forinstance, genocide is an evil institution since significant sufferingand a loss of social vitality result from its normal and correctoperation without moral justification (Card 2010, 237–293).

Why Some People Are Evil | Psychology Today

While most theorists writing about evil focus on evil action andevil character, there has also been some discussion of evilinstitutions. When we speak of ‘evil institutions’ wemight mean one of two things: (1) organizations that are evil or thatperform evil actions, or (2) social practices that are evil, such asslavery and genocide. Since an organization can only be evil, orperform evil actions, if it is morally responsible for what it does,the debate concerning the concept of evil institutions in sense (1) isdiscussed under the heading of ‘collectiveresponsibility.’ Evil institutions in this sense will not bediscussed in this entry.

However, if we insist that judgements of evil character look inwardto an agent's psychology and not to the effects of her actions,why judge evil character solely on the basis of her motives? Why nottake into account the agent's affective states as well? (Haybron2002b, 267)


All the evil people in the world had a past which ..

However, since Aristotle, theorists have recognized that ignorance isonly a legitimate excuse for causing unjustified harm when we are notresponsible for our ignorance, i.e., when the ignorance is non-culpable(Nichomachean Ethics, Bk III). One sort of culpableignorance which has received a fair bit of attention from philosopherswriting about evil is ignorance that results from self-deception. Inself-deception we evade acknowledging to ourselves some truth or whatwe would see as the truth if our beliefs were based on an unbiasedassessment of available evidence. “Self-deceivers are initiallyaware of moments when they shift their attention away from availableevidence to something else, although they may not be aware of theoverall project of their self-deception.” (Jones 1999, 82). Sometactics used by self-deceivers to evade acknowledging some truth,including (1) avoiding thinking about the truth, (2) distractingthemselves with rationalizations that are contrary to the truth, (3)systematically failing to make inquiries that would lead to evidenceof the truth and (4) ignoring available evidence of the truth ordistracting their attention from this evidence (Jones 1999, 82).Several theorists writing about evil have suggested that perpetratorsof the Holocaust such as Adolf Hitler and Adolf Eichmann wereself-deceptive evildoers. (Calder 2003 and 2004; Jones 1999; See also,Martin 1986).

10 Reasons Humans Are Naturally Evil - Listverse

The second argument for the claim that we should not hold peoplemorally responsible for crimes that result from bad upbringings beginswith the supposition that we are morally responsible for our crimesonly if we are appropriate objects of reactive attitudes, such asresentment (Strawson 1963). According to this argument, perpetrators ofcrimes who have had particularly bad upbringings are not appropriateobjects of reactive attitudes since there is no point to expressingthese attitudes toward these perpetrators. A proponent of this argumentmust then explain why there is no point to expressing reactiveattitudes toward these perpetrators. In his paper “Responsibilityand the Limits of Evil: Variations on a Strawsonian Theme” (1987)Gary Watson considers various ways to make sense of the claim thatthere is no point to expressing reactive attitudes toward people whocommit crimes due to bad upbringings. Watson's discussion centreson the case of Robert Alton Harris. As a child, Harris was anaffectionate good-hearted boy. Family members say that an abusivemother and harsh treatment at corrections facilities turned him into amalicious cold-blooded murderer.

10 Reasons Humans Are Naturally Evil

According to Garrard, the evildoer has a particularly despicablemotivational structure. She psychologically silences considerationsthat are so morally weighty that they metaphysically silence the veryconsiderations which move her to act (Garrard 1999, 55). For instance,it would be evil to psychologically silence the urgent need to rescue adrowning child as a reason for acting because we desire to keep ourclothes clean.