Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Well I dont really think that psychologists any longer are interested in trying to defend the fact that extraordinary evil is only done by some sort of extraordinary human beings who are outside the pale or normalcy. I think thats gone by the wayside. I think were pretty well acquainted with the fact that seemingly normal people can do things that are horrendously evil. Seemingly normal people are engaged, if not in the purveying of evil in being entertained by things that are vile and wretched. I think we now know that evil is pervasive throughout our society and that even ordinary people can do things that are extraordinarily corrupt.
All of that came clear to a psychologist by the name of James Waller in the year 2002. He published a psychological book, the title of it, Becoming Evil....Becoming Evil. The subtitle, How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing. The thesis of the book is that extraordinary evil can be done by what are apparently ordinary people, that extraordinary evil does not arise out of some human abnormality but rather extreme evil can be done by very common, normal people. Thats the unsettling results of the study that is behind the book, extraordinary evil arises from ordinary people. Theres no way to escape that anymore and that is correct.
But that poses the question: What causes this? Why does it happen? Where does it come from?