05 August 2005

Norms and Evil

Too often people try to ascribe some rational motivation or lopsided justification to the actions of murders, bombers or terrorists, and Norm's recent articles on evil and humanity make grim but necessary reading.

The reference to Dr. Michael Stone has revealed comments which related to the recent 7/7 bombings:

“Dr. Michael Stone of Columbia University also showed slides of nearly three dozen killers and others whom he considers evil.

A woman who burned one of her three daughters alive and starved another to death was "at the extreme edge of evil ... one of the most clearly evil persons" of more than 400 whose biographies he has read, Stone said.

However, he added that "the bulk of evil on a world scale is committed by ideologues and their followers." Wars and persecutions, from the Spanish Inquisition to the fighting in Bosnia, show people are capable of "bottomless cruelty to those outside the tribe, especially in times of hardship and hunger," he said.”

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