Thursday, April 16, 2015

Nature of Evil

The definition of evil, what makes a person evil, and where evil comes from have been widely contested. Gresh characterizes evil people in chapter 7 as people that are not mentally insane and know what they are doing, and they enjoy what they are doing. Psychotic people do not know the difference between right and wrong and may have mental disorders; psychopaths, however, are lucid, functioning individuals in society that lack the ability to feel compassion or empathy for their victims. According to the reading, characteristics that describe psychopaths that also apply to President Snow include: egomaniac, no remorse, no sympathy for others, superficially charming and personable, sadistic, and manipulative.
Snow was evil because he killed hundreds of kids for the sake of his own cause, lacking empathy for the Districts.
Dr. Baron defines evil by psychological terms in his lecture. He compiles different ethical perspectives, and defines evil for each viewpoint as acting the opposite to the standards of that ideology. For instance, Deontology believes that one should act upon the morally right action according to duty and obligation, and should disregard consequences of the action. This ideology would want you to tell the truth in any situation, even if the truth would hurt someone, because it is your moral duty. In Deontology, it would be evil to be apathetic and not perform your duty. In utilitarianism, or performing the action that benefits the greatest amount of people, evil would be harming many lives in favor of a few, something that President Snow does with the Hunger Games. When combining the opposites of the ideologies of Utility (focus on the individual), Duty (apathy), Virtue(vice), and Care (harm toward others), Dr. Baron defines evil as "individual pleasure from causing harm to others-as a result of vice or extreme apathy towards others' humanity." Presidents Snow and Coin are evil because they knowingly sacrifice human lives for the benefit of themselves and their elite group. They lack empathy for others who do not agree with them, and make decisions to harm these people, thus they fit the definitions of evil.
Hitler was evil because he killed millions of people for his own cause, lacking empathy for their humanity.

*Sorry for the late posting of this blog, I thought I posted it Sunday, but I must not have saved it before I shut off my computer because I was on my blog today and it hadn't posted. 

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