Tag Archives | Good and Evil

Graham Hancock on Good and Evil

Graham Hancock was recently interviewed by William Rowlandson Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Kent. The interview focused on many different aspects of Graham’s work but with particular emphasis on his recent ventures in fiction — Entangled, published in 2010 and his forthcoming novel War God, about the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. In this extract from the longer interview Graham talks about the treatment of violence in his novels and about the struggle of good against evil. Are these real, primal forces or projections of our own minds and cultures? What do they have to teach us? Why dwell on them in works of fiction?

Background info and a free-to-read extracts from War GodRead the rest

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60,000 Ultra-Orthodox Jews Protest the Evils of the Internet

InternetThe sub-headline is priceless, “15,000 Hasidic women watched speeches at six sites thanks to live-streaming on the Internet.” Via the New York Daily News:

A mass rally for men only drew more than 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews to Citi Field Sunday to denounce the Internet and its pervasive impact on family life.

An overflow crowd of another 20,000 bearded men sporting long black coats and big black hats filled nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium for the unprecedented attack on modern technology.

Unable to enter the Queens stadiums because of the strict separation of the sexes enforced by the organizers, more than 15,000 Hasidic women watched the speeches at six sites across the tristate area — thanks to live-streaming on the Internet.

The rally was organized by a little-known rabbinical group called Ichud Hakehillos L’tohar Hamachane — the Union of Communities for the Purity of the Camp — to spread the word that online activities can lead to porn, child abuse and other acts of immorality…

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Pope or Hitler: Who Said This?

Pope Or HitlerThanks to jasonpaulhayes for the comment. As Pope or Hitler explains:

This is a response to the Pope’s claim that the Nazi movement was atheist. When it was nothing of the sort.

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”

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Is Evil a Derivative of Good?

DualityJeremy John writes at the Good Men Project:

I constantly meet people wherein we eventually have the following exchange:

(them) “Oh, you’re a Christian, doesn’t that make you judgmental?”

(me) “Any value system causes a person to believe that some things are right and others wrong.”

(them) “No, not mine. I don’t believe in Universal Truths. To do so would be judgmental. That is, I judge only those that believe in something. The ultimate wrong is to attempt to convince another of your own point of view. By the way, WTF, how are you a Christian? Hello, Crusades?!?!”

By this point I always feel thoroughly annoyed but I am glued to this same intellectual train wreck, as always, unable to look away.

In order to confront the great injustices of this world, we must first root ourselves in satyagraha, or, truth firmness. That is, in order to move outwards to change the world we must first know what we ourselves believe. Know thyself, as Socrates famously did not say.

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Psychopathy: A Misunderstood Personality Disorder

AlexVia ScienceDaily:

Psychopathic personalities are some of the most memorable characters portrayed in popular media today. These characters, like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, Frank Abagnale Jr. from Catch Me If You Can and Alex from A Clockwork Orange, are typically depicted as charming, intriguing, dishonest, guiltless, and in some cases, downright terrifying.

But scientific research suggests that psychopathy is a personality disorder that is widely misunderstood.”Psychopathy tends to be used as a label for people we do not like, cannot understand, or construe as evil,” notes Jennifer Skeem, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. Skeem, Devon Polaschek of Victoria University of Wellington, Christopher Patrick of Florida State University, and Scott Lilienfeld of Emory University are the authors of a new monograph focused on understanding the psychopathic personality that will appear in the December issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

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You Don’t Want to Know

Hear / Speak / See / No Evil

Tōshōgū shrine, Nikkō, Japan. Photo: David Monniaux (CC)

Via ScienceDaily:

The less people know about important complex issues such as the economy, energy consumption and the environment, the more they want to avoid becoming well-informed, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

And the more urgent the issue, the more people want to remain unaware, according to a paper published online in APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

“These studies were designed to help understand the so-called ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach to social issues,” said author Steven Shepherd, a graduate student with the University of Waterloo in Ontario. “The findings can assist educators in addressing significant barriers to getting people involved and engaged in social issues.”

Through a series of five studies conducted in 2010 and 2011 with 511 adults in the United States and Canada, the researchers described “a chain reaction from ignorance about a subject to dependence on and trust in the government to deal with the issue.”

Read more here.… Read the rest

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Has Neuroscience Disproven Evil?

GreyMatterVia Modern Mythology:

In “Is Myth Dead?” in The Immanence of Myth, I talked about some of the misconceptions that exist between what falls under the purview of science, and what belongs instead to myth, or as it is more commonly known, narrative. And it is a direct result of misconceptions discussed there that we see a constant glut of so-called “science” articles making claims such as “neuro scientists say that evil no longer exists,” (Slate article) or “neuroscience versus philosophy, taking aim at free well.” (Nature.com article). Let me use these two articles as an example of what is actually an epidemic issue that needs immediate and complete overhaul.

The Slate article is considerably more egregious than the latter, as it presents a singular interpretation as the only possible answer to a very complicated question that has challenged the best humans minds throughout our sordid history.… Read the rest

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