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The Roots of Evil

Dr. Julia Shaw Talks About the Perception of Evil and What May Cause It

— October 23, 2019 — Keynote Trends
Dr. Julia Shaw, a memory scientist, tells viewers that "its urgently time for empathy" for humanity. She states that while no one thinks of themselves as evil, it's easy to assume the worst in others. She discusses the issue presented when humanity oversimplifies human atrocity into caricatures -- like evil clowns -- as it makes it seem that evil is so far removed from us that we shouldn't even try to understand it.

Shaw cites a recent study that states over half of men and women have had murder fantasies and while that does not mean most people would go through with the act, it suggests that under adverse circumstances, the fantasy might turn into reality. She also points to the hypocrisy that much of society lives with daily -- well those of whom eat meat. Shaw states that if we walked by an animal on the street being tortured and killed we wouldn't stand for it, but the realities inside slaughterhouses are much in the same, yet many of us still consume meat. These examples lead listeners to the conclusion that we are all "heathens," however, we don't see ourselves that way.

Shaw concludes by externalizes the "evil" problems in our society by pointing to a few bad apples, we cannot actually tackle the root of evil -- the lack of empathy seen in our culture. When we stop seeing people as human beings, it can lead to the worst type of behavior. Thusly, we should not call others evil as it reinforces that they are "other" and the rest of humanity has nothing in common with them.