On Evil

What is evil? Is it something in all of us, or is it limited to the most extreme criminals? These and other questions about “evil” are brought up in a NYT article, but to no avail.

(In fairness, evil is relatively hard to unpack in a three-page article. You’ve got your psychiatrists on one side saying, yes, evil is a useful concept, versus on the other side saying “When you start talking about evil, psychiatrists don’t know anything more about it than anyone else. Our opinions might carry more weight, under the patina or authority of the profession, but the point is, you can call someone evil and so can I. So what? What does it add?”)

At any rate, it’s an interesting article, and one you ought to read if evil is a concept you find perplexing.

(NYT: “For the worst of us, the diagnosis may be evil,” by Benedict Carey [Feb 8, 2005])