Tuesday, April 26, 2005

There's something wrong with human nature

Spent the morning discussing an essay on political philosophy (Hobbes et al) and Golding's The Lord of The Flies. So with the issue of human nature and evil was rather on my mind already when I came across John's eloquent discussion over at Counago&Spaves. Having worked with and alongside those defined as having "Asperger's Syndrome", John's careful distinction separating 'lack of empathy' from evil is well worth reading. Evil has nothing to do with any lack of empathy. Nevertheless, what John Connolly's misuse of empathy does highlight is how difficult the notion of evil still is for many people: how to define it or ascribe it. Hannah Arendt and others has searched to explain it: that John offers such a thoughtful exploration of this debate puts my ramblings about culture and contemporary events to shame.

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