Monday, April 28, 2014

Evil has been present since the beginning of humanity, and will be present until the last humans walk the earth. The question is not whether evil exists, but rather what evil is and who is capable of it. When you ask people to think of someone evil, a large portion of them will give you examples like Hitler and Osama Bin Laden. Rubin Szatajer can certainly testify to Hitler’s capacity for evil, having seen it first hand. He can also vouch for the evil of not just Hitler, but Hitler’s soldiers as well. Most people would consider those soldiers to be evil, and not normal human beings.
 What most people will also tell you is that it takes a certain type of person to be evil, that not everyone is able to do terrible things. What Dr. Baron showed us with the Milgram experiment is that almost anybody, when put in the right situation, is capable of terrible things.
       In the Milgram experiment, test subjects were willing to administer lethal doses of electricity to a fellow human being just because an authority figure instructed them to do so. Everyday, normal, good people listened to someone they didn’t know tell them to cause incredible pain to someone else. This idea is the same concept Hitler and others like him were able to use to get entire countries to think and act in evil ways. This fact is a testament to the human condition of submitting to an authority figure, when that authority figure pushes the right buttons.

       President Snow does the same thing in the Hunger Games. Do you think every Peacekeeper was just as evil as Snow? Of course not, but they fell trap to his charisma and coercive mind. This is part of what makes men like Snow and Hitler so dangerous, not just that they themselves are evil, but that they can get others who were previously good people to do terrible things in their name.

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