In this video Dir. Philip Combated discusses the psychology of evil. He explains that there are many different definitions of evil. He believes evil is the exercise of power to intentionally harm psychologically, hurt physically or destroy mortally. Some questions he covers are, what makes people go wrong? Are people born evil or grow evil over time? He goes over the many experiments he has done and examples to test and prove his theory. Dir. Combated believes situations corrupt people. Legal power and society influence people. It’s a bad barrel instead of bad apples as he said in the video.
He uses the ABA Grain abuses as an example. The abusing only went on during night shifts when there were no surveillances and the abusing happened in only one location. Why was this happening in only one location and why was only this certain group of guards cooperating in this? Dir. Philip Sombreros hypothesis is that they are good people but the situation corrupted them. He also tells us about another experiment that he conducted. This was to prove how people give into immoral, unjust authority. He had people volunteer from the ages of twenty to fifty and they were either picked to be a learner or teacher.
They had tests set up for the learners to practice their memory and when they did something incorrect or were wrong the teacher had to shock them fifteen volts and so on. The learners begin to show pain and discomfort from the shocks and started screaming. The shocking thing is very few teachers quit. Psychiatrists hypothesized that only one percent would go to four hundred and fifty volts but they were wrong. Two thirds of the teachers went all the way to the end. I believe they continued because every other teacher around them also continued and the people instructing them told them it was okay.
That is a perfect example that society does influence us. I strongly agree with Dir. Philip Combated. All the evidence and proof was right there in the video. Situations and people around us can corrupt us. There has been other studies done that prove that if your appearance is hidden and you’re anonymous you’re more likely to act hostile and aggressive without hesitating. Voting is another example that society and other people can have a strong influence on us. It starts off as children in school, teachers instruct the kids to put their heads down and close their eyes when there is something to vote on.
They do this because they know the other kids’ vote will influence others. Also the kids are much more confident in their vote being anonymous. Bullying is another example that it’s easier to be influenced by society. Very few people stick up for the victim, instead they Join the bully. A situation like that can also corrupt someone. Most people’s thoughts are, well if everyone else is doing it there’s nothing wrong with it. This also ties in with Dir. Philip Sombreros idea that evil is a process. It first starts off with mindlessly taking the first small step, which is engaging with the bully.
Second step is demutualization of others. Then De-individuation of self, becoming anonymous. By siding with the bully you’re blending in and not putting a target on yourself. Then there is blind obedience to authority. The bully says it’s okay so you believe its okay. Then there’s passive tolerance AT evil tongue Inaction or Inalterable Ana accepting an Ideology that Justifies evil. Dir. Combated would say they are good kids but the situation corrupted them and I agree. Another question Dir. Philip Combated talks about is, what makes ordinary people do good?
His hypothesis is that people want to be roes and that’s what encourages them to do good. Most heroes are everyday people, they Just don’t get noticed. He says we should encourage children, families and everyone to develop the heroic imagination, think of yourself as a hero. If you think of yourself in that way you have a greater chance of being that way. Dir. Combated says you will one day be in a situation where you have to choose between three paths. You either one, Become a perpetrator of evil or two, Become guilty of passive inaction or do nothing, or three, be a hero. The real question is, what path will you choose?