The Face of Evil
So on tonight’s (9/16/13) NBC Nightly News, they featured an interview with the chief medical officer of one the D.C. hospitals that received the victims of the Navy Yard shooting. She had this to say:
Good luck with that honey.
Granted, she’s a doctor who’s just witnessed the aftermath of a horrific shooting and was looking for something to say. However, she speaks to a mentality about the nature of evil and violence that many naive people still hold, remaining confused about the reality. Try as we might, we are not going to “eradicate” evil. We may be able to reduce violence in society with the right approach (criminal justice, eugenics – and even then it would take many generations), but we will never eliminate it.
As it seems Dr. Orlowski is Polish (or married to a Pole), and is from the right generation, one would think that she may not be too many degrees removed from someone who might know a thing or two about human evil.
This reminds me of Steven Pinker’s treatment of the matter in his book The Blank Slate. He referenced a stand-up routine from Richard Pryor on the matter (from Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip):