One of the most dangerous human qualities lies in our naivety about human nature. It is quite easy to condemn evil when we see it as observers or read about it after the fact. We pretend that we cannot fathom how humans can be so cruel and like to elevate ourselves on a pedestal of self-righteousness. However, the fact remains that genocides and atrocities carried out against humanity were at the hands of fellow human beings. Experiments in psychology reveal troubling findings of what average people just like you and I are capable of doing and to what degree we can inflict suffering on others when the setting is a safe environment in a psychology lab, let alone being in a context in which we might have been led to believe we were under an existential threat.
This episode addresses the question of the human capacity for evil and why becoming aware of it is the crucial component to prevent it.