Measuring the Erosion of Empathy – Deconstructing the Science of Evil | Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation – USA

Evil exists in the world. It seems almost impossible to read the daily news without coming across stories of great injustice and malevolence brought about by human cruelty.  Rather than dismissing these acts of evil as mere acts of insanity, however, it can be highly valuable to investigate what causes people to act so destructively. Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen’s book, The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty, does just this. Baron-Cohen, a psychologist specializing in autism, suggests that “evil” is more properly defined as a complete lack of empathy, the ability to understand and respond emotionally to others.