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How do People who Beleive in Ethics Commit Evil?


It is a reality-based and very informative hub. I hope you will read it thoroughly.


Main Question

Hitler did not drink alcohol, did not smoke, and loved music and painting. Annoyed by animal cruelty, he enacted animal protection laws for the first time in European history. He supported the environment and the family and respected women. These features are confusing along with the mass killings. However, these contradictions are not summed up in Hitler, even the most ruthless torturers may be compassionate fathers who are upset to see a wound on their child's finger.

The main question is how can people who have a strong belief in moral values ​​and are compassionate in other areas of life commit immoral acts?

Stanford University professor Bandura's response is "People usually do not commit indecent acts unless they have justified the immoral aspects of those acts to themselves." He called it "disabling internal control."

How does this happen? Bandura explained several cognitive-psychological mechanisms that can disable individuals' internal control:

Psychological Mechanisms That can Disable Individuals Internal Control

1- Moral justification:

By emphasizing the lofty goals, immoral behaviour is justified in such a way that it seems defensible or even praiseworthy. Brainwashing is another example of this method. Suicide terrorists are persuaded in the same way, clearing the earth of sin, going to the promised paradise and ...Aldous Haxele says

"One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them."

2- Literary Stylization or Good Interpretation:

Naming an immoral verb with different words that cover its face. Commanders in Abu Ghraib used the word "softening" instead of torture, and Nazi leaders called the massacre of Jews "cleansing of Europe." More common examples of this method are the use of "embezzlement" instead of theft and "mischief" instead of sexual infidelity in marriage.

3 -Comparison with Others

In this method, a person reduces the torment of his conscience by comparing his behaviour with worse examples from others. "There is so much theft in this country that there is nothing to prevent us from going under."

4- Transfer or division of responsibilities:

In this case, the person assigns the responsibility to an external source or divides it among a large group. In the Mai Lai massacre, a group of American soldiers tortured, raped, killed, and mutilated 500 Vietnamese civilians. When 14 officers were tied for this incident, they blamed their superiors and, of course, the charges were dropped!

The My Lai massacre was one of the most horrific incidents of violence committed against unarmed civilians during the Vietnam War. A company of American soldiers brutally killed most of the people—women, children and old men—in the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968.


5- Dehumanization of the victim

The general logic of this subhuman method is to consider others. The more the victim's human quality is damaged, the easier it is to harm him. Khakassia reading slaves, ignorance of women, etc. are in fact a prelude to these behaviours.

6- Blaming the victim:

In this method, the victim himself is considered the main cause of evil. Workers who cite employer abuse as the reason for their theft, the abuser who says the victim's head is provocative, are examples of this mechanism. There is a famous Urdu couplet

"The judge accepted the killer's argument that
The victim himself fell on the tip of the dagger"


7- Man with Harsh and Rough Childhood

The man responsible for 40 million deaths created one of the first international postal systems. He was Genghis khan.

One of his earliest decrees as Khan involved the formation of a mounted courier service known as the “Yam.” This medieval express consisted of a well-organized series of post houses and way stations strung out across the whole of the Empire. By stopping to rest or take on a fresh mount every few miles, official riders could often travel as far as 200 miles a day. The system allowed goods and information to travel with unprecedented speed, but it also acted as the eyes and ears of the Khan.

He had a rough childhood. His father was killed by nomads. He struggled for living along with his mother and siblings.


As long as man's rational power works under his moral attitude, all things go well, and when his sublime passions overpower him, they not only deprive him of the spiritual energy that comes from moral existence, but The intellectual capacity of the people is finally blunted, as a result of which the society takes the form of savagery and the society begins to present the scene of human-like beasts and not of human beings. All this is the result of moral indifference. Man's moral sense informs him of his rights and duties. The real beauty of collective life is born of kindness, selflessness, good deeds, brotherhood, tolerance and sacrifice.

" There is no denying that there is evil in this world but the light will always conquer the darkness."


Dr Sleep (author) from Pak on August 21, 2020:

Thank You Emge, Yeah sure it is .

MG Singh emge from Singapore on August 21, 2020:

A fascinating article that makes you think. The subject calls for a deep study and your article kindled interest to further read on the subject.

Dr Sleep (author) from Pak on August 18, 2020:

Tahnk you,James W Siddal

James W Siddall from Cleveland on August 18, 2020:

Enjoyed this insightful article!

Lakshmi from Chennai on July 31, 2020:

Truly Informative.

Dr Sleep (author) from Pak on July 28, 2020:

Thank you Urooj,

I tried my best to make it interesting

Urooj Khan from Karachi, Pakistan on July 28, 2020:

Really interesting hub.

Dr Sleep (author) from Pak on July 26, 2020:

Hi Pamela ,

Thank you for reading my article , It is not so easy to lead a group of people either cruel or gentle without some guts and beliefs

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 26, 2020:

I cannot understand how someone like /hitler can have some of his beliefs yet be so evil. Thisb is a very interesting article.

Dr Sleep (author) from Pak on July 25, 2020:

Eric Dierker,

Thanks for reading

Agreed on notion

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 25, 2020:

I am thinking that there is the notion that if there are exceptions then there are no ethics. We get "work ethic" but it really is not one if it is only for money.

William R Bowen Jr from New Bern, NC on July 24, 2020:

There is an obvious gap between human belief and practice. We may think a thing is good, but find ourselves doing the opposite. The classic example is eating better: most of us know the things we should be eating and not eating, but find ourselves regularly doing the opposite of what we believe.

The best explanation for this condition is human depravity which the Bible calls "sin." "Sin" explains why we know the good, but find ourselves doing contrary to it. It explains why ordinary good people can find themselves doing very bad things. It also explains--this is important--why obviously intelligent people do morally stupid things. This was a common refrain when Bill Clinton was president: "How could a man so intelligent do something so stupid as have sex with an intern"? Human talent and intelligence are not a barrier to this malady.

"Bill couldn't help himself" isn't a sufficient answer. This is another important point. Bill could have done differently; he just didn't. I'm not picking on Clinton; he is afflicted with the same malady that we all possess. That malady is, we may have a knowledge of ethics, but there is a defect in our human condition that often prevents us from living up to our own ethical standard. "Sin" is not just a "spiritual answer": it is the best realistic answer to account for our human condition.

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