Why do people do evil things? We hear from Yale psychologist Paul Bloom and journalist Graeme Wood about the nature of evil. Bloom studies morality in babies, children, and adults. Wood immersed himself in ISIS, readings the terror group’s propaganda and conversing with its members, in order to write the book The Way of Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State . Graeme explains that ISIS members aren’t crazy but are driven to do horrific evil deeds, like murder and rape. Why do they carry out these evils? And what about smaller-scale evil acts like cheating a lying? Is it enough to define evil as having a sense of right and wrong? Bloom and Wood’s conversation touches on philosophy, religion, and politics.
Read more about the topics mentioned during this Aspen Ideas Festival conversation.
- What ISIS Really Wants, The Atlantic (Graeme Wood)
- The American Climbing the Ranks of ISIS, The Atlantic (Graeme Wood)
- The Way of Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State, Graeme Wood
- Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion, Paul Bloom
- What Turns a Skater Kid from Colorado into a Fighter for ISIS?, Aspen Ideas Festival
- Against Empathy, Aspen Ideas Festival
“Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or find an archive of episodes here.