Evil’s changing perception

Evil’s changing perception

As many in the media will tell you, positive stories are the most fun to cover. Unfortunately, those of us in the news business also have the responsibility of covering stories that aren’t so positive. We try to cover all sides fairly, objectively and ethically, but sometimes we have to tell you about events that are downright disturbing, events like President Bashar al-Assad committing atrocities against the Syrian people, North Korea’s cyber warfare army, and most recently the ISIS beheadings. With more on stories of evil, here’s TV2’s Melinda Stephan.

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Reports of atrocities and evil acts like the ISIS beheadings can be seen on seemingly every news broadcast and website.  Though it’s clear that many areas of the world are in various states of unrest, why is this violence so prevalent?

Kent State University student Lysa Anderson doesn’t understand why there has to be so much violence.

“I don’t think anyone should die for someone else’s beliefs in any regard, or for them to make a point,” says Anderson. ” I think that…to quote Margaret Atwood, ‘war is what happens when words fail.'”

The threats of war and terrorism have put the United States at odds with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Professor Norman Rose studies sociology, and believes ISIS feels threatened, just as the US does. “They perceive it as we’re intruding on their country,” says Rose.  “So that’s probably what motivates them to hate us.”

But why do Americans believe themselves to be more justified in fighting for their freedom than the ISIS fighters they fear?  Rose thinks it’s more.  Along with the threat of intrusion, Rose says “their belief that their religion is the right religion and that we’re the infidels,” adds more fuel to the fire.

Is religion the key to understanding this perceived evil?  An atheist, Rose believes that every holder of an ideology believes theirs to be correct, which in some ways makes everyone else’s wrong.  But does believing in a different ideology actually make others evil?

Rose says no.  He thinks the difference between good and bad doesn’t necessarily have to come from a religion.  Rose reasons that because religion comes from man, the concepts of good and bad are also man-made.

Rose says: “The answer to defining evil and moral isn’t to place it on an invented superman.”  Rather than believing a god is the creator of good and evil, Rose believes its up to humanity to work through differences not with religion or war, but with a different kind of weapon: mutual respect.


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