The Banality of Good and Evil
  • Author : David R. Blumenthal
  • Release Date : 05 April 1999
  • Publisher : Georgetown University Press
  • Genre : Religion
  • Pages : 340
  • ISBN 13 : 1589014251

The Banality of Good and Evil Book Summary

People who helped exterminate Jews during the shoah (Hebrew for "holocaust") often claimed that they only did what was expected of them. Intrigued by hearing the same response from individuals who rescued Jews, David R. Blumenthal proposes that the notion of ordinariness used to characterize Nazi evil is equally applicable to goodness. In this provocative book, Blumenthal develops a new theory of human behavior that identifies the social and psychological factors that foster both good and evil behavior. Drawing on lessons primarily from the shoah but also from well-known obedience and altruism experiments, My Lai, and the civil rights movement, Blumenthal deftly interweaves insights from psychology, history, and social theory to create a new way of looking at human behavior. Blumenthal identifies the factors — social hierarchy, education, and childhood discipline — that shape both good and evil attitudes and actions. Considering how our religious and educational institutions might do a better job of encouraging goodness and discouraging evil, he then makes specific recommendations for cultivating goodness in people, stressing the importance of the social context of education. He reinforces his ideas through stories, teachings, and case histories from the Jewish tradition that convey important lessons in resistance and goodness. Appendices include the ethical code of the Israel Defense Forces, material on non-violence from the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center, a suggested syllabus for a Jewish elementary school, and a list of prosocial sources on the Web, as well as a complete bibliography. If people can commit acts of evil without thinking, why can’t even more commit acts of kindness? Writing with power and insight, Blumenthal shows readers of all faiths how we might replace patterns of evil with empathy, justice, and caring, and through a renewed attention to moral education, perhaps prevent future shoahs.

The Banality of Good and Evil

The Banality of Good and Evil

Author : David R. Blumenthal
Publisher : Georgetown University Press
Genre : Religion
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File Size : 40,9 Mb
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People who helped exterminate Jews during the shoah (Hebrew for "holocaust") often claimed that they only did what was expected of them. Intrigued by hearing the same response from individuals who rescued Jews, David R. Blumenthal proposes that the notion of ordinariness used to characterize Nazi evil is equally applicable ...

The Banality of Evil

The Banality of Evil

Author : Bernard J. Bergen
Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Genre : Philosophy
Total View : 9531 Views
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This highly original book is the first to explore the political and philosophical consequences of Hannah Arendt's concept of 'the banality of evil,' a term she used to describe Adolph Eichmann, architect of the Nazi 'final solution.' According to Bernard J. Bergen, the questions that preoccupied Arendt were ...

The Evil of Banality

The Evil of Banality

Author : Elizabeth K. Minnich
Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield
Genre : Philosophy
Total View : 6037 Views
File Size : 42,6 Mb
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Asking, How could they do it? about the many ordinary people who have been perpetrators and those who resist extensive evils—genocide, human trafficking, endemic sexualized violations of females, economic exploitation—the book delves into historic, contemporary, national, and international examples. The author, a moral philosopher, draws also on literature, ...

Eichmann in Jerusalem

Eichmann in Jerusalem

Author : Hannah Arendt
Publisher : Penguin
Genre : Social Science
Total View : 6505 Views
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The controversial journalistic analysis of the mentality that fostered the Holocaust, from the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism Sparking a flurry of heated debate, Hannah Arendt’s authoritative and stunning report on the trial of German Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann first appeared as a series of articles in The ...

Evil

Evil

Author : Andrew P. Chignell
Publisher : Oxford Philosophical Concepts
Genre : Philosophy
Total View : 5162 Views
File Size : 54,7 Mb
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The code of conduct for a leading tech company famously says "Don't Be Evil." But what exactly is evil? Is it just badness by another name--the shadow side of good? Or is it something more substantive--a malevolent force or power at work in the universe? These are some of the ...

Responsibility and Judgment

Responsibility and Judgment

Author : Hannah Arendt
Publisher : Schocken
Genre : Philosophy
Total View : 2731 Views
File Size : 45,9 Mb
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Each of the books that Hannah Arendt published in her lifetime was unique, and to this day each continues to provoke fresh thought and interpretations. This was never more true than for Eichmann in Jerusalem, her account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, where she first used the phrase “the ...

The Banality of Evil

The Banality of Evil

Author : Bernard J. Bergen
Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield
Genre : Philosophy
Total View : 4582 Views
File Size : 52,7 Mb
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Takes its point of departure from Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem." Focuses neither on Eichmann nor the Holocaust, but on what Bergen sees as the political and philosophical consequences of the "banality of evil." These derive from the human failure to develop the thought, will, and judgment that are necessary ...