Good vs Evil: A 9/11 Reflection Pt.1

In his post-9/11 speech, former President Bush spoke of the evil events that transpired that day. Ten years later, I find myself thinking, “What drives a person to do evil things?”

In his book The Science of Evil, Simon Baron-Cohen (Yes, he is the cousin of Borat star Sacha Baron-Cohen) says that what drives people to evil acts is a failure to empathize with others. He says that evil can be translated into an empathy erosion. Baron-Cohen’s definition of empathy is when people can think on their own behalf and yet anticipate the responses of others. They think about the thoughts, feelings, and wishes of the other party. His work is based on some of Martin Buber’s famous work in which he calls for a relation of not only I, but also had space for a you. Evil works happen when the person only has a mental framework that can only handle their thoughts and their feelings.

Historians will be able to tell you all of the things that the U.S did before 9/11 to Al-Qaeda and the Middle East that allowed the terrorists to feel justified in their acts, but I wonder:

“Did the terrorists think of the people in the buildings?”

“Did the terrorists think about the children of the parents that died in the planes?”

“Did the terrorists think about the financial crisis they would put us through?”

“Did the terrorists think about the repercussions for those in their involved in their acts?”

“Did the terrorists think about you, me, and the hundreds of millions in America?”

And, in our response to them, I think,

“Did we think about them before 9/11?”

“Did we empathize with them after 9/11?”


One thought on “Good vs Evil: A 9/11 Reflection Pt.1

  1. connor says:

    mmm i hate them all, who in there sick mind would do that …

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