Lecture 4 – Psych 232; January 23, 2012
NATURAL MANIFESTATIONS OF EVIL
The prototype still applies:
- Social: people as cause of evil
- Metaphysical: unseen entity as cause of evil – instead of saying people do evil, there are still metaphysical things
or spirits that causes evil
Why an unseen Entity?
- Emerging consciousness: we can reflect on our own metal processes
- Self as separate, “inner entity”:
- We can experience Causal agents: we can experience intentionality
- Summarizing: “My body moves because I, this conscious agent intended to make my body move”
And so , by extension…
“What is the reason why things in my surroundings move? Because something unseen in it makes it move.” “If
some unexplained event in my environment happens, it is caused by an inner unseen entity.”
- Intentionality (1/3 of evil prototype)
- *the beginning of religion (in terms of human psychological experience); they think that religion maybe an effect
of overactive agency detector
- Anthropomorphism – inanimate objects
- There is a connection bet brain and anthromorphism
Why an evil unseen entity?
- Eye-grabbing negativity: negative events are more likely to capture our attention than positive events do; the
bigger the event, the bigger the negative impact, the greater the attention given
- Then there’s harm… there’s a harmful outcome, then if we assume that those harmful effects were product of
intentionality, then there are unseen entity that causes harm
- Evil versus just or moody: in the story, God is not evil, not moody but God is Just because Uza committed evil.
- There’s (un)justifiability…
*When could it be satan?
* Lupfer’s predisposing conditions:
- under what conditions did people explain the outcome of an event with the involvement of devil?
1. Perceiver is conservatively religious
2. Perceiver disapproves of actor’s motives
3. Event is life-altering (bigger events in life)
4. Event is relevant to religious values
5. If the perceiver disapproves of event outcome
How rational are we.. really? Most things we believe to are not rational.
The 2x2 worldview Model
- Dualism (do you think reality has two distinct aspects to it?) versus Monism (says there’s only one aspect to
- Anemism (some events go beyond mechanism: spirit, etc.) versus Mechanism (the world is material, everything
can be explained through matter and energy) Dualism:
BRAIN can produce mental
activity; mental activity in return