Understanding Evil in Humans (08:35)
Zainab Salbi describes her complicated relationship with Saddam Hussein, who was evil and abusive, while at the same time a human, and close to her family. After escaping an abusive husband, she began her activism driven by anger at the tyrants and rapists, but an encounter with an Iraqi woman changed her perspective and allowed her to feel compassion. Dean Haycock discusses psychopathic traits and the effects of childhood abuse.
Resilience and Healing (08:43)
Salbi and Haycock discuss the effects of Hussein’s early abuse and his drive to possess people around him by robbing them of what is most intimate. Salbi explains how some survive trauma, keeping it at the core or to the side of their identity, while others heal through sharing their story. She only liberated herself of her own fear by writing her memoir.
Causes of Evil Behavior (08:52)
Haycock argues that people without empathy have a disposition for evil behavior, and parts of their brains involved in processing emotion and checking impulses are often not well developed. Salbi explains that from a spiritual perspective, the heart has intelligence, and though it hears the brain whispering negative thoughts, can move ahead and the brain will follow. She believes that a key factor in development of behavior and morals is belief in the love of one’s parents.
Choice and Recognition of Behavior (09:24)
Haycock defines psychopathy, arguing that those in the primary category are born this way and have little choice in their behavior. A recent study found that psychopaths are able to imagine empathy, and Salbi describes an encounter with a mass executioner whose emotion was triggered by that of others. She developed a leadership program for men, which through practical education helped them recognize how their violent behaviors were hurting themselves.
Reasons for Violence and Possibility for Change (08:59)
Salbi believes that victims and aggressors can grow, so she continues to interact with both groups to foster understanding. Haycock explains that though one percent of people are psychopathic, many others carry out evil behaviors for other reasons, usually to protect themselves. Salbi and Haycock discuss the paralyzing dilemmas that most people cannot answer.
Credits: The Activist (00:04)
Credits: The Activist
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