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Sunday 9 October 2016

Quotes worth saving (18): 'Evil' by Roy Baumeister

Evil: inside human violence and cruelty by Roy F. Baumeister.
This edition published in, New York: W.H. Freeman & co., 1997.
This quote, p.385.

Citizens of the future will look back on us much the way people today look back on the slave traders or warmongers of past eras, with one twist: Future populations will be our victims, whereas relatively little of today's suffering is directly caused by the actions of our nefarious ancestors. When the oil really runs out, or when the water supply is fatally contaminated, or even when the national debt forces a major drop in everyone's standard of living, people will look back on our era as the culprits responsible for their suffering. Moreover, as we have seen, victim's perceptions tend to be especially stark and unforgiving. The future will have its own version of Satan, and it is likely to be you and me (and our governments). But, like most perpetrators, we do not see ourselves as doing evil.