UNIT 7, LESSON 17: Why a Lack of Empathy is the Root of All Evil

  • UNIT 7, LESSON 17: Why a Lack of Empathy is the Root of All Evil

    Posted by Abdullah Williams on February 27, 2021 at 2:16 pm
    1. Who is Simon Baron-Cohen?
    2. Why do you think the author of the article begins with an anecdote about Lucy Adeniji?
      • Think about the purpose of stories (an anecdote is a type of story).
      • Review the definition and purpose of stories on page 4 of the analysis toolkit at the bottom of this discussion.
    3. Explain, in your own words, why Simon Baron-Cohen does not like to use the word ‘evil’ when discussing the causes of crimes against humanity.
      • What does Simon Baron-Cohen believe to be a better way of understanding the causes of crimes against humanity?
    4. In the final paragraph of the article, does Clint Witchalls, the author of the article, fully agree with Simon Baron-Cohen?
    5. What is your personal opinion about #4 above?
    • Write in detail and in your own words.
    • Remember to write your answer in Google Docs first.
    • Check over the quality, including SPAG.
    • For assistance, you can also view other students’ responses below
    • You can read the article again by clicking here: read the article
    Abdullah Williams replied 12 months ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Mohamed Daahir

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    March 20, 2021 at 2:51 pm
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    1. Simon Baron-Cohen is a professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge. He wrote a book about his theory of empathy.

    2. I think the author started the article with the story of Lucy Adeniji so that we could feel empathy for the people she trafficked.

    3. Simon Baron-Cohen does not like the use of the word ‘evil’ as a way to justify what someone did and to stop people from asking questions.

    4. The author only partly agrees with Simon Baron-Cohen. He agrees that we shouldn’t justify someone’s actions just by calling the person ‘evil’, however, he doesn’t agree that we can replace all evil with just having no empathy.

    5. I agree with the author of the article, we can’t just say that someone has no empathy and so committed a crime or hurt someone. Some people are evil and do bad things while knowing about the consequences on them and other people too.

    • Abdullah Williams

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      September 5, 2021 at 7:08 pm
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      Well-written, Muhammed!

  • Mustafa Asad

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    September 4, 2021 at 2:02 pm
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    1)Simon Baron-Cohen was the Professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge at the time this article was written.

    2) The author’s anecdote at the beginning of the article compels us to assume that Lucy Adeniji is a smart person when it says she is an author of 2 books on childcare. However, when it talks about what she’s done and how she treated 2 children and a 21 year old woman like slaves, it really changes our perspective on her and depicts her as an inhumane person.

    3) Simon Baron-Cohen didn’t like to use the word evil when discussing causes of crime because he believes that the term is unscientific and unhelpful.

    4) The author disagrees with Simon Baron-Cohen when they say that people with a low level of empathy aren’t necessarily people who do malicious actions where Simon Baron-Cohen believes that if you have a low level of empathy then you are seen as someone who is capable of doing cruel things.

    5) I agree with Clint Witchall as he says that you are able to have no empathy but not willing to execute criminal actions such as murdering someone or robbing a shop, and in our world we have seen plenty of examples for example there are many people who don’t care about the less fortunate but don’t make their lives worse.

    • Abdullah Williams

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      September 5, 2021 at 7:09 pm
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      Nice work, Mustafa!

  • sumaya

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    October 9, 2021 at 2:00 pm
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    1) Simon Baron Cohen is a British psychologist and professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge.

    2) I think the writer wanted the reader to feel empathy for the 2 girls and the woman who were trafficked by Lucy Adeniji.

    3) Simon baron Cohen doesn’t like to use the word evil because it sounds unscientific and unhelpful. Simon thinks a better way of understanding the causes of crimes against humanity is a lack of empathy.

    4) Clint Witchalls says in the last paragraph of his article that he agrees with Simon that evil shouldn’t be used as the reason people do bad things, however, he disagrees when Simon says that people have a lack of empathy as it is a simplification too far in his opinion.

    5) My personal opinion is that Simon Baron Cohen is wrong because if someone were to do something to hurt another they would probably feel some sort of empathy or sorrow that they would keep hidden.

    • Abdullah Williams

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      October 9, 2021 at 2:35 pm
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      Nice and clear, Sumaya!