Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

What Is Evil?

Question: What is evil?

Michael Stone: Well, evil is a very fascinating topic. Are we really permitted as a legitimate for ordinary folks to use that word “evil,” because it tended for thousands of years to belong to the sphere of religion and philosophy, but I noticed, as we all do, people used the word evil all the time, people in ordinary life, journalists, prosecutors, judges, etc. 

So, I began to create a scale of evil. I ended up at first with just a few numbers on my scale, but I then got it up to 22 of which the first one was "not evil," just justified homicide.  Number two was crimes of passion, all the way up to 22 where there was usually a serial killer subjecting victims to prolonged torture. So, that's about as bad as it gets.

The scale at first, it was just a very rudimentary one, but as I read more and more of these True Crime books and also went around the country interviewing serial killers and other very famous murderers a couple of years ago, I expanded the scale to 22 levels.  Twenty-one of which being evil and one being justified homicide.  And you can divide that into three main segments.  One of which was for impulsive murders by people who really were not psychopaths, they were not the kind of persons who do unspeakable things all the time routinely and have absolutely no remorse and they’re totally hard-hearted and callous.  Ordinary people that get caught in some terrible situation, for example.  

And then the next bunch of numbers from let’s say about nine to 16 are for people that show a fair number of psychopathic traits, those being grandiosity and superficial charm and glibness and manipulativeness and lying and lack of remorse and callousness and so on.  And then finally you get to people who are clearly psychopathic by all the modern definitions.  Especially the serial killers and the ones who go in for prolonged torture.

Recorded on July 27, 2010

Interviewed by Max Miller

Psychiatrist Michael Stone explains his 22-point scale of evil, ranging from justified homicide to crimes so shocking and unspeakable they "take your breath away."

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How often do vaccine trials hit paydirt?

Vaccines find more success in development than any other kind of drug, but have been relatively neglected in recent decades.

Pedro Vilela/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Vaccines are more likely to get through clinical trials than any other type of drug — but have been given relatively little pharmaceutical industry support during the last two decades, according to a new study by MIT scholars.

Keep reading Show less

Women who go to church have more kids—and more help

Want help raising your kids? Spend more time at church, says new study.

Pixabay
Culture & Religion
  • Religious people tend to have more children than secular people, but why remains unknown.
  • A new study suggests that the social circles provided by regular church going make raising kids easier.
  • Conversely, having a large secular social group made women less likely to have children.
Keep reading Show less

Hints of the 4th dimension have been detected by physicists

What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?

Two different experiments show hints of a 4th spatial dimension. Credit: Zilberberg Group / ETH Zürich
Technology & Innovation

Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.

Keep reading Show less

Bubonic plague case reported in China

Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.

(Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Getty Images)
Coronavirus
  • The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
  • Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
  • Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast