Evil: A Primer

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Overview

However we difine it, eveil does exist. Though sometimes called old-fashioned, the concept of evil has never actually gone awayu—and some believe that in today's world it is as strong as ever.

This insightful account of five thousand years of philosophy, theology, and himan history takes you on a tour of the nether regions to discover what we really know about evil.

So turn on all the lights and come along for...

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Overview

However we difine it, eveil does exist. Though sometimes called old-fashioned, the concept of evil has never actually gone awayu—and some believe that in today's world it is as strong as ever.

This insightful account of five thousand years of philosophy, theology, and himan history takes you on a tour of the nether regions to discover what we really know about evil.

So turn on all the lights and come along for the ride—if you dare.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Public policy analyst Hart (Arizona State Univ.) takes on the nastiest subject of all and finds it complex, slippery, and discomfiting-downright wicked, in a word. For his debut, the author employs a light, even frothy tone whose effervescence almost (but not quite) vitiates his intent. Like characters in an airplane disaster film, Plato and Kant, Hannah Arendt and George Bernard Shaw sit alongside Jerry Springer, Charles Manson, and Jerry Falwell in a literary work designed to be comfortable for everyone from professors and poets to couch potatoes and fundamentalist Christians. Hart begins with Americans' paradoxical attitude toward evil: our fear and revulsion exist simultaneously with our delight in it. We love movies with really bad guys, or even Satan himself; we demand that CNN cover celebrity murders 24/7. Hart eventually arrives at a definition of evil as "an intentional human act that causes extreme harm to innocents and attacks our basic moral order." He considers various explanations of how evil can exist in a world God created, examines Satan and other personifications of evil, and declares that he/she/it (probably) doesn't exist. Hart then turns to a discussion of how evolutionary biologists have come to understand evil: we're basically wild animals in clothes, and our jungle-and-savannah behavior remains with us because we haven't really had much time to mature. Cursing and lying get demoted in two clever, funny chapters. Our swearing is not very interesting or creative, Hart contends, and everyone lies, so how can such minor transgressions be evil? One of the best chapters concerns the widely held view that the US overflows with satanic cults. Not so, asserts the author,quoting one law-enforcement official who claimed there has not been a single documented murder ever committed by such a group. Men will not like his chapter about how they have demonized women throughout history. Entertaining and naughty, learned and light. (12 b&w photos)Agent: Flip Brophy/Sterling Lord Literistic
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567318180
  • Publisher: MJF Books
  • Publication date: 1/30/2007
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

William Hart is a former long-time newspaper reporter and editor who specialized in the coverage of criminal justice and mental health. He currently works as a public policy research analyst at Arizona State University and lives in Phoenix. This is his first book.

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Table of Contents

1 Where do we start? 1
2 Lazarus! come out! 23
3 The devil in decline 44
4 Survival of the worst 60
5 Postmodern demons 75
6 The monster within 89
7 Heinous, cruel, depraved 99
8 Pigs in your cemeteries 113
9 Good-bye, John Wayne 127
10 Evil becomes annoying 142
11 Ever since eve 160
12 The good news 172
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2009

    Decent Read

    It was a cool book to read.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 7, 2010

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    Posted July 23, 2009

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    Posted March 28, 2010

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