The Social Psychology of Good and Evil

By Arthur G. Miller | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14
BENEFITS AND LIABILITIES
OF EMPATHY-INDUCED ALTRUISM

C. DANIEL BATSON

NADIA AHMAD

E. L. STOCKS

One of life's lessons is that nothing is all good. Even chocolate cake has calories and cholesterol. This lesson makes us leery of terms such as good and evil, value assessments that present pure opposites. Has anyone ever seriously and sanely admitted to being evil? People admit to misbehavior, to moral shortcomings, even to crimes, but not to evil. Yet with increasing frequency political leaders and pundits are ready to apply this label to others with phrases such as “the Evil Empire,” “the Great Satan,” “a war between the forces of good and the forces of evil.” These labels are applied not simply to point out the others' shortcomings but to justify totally dismissing the others' point of view and agenda. Talk of good and evil is used to imply the speaker's own innocence, virtue, and license to punish, even to kill. Not surprisingly, those who bandy charges of evil are often seen as the very incarnation of evil by the targets of their epithets. To avoid fanning these flames of moral one-upsmanship that blind more than illumine, we shall speak not of good and evil, but of benefits and liabilities.

Most people, if asked, would probably say that altruism is all good. But having learned life's lesson that nothing is all good, they might also quickly add that altruism does not really exist; it is too good to be true. We believe that there is now rather clear evidence that each of these an-

-359-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Social Psychology of Good and Evil
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 498

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.