Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Lucifer Effect


This is part three of a series that has started in my head after the death of Qaddafi, which evoked something I have been thinking about a lot and a book came to the rescue. Part one is The Death Of Qaddafi  and two is Who Do We Hate ? And Why ?


How do you judge people? Don't pretend that you don't judge, we all do. So how do you judge them ? based on what ? most of us do so based on their actions, if they do good things then they are good and if they hurt others then they aren't and we would gladly call them "evil". We do it daily with dictators who kill their people, with rapists, killers, even normal people like you and you and you, cuz I wont judge me !!!.
But do you judge those who stop the evildoers like those who killed Qaddafi too ??


what do we know about the human nature?. How do people turn to good or bad ? How do they react in a good or bad way in the face of tragedies or with evildoers? 


The book that came to help, and believe me books can help you a lot in different parts of your life, is called "The Lucifer Effect, understanding How Good People Turn Evil" by Philip Zimbardo. If you ever heard his name then you would know that he is the one who staged " The Stanford Prison Experiment" . The book is trying to answer questions like "what makes good people do bad things" "how and why we are all susceptible to the lure of "the dark side" ..etc.? .


In the very first pages of the book, Zimbardo explains:
"The Lucifer Effect is my attempt to understand the processes of transformation at work when food or ordinary people do bad or evil things. We will deal with the fundamental question "what makes people go wrong?" but instead of resorting to a traditional religious dualism of good versus evil, of wholesome nature versus corruption nurture, we will look at real people engaged in life's daily tasks, enmeshed in doing their jobs, surviviing within an often turbulent crucible of human nature" and believe me the book has done so and much more. 






Its a big book of 550 pages and a big part of it is a detailed description of his Stanford Prison Experiment. you can read how normal people who were supposed to be prisoners and guards for only two weeks turned in the short time of one and two days to something evil and submissive. It explains a lot about what happens in our world and how do some can control others and how the rest can obey completely. Things we keep saying daily that we wont submit to, we wont let anyone treat us this way or that. I loved the part of the book that explains about "Crimes Against Humanity: Genocide, Rape, And Terror". Leave you wondering and in pain. 


What I love mostly is that unlike lots of psychologists, he doesn't judge, he simply explain to you the why's, the what's and the how's of our human nature. 


 The scariest thing  is that anyone of us can flip at any second if we don't be aware, awake, teach ourselves that we are all the same no matter what religion, race, country or gender we belong to. These things will help us realize that we can be on the good track. Cuz as much as it's scary to harm yourselves, it will always be horrifying to hurt and kill others. 


And keep praying it will help if you are a believer. 


More: Lucifer Effect
Lucifer
Lucifer Effect Overview

P.S: A free version of the book is available. 

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I've enjoyed your posts on these topics post-Gaddafi's death. So interesting!

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  2. Susanne,

    it's an amazing book, if you could get it don't let the chance of reading it pass you by. An eye opening book.

    And I am glad you are enjoying the posts, thanks a lot my dear :)

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  3. This books really thought-provoking! I loved learning about the Stanford Prison Experiment when we learned about the psychology of evil in my psychology class :)

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  4. Becky,

    it's one of the most amazing ones out there teaching you about the human nature and "how to not judge" cuz we all might react the same way the others did if we were in their shoes.

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