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I have seen some real evil acts. And I almost lost confidence in humanity.

Why do we become so evil sometimes that hurts other people?

I guess everybody knows the Renaissance novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. There in the story, it is depicted how a person from the lowest echelon of the society stole a loaf of bread because his sister's child was hungry and how he was punished for years in hard labor during the industrial revolution.

So evil or injustice reveals itself such sometimes that we are compelled to question why? Why do we have to be so evil when we have this beautiful world just in front of us? Is it because of how our brain chemicals perceive things sometimes?

If a person is envious or jealous or has unjust anger and an MRI could be done right at that instance, would it show why we are evil?

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MVR there are many hormones within us that motivate behaviours that served a purpose in previous (phylogenetic) environments that in our modern society may appear to be evil.

Oxytocin for example (the so called love hormone) spikes before conflict, and one of the biggest dopamine hits we can ever experience is by punishing someone.

Sapolsky 2017 - Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

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There's also the work done by psychiatrist Daniel Amen. In his Ted talk [on YouTube] he describes having done about 80000 brain scans. He seriously puts forward the idea that criminality in many cases could be fixed by a brain scan, finding an abnormal growth, and removing or reducing it. He says that all his scans have let him to the opinion that the prison system should do such an assessment of the brain.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have any references to reputable articles covering this? $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Nov 28 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ Not offhand. But his Wikipedia entry does have a list of his publications. $\endgroup$ – Snack_Food_Termite Nov 28 at 20:37

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