The Moral Psychology of Good and Evil | Online Assignment Help

Question 1:
Analyse the Milgram obedience experiment and the Stanford prison experiment from
the perspectives of competing theories of evil. Which theory of evil provides the most
convincing account of moral evil and the most plausible analysis of the Stanford and
Milgram experiments?
Make sure you address the following issues and questions in your discussion:
• The view that there are many roots to evil. Can ordinary motives lead to evil?
• The distinction between evil actions and evil persons. Is the conduct of the
participants in the experiments evil? Are the participants evil people?
• The influence of situational factors on evil conduct. Is context generally more
important than character in explaining evil? Why/Why not?
Question 2:
“In the afternoon of July 22, 2011, Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 persons,
many of them children and youths, in two separate events. On August 24, 2012, he was
sentenced to 21 years in prison. Breivik went through two forensic evaluations: the first
concluded that he had a psychotic disorder, thus being legally unaccountable, whereas
the second concluded that he had a personality disorder [narcissistic personality
disorder], thus being legally accountable.” (Melle, 2013, p.16)
Breivik’s testimony suggests that he acted in accordance with his moral
conscience: he believed he had a moral duty to act in the way he did. Compare his
case to that of the psychopaths discussed by Hare and to the case of the killer
Robert Harris. What do you think are the main differences in moral psychology
between a killer such as Breivik, who is not a psychopath, and the psychopathic
killers we have discussed? What implications do such differences have for moral
judgement and motivation and for ascriptions of moral responsibility?
In addressing this topic, consider the following issues and questions.
i) To what extent should ascriptions of moral responsibility and moral evil be sensitive
to diagnoses of mental illness or disease? Is it important to determine whether a killer’s
conduct is the result of mental illness or a problem of moral character when making
assessments of moral responsibility?
ii) Is mental illness, in Strawson’s terms, a general exempting condition? Are
unfortunate childhood circumstances a general exempting condition? What are the
implications of your answers for ascriptions of moral responsibility to killers such as
Breivik and Harris?

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