Unique evil, death cults and War on Terror: Do these labels help?

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceResearch


Our time, this decade even, has shown us that man’s capacity for evil knows no limits. – Then United Nations’ Secretary-General Kofi Annan, 1997

Over the past few weeks leading up to the US-led bombing of Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) targets inside Syria, we have heard the term “evil” many times from our political leaders.

IS fighters have been called savage, barbaric, valueless – but what do these words mean to us? Why do people commit evil acts? Does evil have a real meaning or use in helping us understand human behaviour?

These questions and more have fascinated humankind for centuries and we are still struggling to find answers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2014


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