New evidence recently has emerged in the fields of neurology and psychology which suggests that psychopathic behavior is a predictable and scarcely preventable manifestation of a damaged brain, revealed by callous and unemotional traits detectable in children even at a very young age. These findings have re-awakened age-old discussions about the relationship between free will and the commission of terrible wrongdoing. For example, subscribers to the Manichean model of evil, many of whom are attracted to a theology heavily reliant on the Book of Revelation, are prone to interpret favorably new research which supports the notion that psychopathic behavior results from defective brains, seeing it as further evidence of Satan acting in the world.
On Nov. 9 Andrew Flescher, Ph.D., will present and evaluate this new “Manichean” challenge to standard (e.g. Kantian) accounts of evil that tend to rely, among other things, on a robust sense of personal responsibility.
Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., specializing in religion, ethics, and medical humanities and the co-director for the Masters Program in Compassionate Care, Bioethics, and Medical Humanities. He currently serves on the Stony Brook Hospital Ethics Committee and Organ Donor Council.
The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online here.