Why Does Evil Exist: Introduction (02:18)
Morgan Freeman speaks about his childhood in the South and his first encounters with racism. He asks why should evil exist. This program will explore questions around the concept of evil.
Talking to a Killer (04:16)
Some believe that evil is something outside of us while others believe it comes from within. Freeman and neuroscientist Kent Kiehl talk with a psychopathic killer, who explains that he committed his crimes because he could not stop himself; he does not feel emotions like everybody else.
Brain of a Psychopath (02:47)
Psychopaths lack empathy and impulse control. Kiehl studied the brains of hundreds of psychopathic criminals and found differences between them and "normal" people. Freeman wonders if we still have choice.
Judging Souls (05:07)
Egyptologist Salima Ikram shows Freeman an illustration in the tomb of Menna, where his heart is weighed on a scale to determine how good he was in life. Freeman says this may be the beginning of Judeo-Christian ideas about the judgment of good and evil.
Original Sin (03:57)
Rev. Kutter Callaway explains that the Christian idea of original sin is an urge or impulse passed down through generations, suggesting that evil is inherent; the Devil is metaphorical and literal.
Hindu Concept of Evil (07:14)
Hindus believe that when someone dies tragically or unhappy, their souls become angry and haunt their descendants, creating evil. In the temple of Pishach Mochan, people come for exorcisms and healing rituals to appease dead ancestors. V.A. Vidya tells Freeman that there is no dichotomy between good and evil in Hindu belief.
Zoroastrian View of Evil (06:44)
Zoroaster said that to defeat evil, God would battle the Devil. This idea of evil being an outside force influenced Judeo-Christian beliefs. Current Zoroastrian belief posits that the struggle between good and evil is internal and persona agency can make a person good.
Evil Experiment (04:58)
Psychologist Jesse Bering believes that people need a belief in an outside force to keep evil in check. He performed an experiment with children, where one group was on their best behavior believing there was a supernatural being watching them and the other group cheated.
Getting Rid of Evil (04:13)
Freeman questions if faith can lead to redemption from evil. Tibetan Buddhists use ritual to purge evil from their minds. Kiehl says that science may lead to the prevention of evil by studying the brain.
Interview with a Skinhead (04:59)
Freeman meets Bryon Widner, who tells how he became a Nazi skinhead and how his life and attitude changed when he had a child and found faith. Widner removed tattoos from his face and body to reject his past.
Containing Evil (03:27)
Freeman tells Widner that he and his story represent hope that people can change and evil can be contained. Hope is at the core of Christianity, but we need to know evil to be able to express kindness, mercy, and forgiveness.
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