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I really need someone to talk to about the lucifer affect 
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Post I really need someone to talk to about the lucifer affect
I am 19 so reading a book of this caliber has proven difficult, I have had to slowly work my way through what I have read so far looking things up, I have also started a vocab list in google docs, along with a research document that I save everything I have had to research to understand the book. Philip thankfully wrote the book well enough, and I am making it through it although at a slow pace. Would love someone to talk to about it.



Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:39 pm
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Post Re: I really need someone to talk to about the lucifer affect
Lol, this is gunna sound crazy but authors are usually pretty cool people. Have you tried emailing him some questions? They come on here to discuss books often. I haven't read this particular book but it looks very interesting! Have you tried doing a search of the forum to see if it's been discussed before? That could help, too.



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Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:59 pm
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Post Re: I really need someone to talk to about the lucifer affect
Ya, I definitely am going to shoot him an email when I'm done with his book, maybe even call him up. I'm actually going to college to be a director of video and film, its amazing how nice other directors of big name documentaries have been with me, one even invited me to come edit a film with her for a day. I've read over some forums about the book, I want someone to IM about it.



Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:39 pm
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Post Re: I really need someone to talk to about the lucifer affect
This book looks fascinating to me. I purchased it today and plan on starting it on Monday. I will be happy to discuss it with you as I go.



Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:50 am
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Post Re: I really need someone to talk to about the lucifer affect
Ya, I can't put it down! I haven't been this into a book since Harry Potter, would love to discuss it with you.



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Post Re: I really need someone to talk to about the lucifer affect
I am truly looking forward to it. I suggest that we continue our discussion via this forum so that we can share with the site and invite further feedback, ideas, and inspiration. How far have you gotten in the book?



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Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:13 pm
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Post Re: I really need someone to talk to about the lucifer affect
I must say that this book is making for interesting reading. My favorite aspect of reading (fiction and non-fiction) is to explore the circumstances that motivate behavior. Certainly this book gives a perspective that is not too frequently discussed given he is a social psychologist and the western world tends to favor an individualistic view. It is fascinating to look at atrocities and how people who showed no prior inclination towards violence will not only act violently in those conditions, but also stop as soon as those circumstances have ended. There is much material available regarding soldiers and this phenomenon.

That having been said, I find myself uncomfortable with some of his statements and conclusions.

“Let us begin with a definition of evil. Mine is a simple, psychologically based one: Evil consists of intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, or destroy innocent others – or using one’s authority and systemic power to encourage or permit others to do so your behalf. In short, it is ‘Knowing better and doing worse.’” – The Lucifer Effect, Phillip Zimbardo.

Given that this is his definition of evil, I do not see how he wishes to diminish the personal accountability of the individuals who commit the acts. He is in no way arguing that falling into a violent community causes an individual to believe that their actions are good. If they know they are being evil, then there is a choice to behave that way. Undoubtedly it is easier to behave in evil ways during times when such behavior, prevalent, and encouraged by authorities. However, easier does not mean inevitable. There are people who do not commit crimes in these times.

As a counterpoint –
“Sickness is a condition. Evil is a behavior. Evil is always a matter of choice. Evil is not thought; it is conduct. And that conduct is always volitional. And just as evil is always a choice, sickness is always the absence of choice. Sickness happens. Evil is inflicted. Until we perceive the difference clearly, we will continue to give aid and comfort to our most pernicious enemies. We, as a society, decide whether something is sick or evil. Either decision confers an obligation upon us. Sickness should be treated. Evil must be fought.” – The Difference Between "Sick" and "Evil", By Andrew Vachss Originally published in Parade, July 14, 2002

There is much in this book I believe is worth looking at, and I am hoping to learn more about what you wished to discuss further.



Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:36 am
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Post Re: I really need someone to talk to about the lucifer affect
Yes, please have your discussion about the book right here in this forum. We talked about this book several years ago. That is why this forum exists.

Email the author at zim@stanford.edu


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