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Are You Good or Evil

What is it that makes us good or evil? Scientists are daring to investigate this unsettling question, they’re trying to peel back the mask of the psychopathic killer. These are people who seem to lack any form of conscience, but what is it that separates us regular folk from these terrifying people. By exposing the biology that divides vice from virtue scientists reveal something about the good and evil that can be found in us all.

In this BBC Horizon episode, we meet the researchers who have studied some of these psychopathic killers from behind bars. Whilst conducting various tests one of the scientists, Professor Jim Fallon found himself flabbergasted when he discovered that he had the profile of a psychopath. Fallon is a neuroscientist at the University of California Irvine, and upon discovering a family link with the murderer Lizzie Borden he decided to analyses the brains and genomes of his close family. It was when he scanned his own brain he discovered he had this profile of a psychopath, but how come he himself didn’t turn out to be a killer? The answer to this holds some important lessons for us all.

We also meet the scientist who believes he has found the ‘moral molecule’ and the man who is using this new understanding to rewrite our ideas of crime and punishment. As we get to the end of this Horizon special it becomes more clear that our morals are influenced by a number of different factors such as our genetic makeup, our environment, neither of which are of our own choosing. If this is the case then does this mean we may not have free choice at all? This rather dramatic statement seems to go against the measured words of Waldroup’s forensic psychiatrist, who believes that while the presence of the so-called warrior gene can reduce free will, it does not take it away.

Directed by: Nikki Stockley

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  1. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion.

  2. Did you know… RACIST = MEANS = PATRIOT. AMERICANS CAN’T BE NEITHER. THEY ARE A MIX OF RACES. and they all need a good war sometimes) it’s this ANTI-SEMITISM all over JEWISH NEWS. so you are telling me THEY ARE DUMB? or bullshitting you? Scientists are daring to investigate this unsettling question, they’re trying to peel back the mask of the psychopathic killer.

  3. don’t you just want to kill these politicians with their families?)
    *MAKE LAWS YOURSELVES. ONLINE. Offer, bring a bill before the public and let the WHOLE NATION DECIDE on whether to ACCEPT IT OR NOT** the rich know what’s best for you. YOU ARE SICK, INCOMPETENT, AND INADEQUATE. ONLY THE RICH MAKE LAWS without government/president diplomas nor appropriate work experience.
    FORGET ABOUT VOTING, GOVERNMENTS AND PRESIDENTS or you will not make it)

  4. HENCE) EVERY VOTER IS A FUTURE CRIMINAL**** it’s this inborn predisposition to crime. PSYCHOLOGY

  5. FIRST YOU VOTE FOR EM) THEN THEY SEND COPS TO BEAT YOU AND ARREST YOU IF YOU PROTEST***

  6. GET RID OF THE CHURCH. we have scientists AND PSYCHOLOGISTS. how does this relate???????

  7. THEY MAKE LAWS AND SINS FOR YOU. AND PUSH YOU TO YOUR CRIMES. IN A PSYCHOLOGICALLY SCIENTIFIC WAY then, take your guns away) EVERYONE HAS BOILING POINTS

  8. You don’t go to jail while being at war with someone and killing your
    president’s enemies. you get awarded with medals and get called a hero.
    such people are called antisocial psychopaths by some psycho logists and
    get sent to jail. Only the rich make laws.