Extreme Perpetrators By William Andrew Myers Analysis

Decent Essays

William Andrew Myers, in his essay “Ethical Aliens: The Challenge of Extreme Perpetrators to Humanism” originally published in Colette Balmain and Lois Drawmer’s volume edition of Something Wicked This Way Comes: Essays on Evil and Human Wickedness (2009), examines “extreme perpetrators” and our need to recognize the human in them. Myers supports his idea of “extreme perpetrators” by defining these people through a few expert opinions, categorizing the three central culprits (murderous dictators, serial killers, and ideological killers), and reasons why we distance ourselves from them but should take the time to understand their differences from humane people. The purpose of Myers’ essay is not necessarily to defend dangerous murders’ actions …show more content…

The three emphasis in the theories of evil Myers refers to are the actual damage a person causes, the motivation, intention, and will behind their actions, and finally the feelings they have about their actions afterward. He uses these emphases to describe different levels or types of extreme perpetrators based on their actions, impact, and mental state.
3. Myers only wants to examine the acts of extreme perpetrators rather than take into account their motivations or emotions because we only consider their actions with a rare exception of blaming those actions on “judgments of [a] depraved character.” With ordinary perpetrators, we tend to access their moral character through their actions, motives, and feelings but it differs with the extreme offenders cause we do not sympathize with their actions, let alone them.
4. Myers believes serial killers have captured the public’s attention and imagination for many reasons. One of these undoubtedly is the fact that until serial killers are apprehended, they represent a time before the current generation, unknown, mysterious, and full of terror. The predators are secretive and sly, able to attack and strike fear into the hearts of a community, and this reason I why Myers believes that “the Other in its most threatening form” is such a captivating

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