Arendt Essay Notes

Arendt Essay Notes - Essay Question: Due Tuesday, May 20 th...

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Essay Question: Due Tuesday, May 20 th Write a 5-6 page paper on the following: Arendt’s book is subtitled “a report on the banality of evil”. How is evil “banal” for her? Use examples from the text (just a few) to support your view. Compare Arendt’s view of evil with that of another author. Which view seems more important to you? Why? Notes: On “important” – More relevant, more rich and detailed, more applicable, more realistic according to your experiences (whichever one) I) Intro: a. Evil is horrendous. Evil is fearsome. Evil is disturbing. Evil is banal. Evil is such a fantastic, almost romantic concept, seemingly unimaginable in its most pure form, that one would never expect that perhaps it is, in actuality, commonplace, ordinary to our existence. (first name) Arendt proposed that evil is just this, that evil is banal. Her views can be hard to digest at times, because they are so terrifying to fathom, but also equally believable and, to a great extent, proven in the history and circumstances of the trial of Adolf Eichmann. That one man was head of the emigration of the Jews in Germany during WWII, and he ended up being responsible for millions of deaths by the end of the war. His is a story of a common man, a business man more or less, who, through common motives and common sense, perpetrated some of human history’s most gruesome atrocities. Eichmann’s particular case was rare, but many of the elements that made up his life were quite common. Though I won’t go into any detail concerning the life of Eichmann, I will, in this paper, tread upon some of the points made by Arendt in discussing his trial that display her theory on the banality of evil. II) How is evil “banal” for her? (separate points and put in examples throughout) a. According to Arendt, evil, defined in a sense as any intended act that is considered egregiously immoral, can be committed by any common person and even a whole population of like-minded common people. It is true that evil usually doesn’t rule a whole population, mainly because the law restricts and molds the people’s behavior. Though when law doesn’t have its rightful effect, in cases where people are given power to make orders that are above it or when the law of the land itself is immoral, evil can then rule in the general population. i. This usually starts with a few individuals, tyrants, the ruling elite who, through power, place themselves above the law. They then can charge orders to those below them that are conflicting or even contrary to the law. Though, according to Arendt, this might not necessarily cause a moral dilemma for those below them that are expected to conform to these corrupt demands. This is because they have been directed to commit immoral acts by those persons above them,
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Arendt Essay Notes - Essay Question: Due Tuesday, May 20 th...

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