Does “being present” lead to evil?

Here is something that makes the Holocaust possible:

“Another factor that reduces self-control and fosters the crossing of moral boundaries is a certain kind of mental state. This state is marked by a very concrete narrow, rigid way of thinking, with the focus on the here and now, on the details of what one is doing. It is the state that characterizes someone who is fully absorbed in working with tools or playing a video game. One does not pause to reflect on broader implications or grand principles or events far removed in time (past or future).”

Unmasking Administrative Evil by Guy B. Adams and Danny L. Balfour

What does it really mean to be “present” and “in the moment”? When is it helpful? When isn’t it?

Chris Hsiung BSc. CPCC
HUMAN Venture Coaching

Chris Hsiung is the president of U Venture, a consulting practice that helps entrepreneurs and professionals develop their adaptive learning capacities to navigate uncertain times and build meaningful life ventures. He graduated with distinction from the University of Calgary in Electrical Engineering and is an internationally certified coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). He is also a student and teacher of curriculum at Leadership Calgary and at Momentum.

One Reply to “Does “being present” lead to evil?”

  1. This reminds me of the 2002 movie “Conspiracy”. In January of 1942, 15 of Adolf Hitler’s right-hand men gathered together for a special meeting in Wannsee, in which over the course of two hours they debated the pros and cons of Hitler’s latest directive and the best way to implement it. By the time they left, they had laid the practical groundwork for the “Final Solution,” with the execution of every Jewish person in Europe as their goal. A transcript of the meeting has survived, and that document provided the basis for the screenplay for Conspiracy, which dramatizes (in real time) the meeting that led to the greatest crime of the 20th century. (synopsis from All Movie Guide). It speaks to Chapter Three of Adams and Balfour’s book re: “legalizing” evil.

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