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May 05, 2017 07:25 AM EDT

Princeton University Explains Why Bad Things Happen To Good People [VIDEO]

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Unnecessary Suffering
Community members grieve during a vigil for Alton Sterling, the black man killed by local police, on May 2, 2017 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Princeton University tries to explain why bad things happen to good people in one of its classes.
(Photo : Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Christian Wildberg, a professor of classics, teaches the course "From Pandora to Psychopathy: Conceptions of Evil from Antiquity to the Present" at Princeton University. In it, the participants question one of the most intriguing concepts anyone could raise in humanities: Moral Evil.

According to Princeton University, this class helps students articulate their own "thoughts, worries, and existential concerns."Wildberg's childhood experiences during the World War II sparked the idea for this course. He began teaching it only last year.

The lectures take place in McCosh 10, a large lecture hall that can easily accommodate the 223 students in WIldberg's class. The professor noted that he was not surprised by the high enrollment numbers because he believes that humanistic inquiry is important to everyone. Simply put, he stressed that the youth is hungry to make sense of the world they live in.

For one thing, Wildberg described evil as a "human activity" in thought, deed, or word that inflicts "unnecessary suffering" on other human beings. He then asked his students to look closely to each word used in the definition. Thus, one student asked about the phrase "unnecessary suffering".

Why do good people need to suffer things they do not deserve? Why do bad things happen to good people? to An indirect answer pulled from historical data was presented. Well, in ancient Egypt, people kill servants and put them in the tomb with the pharaohs or their masters. For them, it was not evil that time, but for modern people, it is.

With that idea in mind, does the meaning of evil change through time? Wildberg explained that "maybe" the Egyptians who committed the killings did not experience it as committing a crime. The pharaohs, meanwhile, could have thought that they were doing the right thing. Nevertheless, the relatives of the innocent victims must have been really devastated.

For the record, the readings range from the Bible to the Greek mythology. Also, it tackles the teachings of famous philosophers like Plato, Augustine, Kant, Nietzsche, and Hanna Arendt. Lastly, guest speakers discussed the practices of various world religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

On the other hand, per University Herald, the Princeton Class of 2021 is gearing up to enter the campus this fall. Apparently, it is highly likely for them to take Wildberg's class too. For now, the freshmen may look for more information about the University on its "Your Path to Princeton" website. The process of logging in is indicated in the previous report.

© 2017 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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