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Bettijane Levine & Eli Wiesel on Evil

The LA Times (December 1, 1999).

After years spent studying the world’s great philosophers and writers, of poring over the Bible, Talmud, Torah and other ancient texts, of discussions with inspired social and religious leaders, [Eli] Wiesel
still has no answer to the question of what makes people good or evil. “I can give all the usual answers — education, home, parents, peer pressure. But these are just factors. The mystery of why people become
good or evil is still just that — a mystery.” But he has thought of one “rational approach” to ensuring more goodness in humanity. It is respect. “If I respect The Other for whatever The Other is, and The Other respects me for whatever I am, then there can be understanding and even great friendship between all people.”