This is quite a good Belmont Club thread. Be sure to read the comments too.
(One of the Belmont commenters mentions this video, which I liked, about evil and The Sopranos. I don’t think I’ve watched the show more than once, in part because I don’t watch much TV but also because I don’t find criminals appealing as subjects of drama. Or maybe I don’t want to find them appealing. Familiarity breeds contempt or at least nonchalance, and the phrases, “there but for the grace of God…” and “don’t go there” come to mind. One way to avoid heroin addiction is to avoid lesser drugs, because once you try the lesser drug and find that you are not immediately disabled by addiction it becomes easier to try heroin. Wretchard and the narrator of the YouTube video apply a variant of this theory to evil behavior. I think they have a point.)
(Cross posted at 26th Parallel.)