This is the title for Michael Shermer’s May Skeptic column for Scientific American.
A the title suggests, the text explores the tipping point between a moralistic elevation or a stumble into the pits of evil.
Shermer brings the example an incident captured on a cctv camera in a subway station, showing a woman being pushed from the platform onto the rails by another man. The next thing that happens, is the arrival of a man who witnessed the incident from the other end of the platform, reaching straight to the assailant, hitting and punching him for his aggression. Only then, he attends to the lady who’s been lying on the rails, vulnerable to a potentially lethal arrival of a train.
This course of events, raises many questions about our instinctive view of right and wrong and our inherent sense of justice. The surprising results of an experiment with babies, shed some light on a possible explanation for this behavior.
unfortunately, a YouTube video which relates to the text, and eventually to my illustration, had been removed and can no longer be watched. However, the text in the article describes the sequence of events in a clear manner.