He thinks the word is a leftover from an ancient time and the concept should be rebranded as something new, something you should, well, buy his book about.
"I'm not satisfied with the term 'evil'," he told Reuters. "We've inherited this word.. and we use it to express our abhorrence when people do awful things, usually acts of cruelty, but I don't think it's anything more than another word for doing something bad. And as a scientist that doesn't seem to me to be much of an explanation. So I've been looking for an alternative -- we need a new theory of human cruelty."
Evil, he believes, can instead be fixed by education - yes, everyone can be rehabilitated - if evil acts are recognized as a lack of empathy. So a child rapist-murderer needs to be understood better, basically. He gets a little fuzzy, believing the world needs more empathy and if we had it, that minor issue between Arabs and Israelis would go away. You'd think they'd have plenty of empathy since both have been kicked out of their homes at various times.
"The Science of Evil" claims there are 10 regions in the brain which he terms an 'empathy circuit' and he also creates an Empathy Quotient and a scale of 0 to 6. What about those people at 0? They aren't evil, he says, they are 'disabled'.
Unfortunately for Osama bin Laden, this empathy quotient stuff comes out a few days too late. A new presidential candidate could have campaigned against Obama imperialism and said bin Laden was simply 'disabled'.