The case studies of Albert Speer, Charles Colcock Jones, and Franz Stangl illustrate ways in which people can engage in moral evasion. Moral evasion comes in many forms, such as self-deception, wishful thinking, and rationalization. Stangl refused to engage with the full horror of what he was doing by refusing to use his imagination in thinking about hypothetical scenarios, using a highly rule-bound conception of duty, and compartmentalizing his thought. All of Stangl’s strategies are mirrored in those we often use in thinking about our treatment of nonhuman animals. Speer engaged in belief avoidance: by focusing on the demands of his job, he was able to avoid knowing what he could easily have come to know. Jones engaged in wishful compromise: he convinced himself that by becoming a missionary to the slaves he was taking the best route that he could within the confines of an evil institution.
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