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The Nature of Good and Evil

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What drives good behavior? It could be the satisfying feeling of helping others or, in many cases, there are even more alluring incentives to do the right thing. Is the value of goodness lessened when there is a reward involved? Host Frank Stasio talks about the many motivations for being good, being evil and finding the balance in between with Ruth Grant, a professor of political science and philosophy at Duke University and a senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and author of "Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives" (Princeton University Press/2011); Sam Wells, dean of Duke University Chapel and a research professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School; and Katy Munger, a Durham-based novelist. Listener Call-in.

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.