I believe there is no act so heinous that we couldn’t understand it if we could just truly know the person who committed it. If we could witness their childhood traumas, understand their genetic makeup, and immerse ourselves in their cultures and worldviews, we could understand the rationale for basically anything. It wouldn’t justify those actions, but it would explain them. To me, this is the core of compassion.
If we could just go all the way back through history, better understand our origins, our primate ancestors, our genetic makeup, and all the reasons why our cultures developed the way they did, even our darkest moments would make sense. All of the beliefs and behaviors we now deem so vile and unforgivable would seem not only reasonable, but perhaps inevitable, perhaps even necessary steps in our growth.