(This post is part of the Sinai and Synapses Discussion Forum — a collection of perspectives on specific topics. It is part of our Winter 2015 series, “Why Do People Do Bad (and Good) Things?“)

It’s easy to identify history’s evil geniuses—the Hitlers and Stalins—but who are the moral geniuses among us? And what does it take to be one? How can science and religion help us do great work in the world—and stop us from using our singular human intelligence for ill?

As part of the 92nd St. Y’s7 Days of Genius” Festival, Professor Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic magazine and author of The Moral Arc, and Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman, founding director of Sinai and Synapses, get to the very heart of right and wrong.