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  #1  
Old 10-02-2008, 12:24 PM
cainxinth cainxinth is offline
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Do you believe some people are innately evil?

The question isn't whether you think people are basically good or basically evil, it's whether you believe some people are born innately evil. Second question, do you believe some people whether they are born that way or not are completely evil?
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2008, 12:33 PM
cainxinth cainxinth is offline
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BTW, use the dictionary definition of evil in making your answer:

1. morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked
2. harmful; injurious
3. characterized by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous
4. due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character
5. marked by anger, irritability, irascibility
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2008, 12:46 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cainxinth View Post
The question isn't whether you think people are basically good or basically evil, it's whether you believe some people are born innately evil.
Some people appear to be born with naturally psychopathic/predatory personalities. Whether that qualifies them as "Evil" or just predatory I don't know, it would defend on your definition of evil. Since "evil" is usually considered to be a choice, one could argue that anyone born that way can't be evil regardless of how dangerous they are. Certainly, some people do seem to be born fitting definitions 2-5 that you quoted; # 1 is debatable for the reason I mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cainxinth View Post
Second question, do you believe some people whether they are born that way or not are completely evil?
No, no more than they are completely good. You don't find perfection in the real world. I recall a line I heard shortly after 9-11, in response to the claim that Osama Bin Laden being 'pure evil'; "Nonsense. If he's ever so much as casually petted the head of a goat, he's not 'pure evil'. " I can't really see a real world person being so ideologically dedicated to evil that they scrutinize and target every action to ensure maximum harm to everyone. That's more like something a fantasy world character would do, like a D & D Drow perhaps, or a demon; not a real person.
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  #4  
Old 10-02-2008, 12:48 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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No. I don't believe in evil, especially in the supernatural sense of the word. I believe that people do things in their own self-interest, which is sometimes not aligned with society's best interest. And I believe that some people have bad wiring or were raised poorly. But born to be evil? Nope.
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2008, 02:16 PM
control-z control-z is offline
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Yes. Some, not many.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2008, 03:20 PM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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No, I think people are innately good.
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  #7  
Old 10-02-2008, 03:23 PM
FallenAngel FallenAngel is offline
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I don't think anyone is born inherently good or evil. Both are taught by experience and response/reward.

Some people become models of compassion. Some become sociopaths. Most of us are somewhere in the middle.
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  #8  
Old 10-02-2008, 03:27 PM
gurujulp gurujulp is offline
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Nope-

I believe that people are completely amoral at birth, and then you add in all the nurture and the sprinkling of natural talent with which we all try to sort our psyches out-

with mixed results.

I believe that a dedicated evil could probably be much more beneficial to the long term needs of a majority, but that with amorality and personal self interest we have the ability to bounce off each other in reactions [that while completly self absorbed and meant to cause little to no interaction at all with another being] are viewed as intensely negative.

I have been reviled more by complete strangers for actions I don't even recall taking, yet would not deny occurred, than by people to whom I was intentionally trying to cause difficulty.
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2008, 08:50 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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For most of my life I was dead certain that no one was truly evil... until I had a run-in with someone who was.

I have no idea if she was "born that way" or not, and don't really care, but I do know that she cultivated her manipulation skills. And no, I don't think she was setting out to "be evil" (as if that's a goal in itself), but she would do whatever it took to gain any actual or perceived advantage to herself that she could. Power, attention, money, sex, whatever. And to hell with whomever she thought was in her way. She knew she was hurting others, she just didn't care. It was all about getting what she wanted.

She had no excuse for any of this. Good childhood, never been abused as a child or as an adult, no personal tragedy or trauma, no one to warp her mind in any way, surrounded by lots of people who adored her. Somewhere along the way she got herself this giant inflated sense of entitlement.

Last edited by Kaio; 10-02-2008 at 08:54 PM..
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  #10  
Old 10-02-2008, 09:34 PM
sunstone sunstone is offline
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How we are raised mostly determines how good/evil we are, but there are some folks with either chemical or genetic aberrations that cause an evil or sociopathic personality bent.

Fortunately these folks aren't common.
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  #11  
Old 10-02-2008, 09:54 PM
fluiddruid fluiddruid is offline
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I don't believe that people are 'good' or 'evil'. I do believe that there are people who are, through no choice of their own but due to mental illness, do not have the capacity to develop as emotionally and morally stable adults. These people would probably be called intrinsically evil by the average person.

This is probably more common than we think. I've met, and was (for a short time) friends with, someone who I believe now to be a sociopath. We had long discussions and he really did not understand things like altruism and friendship. As far as he was concerned, he was friends with someone as long as it was mutually beneficial or entertaining, and put in no more than he expected in return. Giving to charity or treating someone with kindness without benefit were, to him, utter foolishness. He used people for entertainment, sex, or whatever, with no remorse and no understanding why anyone else wouldn't do the exact same thing. He had a furious temper if crossed. In the end, he managed to alienate nearly all of his friends in college (and he had none left from high school). I found it very sad, but I wanted nothing more to do with him, either.
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  #12  
Old 10-02-2008, 10:06 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by control-z View Post
Yes. Some, not many.
I would agree, except I fear it's more than people think. But not so many as to prevent me from trusting in the Good. I've developed quite a sense for the evil ones over the years and distance myself from them pronto once detected.
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  #13  
Old 10-02-2008, 10:49 PM
phil417 phil417 is offline
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Born evil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cainxinth View Post
BTW, use the dictionary definition of evil in making your answer:

1. morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked
2. harmful; injurious
3. characterized by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous
4. due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character
5. marked by anger, irritability, irascibility
No, I don't believe that any baby is born evil. I do believe that God gives charge of every baby born to a Angel, and that that Angel can influence a baby's life. I also believe in free will.

Granted, this doesn't explain or try to understand why abortions or abuse happen. This doesn't explain why babies suffer or die. This doesn't explain why they may grow up to do evil things. I don't have an answer for that. I suppose only God does.

As y'all know, I'm only a Grandmom. I can only do my best for mine, & for any others I can influence.

Love, Phil
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  #14  
Old 10-02-2008, 10:52 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I guess it sometimes all comes down to: "Shit happens."
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  #15  
Old 10-02-2008, 10:55 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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No. I'm an atheist and don't believe in "evil". I do believe in shitty parents and/or shitty genes.
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  #16  
Old 10-02-2008, 10:58 PM
Kozmik Kozmik is offline
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Ever read Lord of the Flies. I think that evil emerges from a secluded group, that is, everyone is or becomes evil. Different teams: Good, Evil. Somewhat like that.

Game theory and Richard Dawkins might have something to say on the question of evil. What if you had a set of boys that were all inherently evil? Would some pretend to be good, ie. hawks and doves in game theory.
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  #17  
Old 10-02-2008, 11:09 PM
Vox Imperatoris Vox Imperatoris is offline
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I believe in free will, so no, no one is born evil in the sense that he can never be good. However, some people are naturally more disposed to be good or evil than others. I'm not sure that it would be fair to call sociopaths evil, since they are founded on a completely different moral center than the rest of us. But even a sociopath can, if not feel empathy, understand why it's important, just as a successful narcissist figures out that it is not a good idea to let everyone know he thinks he better than he.

If people can be innately evil with no hope of redemption, then that validates predestination, which I find to be a completely horrifying outlook on God and morality.

Valete,
Vox Imperatoris
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  #18  
Old 10-02-2008, 11:38 PM
sovtawen sovtawen is offline
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There are plenty of bad apples out there, but I don't think they're evil. Weak, cruel, or willfully ignorant, maybe, but not evil. They're mainly products of their environment, and I feel bad that the kind of conditions that can produce a human scumbag are so common.

I don't want to rule out genetics, but I think even a person with bad genes can often grow into a good person under the right conditions. But you can take a genetically perfect baby, turn her over to neglectful, cruel, parents, and it's likely that she'll grow up to be a burden on society.

If there is a such thing as evil, it's not a person or group of people, but a destructive ideology (like Islamic or Cristian fundamentalism, or the belief in racial supremacy). I don't really blame the followers of these belief systems as much I do the beliefs themselves. The only thing the followers are guilty of is being too gullible and failing to question authority figures who spoon feed them these ideas, and most of us (even on this board) are guilty of that from time to time.
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  #19  
Old 10-03-2008, 07:46 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Well, we do know some (all?) people are born with innate tendencies. If someone can be born a math genius, what's to rule out someone being born an evil genius?

Two evil geniuses both become successful businessmen and are seen as good family men. One hires prostitutes and beats them up, the other rapes, tortures and kills one hundred women. Who is better?

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 10-03-2008 at 07:47 AM..
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  #20  
Old 10-03-2008, 08:13 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaio View Post
For most of my life I was dead certain that no one was truly evil... until I had a run-in with someone who was.
I am fascinated by this and want to learn more. The generous side of me is curious as to why she turned out that way. Borderline personality, perhaps? The wickeder part of me just wants to be entertained with a little RO.

What are some examples of things she would do?
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  #21  
Old 10-03-2008, 08:31 AM
Jayn_Newell Jayn_Newell is offline
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I don't know about evil per se. Certainly some people are amoral, and others work by a moral code that may be considered evil. I don't know that being evil is an intrinsic human attribute, but the sociopaths and fanatics of the world come damn close.
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  #22  
Old 10-03-2008, 08:40 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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I do know that some people never quite "get" the concept of "there are other people in this world and they deserve respect and consideration." Some don't even get the concept of "there are other people in this world and, since some of them are good at their work, mine would be easier if I used them."

Whether that makes them evil or not, depends on your definition of evil. Whether it can be an inborn limitation or is always a consequence of their environment, remind me to ask God when I see Him.

Last edited by Nava; 10-03-2008 at 08:44 AM..
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  #23  
Old 10-03-2008, 09:00 AM
Frustrated Wonderer Frustrated Wonderer is offline
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Yes.
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  #24  
Old 10-03-2008, 09:08 AM
Mojo Pin Mojo Pin is offline
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I think Der Trihs pretty much nailed it in one, and especially made one point that I think is interesting:
Quote:
Since "evil" is usually considered to be a choice, one could argue that anyone born that way can't be evil regardless of how dangerous they are.
One might take that thought one step further and wonder if anyone born 'evil' or influenced during life to become 'evil' can be blamed for their actions. So some fucker like Albert Fish is evil by a dictionary definition, but if everything from his genetic makeup to his environment and developmental experiences conspired to make him so, kinda makes you wonder if he had any more choice in the matter than a leaf blowing in the wind. Everyone acts in their self interests, and if I'm not a mass murderer, it's only because for a number of reasons I ultimately do not want to be one. Somebody might give to charity for the warm fuzzies it gives her or any other reason, but that's only because what she gets out of it is worth more to her than the dollars/effort she puts in. Somebody else might spend money on prostitutes and then kill them for the exact same reason, the only difference being that their innate preferences have been set differently, for I guess genetic and environmental reasons (I assume one can't choose to be aroused by murder any more than one can choose to be gay). One is unluckier than the other I would say, but evil?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaio
She had no excuse for any of this. Good childhood, never been abused as a child or as an adult, no personal tragedy or trauma, no one to warp her mind in any way, surrounded by lots of people who adored her. Somewhere along the way she got herself this giant inflated sense of entitlement.
Maybe that was the problem. Personal tragedy and trauma aren't the only things that can twist someone. And that's part of what gives me pause about labeling someone innately evil--we are all too often molded by things out of our control.
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  #25  
Old 10-03-2008, 09:12 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Yes. Just like some people are innately tall or innately blue-eyed.
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  #26  
Old 10-03-2008, 09:37 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Nature vs. nurture (heredity vs. environment) has been argued for centuries, but one thing is certain: We do not have a way to give a person a conscience. If they don't develop one by the age of 4 or 5, they are scarred for life.

Evil is when you know that what you are doing is wrong, but you just don't give a damn.
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  #27  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:17 AM
Vihaga Vihaga is offline
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Originally Posted by sovtawen View Post
I don't want to rule out genetics, but I think even a person with bad genes can often grow into a good person under the right conditions. But you can take a genetically perfect baby, turn her over to neglectful, cruel, parents, and it's likely that she'll grow up to be a burden on society.
There was a European adoption study out years ago that showed adoptees having similar criminal records to their biological rather than adoptive parents. I found a Science article from 1984 about it; they saw a correlation in non-violent criminal activity between biological parents and offspring, and between siblings adopted to different families, but not with the adopted parents. I can't find whether anyone's done a follow-up. Of course, that's non-violent, rather than violent crimes (where they saw no correlations). It's also a very old (but very large, at 14 thousand people) study. I don't know how rigorous it is, as I only skimmed it, but I thought it was interesting.

My belief: "Evil" usually isn't a genetic trait, but a social one. However, a lot of the temperament factors that make someone more or less prone to "evil" behavior (risk taking, fearfulness, empathy) may very well be genetic. I do, however, think that similar environments are going to affect different innate personal traits in different ways. I also think there exists a small percentage of the population who, through some combination of nature and nurture, are never going to be able to function peacefully in society, no matter what we try to do to help them. I guess that might count.
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  #28  
Old 10-03-2008, 11:50 AM
Rocketeer Rocketeer is offline
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Nice job of summarizing, there, Vihaga. I agree with you.
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  #29  
Old 10-03-2008, 01:27 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
No. I'm an atheist and don't believe in "evil". I do believe in shitty parents and/or shitty genes.
I find it weird how many people are saying that they don't believe in evil because they don't believe in the supernatural. I don't believe evil is supernatural. It's entirely man-made.
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  #30  
Old 10-03-2008, 01:30 PM
control-z control-z is offline
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I'm not religious but I believe if there IS a Satan he's not the evil fire-breathing demon portrayed by modern Christians, I think he's more a freedom-loving Libertarian.
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  #31  
Old 10-03-2008, 01:46 PM
YoudNeverGuess YoudNeverGuess is offline
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Yes. I was. MWAHhahahaaaaaaaa!



But seriously, no. I don't believe anyone is absolutely good or absolutely evil. Actions can be good or evil but not people, and even then one's judgement of whether an action is good or evil depends on one's moral frames of reference.

Genes might dictate to a certain extent how prone someone may be to being irritable or quick to anger or strong-willed but human behaviour does not occur in a vacuum. We learn how society expects us to behave, and we decide whether it is in our best interests to go along with this or not. We make a choice.

Saying someone is innately evil absolves them of their 'evil' or cruel deeds. Unless they are seriously mentally retarded I believe everyone should be held accountable for their own actions.
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  #32  
Old 10-03-2008, 01:48 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
I am fascinated by this and want to learn more. The generous side of me is curious as to why she turned out that way. Borderline personality, perhaps? The wickeder part of me just wants to be entertained with a little RO.

What are some examples of things she would do?
I appreciate your curiosity, but it's extremely personal and what she did to me is still a very sore subject. Suffice it to say, she thought I was in her way for reasons I still don't understand, and she was able to manipulate literally scores of people, who were smart enough to know better, to get me out of the way. It had an extremely negative cascade effect on the rest of my life, and I had started out in a very bad place already, but she didn't care about that. She kept going for more than a year.

She had told me, and I believed her, that we were friends before all this happened. She'd been pulling the strings on all this for more than three months before I found out it was her -- she'd been "being my friend" the entire time. It was a huge betrayal. I'm still absolutely appalled at the power she had over other people. They weren't stupid, but they bought what she said without question.
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  #33  
Old 10-03-2008, 02:16 PM
Don't fight the hypothetical Don't fight the hypothetical is offline
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This young gentleman is trying to make the case.
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  #34  
Old 10-03-2008, 05:20 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by phil417 View Post
No, I don't believe that any baby is born evil. I do believe that God gives charge of every baby born to a Angel, and that that Angel can influence a baby's life. I also believe in free will.

Granted, this doesn't explain or try to understand why abortions or abuse happen. This doesn't explain why babies suffer or die. This doesn't explain why they may grow up to do evil things. I don't have an answer for that. I suppose only God does.

As y'all know, I'm only a Grandmom. I can only do my best for mine, & for any others I can influence.

Love, Phil
So when my six-year-old kid died, where was his angel?
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:01 PM
chacoguy chacoguy is online now
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So when my six-year-old kid died, where was his angel?


You can't be serious. When Grandma wants to go to the pit, she'll ask for your hand.
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  #36  
Old 10-03-2008, 07:17 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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You can't be serious. When Grandma wants to go to the pit, she'll ask for your hand.

Looking over my earlier post, I think you may be reading it as my describing my son as evil. I am not. I am saying that the pointless, purposeless, entirely unjust suffering of children is one of the many things that militate against the existence of a beneficient god.
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  #37  
Old 10-03-2008, 07:20 PM
chacoguy chacoguy is online now
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Fine, just don't pick your fights with grandparents; it's beneath you.
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  #38  
Old 10-03-2008, 07:27 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Fine, just don't pick your fights with grandparents; it's beneath you.
I have no idea what you are talking about.
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  #39  
Old 10-03-2008, 08:34 PM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is online now
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Originally Posted by cainxinth View Post
Do you believe some people are innately evil?


Stop Picking On Sarah Palin...! Mwaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!
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  #40  
Old 10-04-2008, 07:47 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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I've studied serial killers for years, and I've never read about having two in the same family. Even a folie a deux is rare among relatives.

Obviously it has to be more than just environment.
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  #41  
Old 10-04-2008, 07:57 AM
ivan astikov ivan astikov is offline
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Originally Posted by Don't fight the hypothetical View Post
This young gentleman is trying to make the case.
Thing is, kids don't develop ideas like that in a vacuum. Either something he saw, or experienced has inspired that outburst of malevolence, and his parents sound a big part of his problems on the scanty evidence available.
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  #42  
Old 10-04-2008, 09:08 AM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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I hope you take this as a compliment.... Der Trihs, I am amazed that I can so thoroughly agree with you here.
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  #43  
Old 10-04-2008, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cainxinth View Post
it's whether you believe some people are born innately evil.
Yes. I've come across enough people who are just plain nasty through and through, and when you look at their histories, they've been nasty from the start.
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  #44  
Old 10-04-2008, 01:17 PM
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I remember once seeing some afternoon afternoon-tabloid style talk show (Maury Povich or something), and there was this little girl (about 9 or 10) who I think was, for all intents and purposes, evil. I don't believe that this little girl was sociopathic, as sociopathy is a mental illness that can be treated. Plus, most sociopaths don't like pain if they can avoid it (read on). No, I think she was just plain evil.

This little girl's parents were at their wits' end. She terrorized her siblings (as in, beat the shit out of them, with her fists, with her shoes, with kitchen utensils, with whatever was handy). She had hospitalized each of her siblings on numerous occasions. She beat the shit out of her parents; when they would try to restrain her to protect themselves, she would bite them. All of the doors and windows to their house were locked with two or three locks, because she had tried to run away scores of times (several times per night, ISTR). Whenever her parents would try to discipline her through non-abusive means (time-out, whatever), she (the child) would scream at them to use the belt instead, because it hurt more and she liked it better.

They had tried counseling dozens of times; it never worked because she would either tell the counselor to go fuck himself, or beat the shit out of him, or both. She had been hospitalized multiple times; each time she wound up being put into restraints. Medications worked, to a point; as in, she would be manageable if and only if she were drugged to the point of catatonia.

I watched that TV show simply amazed that a human being (and a child at that) could be rendered so full of hatred; for herself, for others, for her parents. And simultaneously completely incapable of receiving love. Perhaps she had been made this way due to abuse; I don't know. Her parents swore that they weren't abusive, but on this point we have nothing more than their word. If they're telling the truth, then I'm left with no explanation for this girl's state of mind other than pure evil.

This little girl would probably be 19-20 years old now. Probably in a prison somewhere, I would assume.

Yes, I belive some people are innately evil.
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  #45  
Old 10-04-2008, 02:14 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
I remember once seeing some afternoon afternoon-tabloid style talk show (Maury Povich or something), and there was this little girl (about 9 or 10) who I think was, for all intents and purposes, evil. I don't believe that this little girl was sociopathic, as sociopathy is a mental illness that can be treated. Plus, most sociopaths don't like pain if they can avoid it (read on). No, I think she was just plain evil.
Sociopathy cannot be treated in most causes. In order to treat mental illness, the person has to want to change. Sociopaths are perfectly happy with heir status quo. They don't see anything wrong with how they feel abou what they do. The rest of the world is at fault for not letting them do what they do.
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  #46  
Old 10-04-2008, 03:20 PM
phouka phouka is offline
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There is nothing absolute about human beings - no absolutely evil people, and no absolutely good people.

To me, evil exists. I define it as the act of harming others (though not in self-defense or defense of others). At its core, I think evil is the lack of empathy.

Perhaps it can be inborn, but it's hard for me to imagine a newborn baby with the capacity of evil.

There are certain mental conditions that lend themselves to evil - sociopathy, psychopathy, borderline personality disorder - and as these mental conditions are the direct result of some pathology of the brain, I don't know how much they can be considered free will. I wish we had more ongoing studies of people with these conditions so that we could understand them better and develop treatments.

Of course, there are those who don't fall into any diagnostic category. They don't suffer from any disorder or pathology. They're aware of the consequences of their actions - that other people get hurt - and they just don't care.

M. Scott Peck, in his book People of the Lie, tells the story of a teenage boy he counseled. The boy had been sent to him for misbehavior at school. Part of the history was that his older brother had committed suicide - shooting himself with a rifle. Bad enough, right? It took him weeks to gain the boy's trust, and when he did, he got more of the story.

The following Christmas, his parents gave him one gift. A rifle. Not just the same kind of rifle that his brother used to kill himself, but the very same rifle. When Peck questioned the parents about it, they admitted that, yes, they had, but that was better than not giving him a present, right? They'd been very resistant about bringing the boy to counseling, saying that it "looked bad." But either they brought him to counseling or he was expelled from his school, and they'd be looking at lots of tuition bills for a private school.

The boy had an aunt he liked, and she'd already offered to take him, but the parents wouldn't allow it, because it looked bad. IIRC, Peck had to threaten to report them to child welfare and see it go to court before they would relent.

That, my friends, is evil. (And, on the flip side, the aunt and Dr. Peck were shining examples of good.)
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  #47  
Old 10-05-2008, 01:20 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is online now
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No, I don't believe that there are people born evil. But I think any child is capable of evil. Half-way decent parenting and other civilizing influences on children are what mold them into caring human beings. I don't believe that consideration for others is the default setting, which is why we spend so much time teaching toddlers to share, not to hit, and that things they do can hurt other people; even then it doesn't really click until they realize that others might retaliate when abused but respond positively to niceness, so being nice is often rewarded and therefore worthwhile. Without this training in civility, or with the addition of some sort of mental condition, some kids aren't going to develop empathy for other people.
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  #48  
Old 10-05-2008, 02:39 AM
phil417 phil417 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
So when my six-year-old kid died, where was his angel?
Skald, as a long-time subscriber to the Dope, I've followed your family's history (I cheered for your wife's success w/ her ex-employer)

Per your child, I'm not privy to any answers as to why children die. I've lost two preborn children, as well as one granddaughter (Eveanna was a Potter's baby who died a little after six hours after she was born). God knows. I don't. When I get to Heaven, I've lots of questions for anyone who'll answer; foremost among them have to do with why those I loved the most left Earth soonest. (The old question: God, why did you make misquitoes? will be low on my list)

All I know, Skald, is that God's in charge, & I'm not.

Love (in Christ, Skald), Phil
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  #49  
Old 10-06-2008, 03:44 PM
casdave casdave is offline
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I wonder if you mean born evil, or learned evil.

There are certainly evil individuals, its not at all hard to find such folk, here's a couple,

Jeremy Bamber - shot and killed his adoptive parents, and their daughter, then attempted to frame the latter by staging evidence and then suggesting that this was due to severe depression - his motivation - he killed them all in order to inherit the family estate.

Robert Black - Just one look at his picture screams evil, raped and murdered 3 children, but suspected of many more, his was definately a troubled childhood.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_...(serial_killer)

Ian Brady - One of the moors murderers - a sexual sadist, tape recorded one child victim undergoing the torture he was inflicting - so he could play it back for more kicks later - His childhood was fairly mundane, yes he was living in a poor part of town, but then so did thousands of others.

Here are some others, most have mental issues, some have other backgrouind problems, but look at Arthur Hutchinson, or John Duffy.

These are among the worst of our worst, Harold Shipman was of particular note, I doubt he could be described as anything but evil, and from the things I have read, its something he achieved through a process of self development, so although you wouldn't say he was born that way, he seems to have gone to some lengths to become evil.

We have seen killers of extreme evil, who have lived steady family lives, who simply grew into their role, they were not born evil, but they certainly learned it, you can travel the world and the history of the last century to find them.
In those cases its a process of indoctrination and a change of the rules of what is acceptable.
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  #50  
Old 10-07-2008, 06:36 AM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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The term 'evil' has religious or hollwood movie connotations for me that make it difficult to discuss without thinking about demons and devils.

But there are people out there who are just 'bad'. People who take pleasure in other people's pain, and even more pleasure if they are the cause of the pain. I've had the misfortune to meet a couple of people like that. But in my experience, they don't know that they are bad, in the same way that we think an 'evil' person would supposedly understand their evilness. i.e., Dr. Evil knows he is evil, and wants to be evil.

The real life people actually have profound and detailed justifications for what they do, and they consider themselves to be OK people. It's just my experience though.
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