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?
BTW, use the dictionary definition of evil in making your answer:
- morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked
- harmful; injurious
- characterized by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous
- due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character
- marked by anger, irritability, irascibility
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.
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.
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.
Yes. Some, not many.
No, I think people are innately good.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I guess it sometimes all comes down to: “Shit happens.”
No. I’m an atheist and don’t believe in “evil”. I do believe in shitty parents and/or shitty genes.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?