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Thread: Notions about Good and Evil

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    Notions about Good and Evil



    Do any of you here believe people are born good, but believe human beings are easily influenced by what's around us? Or do you believe people can be born evil?

    I am someone who generally believe people are good, and people can become evil because of certain events that occurred in their lives. There is novel that I will most likely began to read in my advanced English class and it's called Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister This an account of why Cinderella was mistreated in the first place. Well all know there are two sides to every story. I happened to like Gregory Maguire's way of writing. Another novel that would be a good example of our pre-concieved notions about good and evil would be Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Well all know Dorthy's side of the story, now it's time to hear the side of Elphaba, the girl who grew up to be the wicked witch. What are your ideas about good evil?
    gAll right then, Ifll go to hellh\and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming.
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    Hard to say...... this goes to the core of the humanists vs. behavioralists debate. It is hard to beleive that a baby is born evil or good or that it has a genetic predisposition to lean one way or the other. Environment plays a huge part in shaping us of course, yet I think there is something more. I know for a fact that there have been people put through horrible hardships and tests and could have turned to the "evil" side easily and if they had done so could have had a much easier life, yet something made them remain pure and untouched. So it makes me wonder wether instincts also play a part. You don't need people to teach what's wrong and right, sometimes you can just feel it; it's the instinct in you. Sometimes though it really makes me wonder on how some people can carry out some very evil deeds. Like concetration camps, or executions such as those seen in Iraq and what not. There would need to be a strong motivation or conviction to cut someone's head off like that in cold blood. And do these people even realize that what they are doing is evil ? This is the part that I think allows for such things to happen. In their mind they rationalize their action or they get bogged down into the particular tasks that the evil action itself becomes banalized into a small simple routine task. For example if we look at the nazi machine and the holocaust, it required many people to carry it out, some filled the forms, some guarded, some just pressed the button releasing the gas, but in their mind they were just pressing a button or filling a form, not fully realizing the extent to which their actions were going to affect others. So I do think that sometimes people maybe out of ignorance or simply not full rationality are doing things but they can't realize how wrong or unjust they are. I mean how else can you exterminate 6 million people or gather up all the men of a village and execute them all and then burry then in a mass grave like we saw in Bosnia.

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    Im a christain..so you know my veiws

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    I dont think people are born good or evil. I think it depends on their upbringing. If from an early age you're told killing or torturing people is normal, then you would believe that, or at least to some extent. Definatly if they were kept away from normal civilization, which in general says to respect others and treat them as you would like to be treated.
    But then maybe thats just what i was always told.
    Well now... thats something new...
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    I don't think anyone is born evil, but I do think some people have more of a predisposition to become evil given certain circumstances in their lives, just like some people are more likely to become fat or get cancer.

    Did anyone watch the TV series Millennium? One of the threads in that is to discover the nature of evil. There is a great quote in the first series: "Evil is born in a cold heart and a weak mind". That seems accurate enough to me.

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    Nice points you all have made here. But what about people like Saddam Hussein? When he was little his uncle used to force him to steal chickens and he comitted his first murder when he was only ten. Strange, his mother tried to kill him when he was still inside her stomach. Anyway, Saddam I read some books about him and his family. I found out that he was human after all. His son on the other hand (Uday) grew up to be a nutcase. Some of you may have heard he was worse than Saddam, but this rumor is actually true. What normal person rapes women on daily basis? My point here is under certian circumstances, there is a possibility that people know nothing except evil, so they grew up to be evil.

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    How much values do you got?

    Adamics (a.k.a. humans that we regulary know, labeled as homo sapiens) are peaceful in nature and the next best closest thing to the Ultimate One, it's their upbringing that caused them to go into different groups.

    Now... If Adamics are peaceful in nature, they should be peaceful if they only interact and brought up by Adamics, right?

    Then why is that some Adamics aren't so... er, peaceful? The answer probably is that... maybe there's a NON-Adamic factor involved!

    But again, it's depend on the Adamic factor in each Adamic. If it's strong, he/she will relatively stay Adamic even if he/she interact with so many non-Adamic stuff that is not aligned with Adamic stuff. If he/she is not strong with his/her Adamic factor, then it's not the east or the west side, it's not the north or the south side, it's the dark side.

    It's a factor of soul/heart, mind, and body.

    Generally, the soul is the biggest factor. Even if the mind and body were darken, they can be easily removed and one can start a fresh life.

    That's why there's always a reset switch in life, just like a video game. Just start a new game, without the scores, items, game progress, and so on. But you will know all the techniques, short cuts, how to finish certain tasks, and so on.

    Game over isn't really truly over.

    Though of course, there's always the continue option, but with that, you don't get many of the benefits of a fresh start.



    As for evil.

    Evil isn't exactly a negative thing if one consider that there's '- 0 +' thing, it's just has less value, darker if one use a light intensity analog on it.

    But Adamics are bright beings.

    How the heck we Adamics got dark? That's a question. However those who believes in the Bible would probably answer that with the originial sin.



    As for fairy tales and classical tales in reversal role.

    Well... And we all know that The Real Story is that Jack in the Jack and the Beanstalk is a thief, a liar, and a playboy heart breaker. Who stole from a nice giant and then broken the heart of one of the giant's servant, who have greeted and entertain him nicely. Jack's mother of course is a greedy old woman, who have no problem of eliminating anyone in her way, even if it's a nice giant.

    Then a few hundreds years later (or around over a year depending one where one resides), Jack's descendant have to undo the damaged done by his ancestors.


    And oh yeah, Darth Vader is just a young little boy who is a disabled man in a cyborg suit, who has his mind messed up around by the Jedi Order, though he have the courage to stand against the treacherous Jedis who wanted to kill the Emperor (the official ruler) and take over his authority. NHe also was severly fatally injured by his former master in a fight, eventhough he has given his former master many chances to resolve their conflicts in peace.


    And oh, a terrorist running around in a bat-ish suit terrorizing people (who were labeled as criminals) and causing mass destruction (explosions here and there) in Gotham city is also another young little boy, who was traumatize with the murders of his parents.

    Hmmm... I wonder if Liam Neeson should stop playing the mentor role character, considering two of his students of his two characters become Dark Knights.



    As for concentration camps, Iraq, and so on.

    It should be noted that many of the stuff you heard are propaganda. And some of the things that don't make sense were passed on as the truth.

    For example, it could also be said that many of the suffering of prisoners in Nazi Germany prisons (that some has the luxuries like library, pools, stage shows, etc) were caused by lack of supplies, and so on. Then there's also the matter on how the heck the Nazi Germany killed so many people in such short times.

    And so on.

    Personally, I think that this kind of stuff was intentionally propagated to made Adamics think that they're such a bad people and lowered down their morale (feeling awful that their fellowmen did nasty things), plus make them fight each other ('human rights', 'international court', 'enviromental preservation', and so on were created that way to made Adamics fight another Adamics).

    After all, what better way to lower the morale of your enemy, than to spread darkness among your enemy and made them to fight each other.

    The question, who is the enemy of Adamics? Who is the enemy of humankind? That's a question. But it is surely isn't another human, who's just a pawn.

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    I think for people to be born good or evil, they would to have a good or evil gene.

    I believe that what makes us good or evil stems from what we are taught and the surroundings we develop in.
    If, for example, in our upbringing 'evil' things (such as crime, abuse) are a common factor then our adult personalities will reflect this, and vice versa.
    Of course there are numerous factors that influence us throughout life...but to summarise, i don't believe anybody is born evil or good and i don't think it's something we inherit (at the point of birth anyway).

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    Unhappy 2 Examples of evil lives: driven and untalented, or talented but misguided

    1. UK: According to one Jack-the-Ripper researcher who used to be an investigator for the London police (I don't have his book with me, and can't remember his name ) He said, there are people born with a greater than average drive for actitity and achievement. If that exceptionally driven person were born with a strong motivation, talent to match one's drive, found a social context that would appreciate the person's pursuit, AND is supportive of it, then there would be no trouble at all.

    However if the person's abilities or motivation to work for one's desired goal were lacking, the surrounding is unappreciative or unsupportive, or the person can't adjust or find novel ways to work around those obstacles, then the chain sequence of frustration > anger > hatred > violence MIGHT happen. The stronger the drive, the greater the disappointment, and the greater the hatred and crime.

    2. Ancient China: One Warring States Period man was born with the rare combination of exceptional drive, motivation, and talent, but unfortunately his aspirations had already been achieved by another person before him. In his mind, there was no glory to be gottrn from being the 2nd person to do it; and realizing that his great feat would not be appreciated as it would be deserving, he decided to become a villain.

    He was equipped with almost everything one could hope for except an audience that would full heartedly applaud at his great achievement. What a loss; in this case his motivation was based on how others would perceive his work, not valuing his own views or inherent value in itself. From this we can also see that a person's thought can also be the cause of low behavior. Some things get started all in the head.
    Last edited by lexico; 24-07-05 at 17:26.
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    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
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    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.

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    Woah! Great question! I think that their is some evidence that there are a larger number of criminals who were abused as children. Now, not all abused children grow up to be criminals and not all criminals were abused. But I have seen surveys to the effect that a large percent of criminals have been abused. So I really think that environment plays a large roll.

    Now there are people who are mentally unbalanced, like Hitler, who I would say was born with a gene for insanity. Schizophrenics have a defective gene that has been located and schisophrenia is genetically inherited. There are probably many forms of mental illness, that we have yet to discover, that creates "unbalanced" people who react in violence.

    I have read, also, that their are children who will kill animals. And it is said that if this child seems to have a propensity to kill animals then they will tend to grow up and murder people. These children are not abused either. Some are of course. But if you see this behavior in children, children who abuse and kill animals, then that child needs help, and needs to be watched.
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    Yes, this is a good one !! I will point out two good books, but since I don't have them with me at moment will get back with this one later. One book is The Science of Good and Evil by Michael Shermer ( a regular writer for Scintific American [The Sceptic]--who, by the way had once been a born-again Christian) and the other is The Blank Slate--The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker (also did How the Mind Works [also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize] and The Language Instinct. For now I'd say that the Tabla Rasa has been shown to be anything but blank, and the Noble Savage concept has been shown a grand pipedream. The Ghost in the Machine idea has also been evaporated--although nurture still effect in forming neuro systems.

    I'll get back later, and look at this closely Sorry for the hit and run style, please forgive me.
    Last edited by Mars Man; 09-08-05 at 08:03. Reason: a change of wording--for the better

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    That's alright Mars Man. I've always had some beliefs as to why people turn out to be evil. From what it seems, there's a reason behind the evilness. I think it's such a complex situation that yes, people choose to be evil or a villian.

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    Sorry for the long delay. Please forgive me--I have been a bit busy though.

    It seems, for one, that genes do play a rather important, though not alone, in getting things in the brain and body set up. As far as behavioral patterns that can differ from individual to individual, just as it can be said to differ from any specie member to a member of any other close species. Here, I'll quote the book by Steven Pinker: "All the potential for thinking, learning, and feeling that distinguishes humans from other animals likes in the information comtained in the DNA fo the fertilized ovum. This is most obvious when we compare species. Chimpanzees brought up in a human home do not speak, think, or act like people, and that is because of the information in the ten megabytes of DNA that differ between us. Even the two species of chimpanzees, common chimps and bonobos, which differ in just a few tenths of one percent of their genomes, part company in their behavior... Common chimps are the most aggressive mamals know to zoology, bonobos among the most peaceable; in common chimps the males dominate the females, in bonobos the females have the upper hand; common chimps have sex for procration, bonobos for recreation. Small differences in the genes can lead to large difference in behavior. They can affect the size and shape of the different parts of the brain, their wiring, and the nanotechnology that releases, binds, and recycles hormones and neurotransmitters." (p.45)

    "...for virtuallly every cognitive and emotional disorde or difference ever observed. Autism, dyslexia, language delay, language impairment, learning disability, left-handeness, major depressions, bipolar illness, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual orientation, and many other conditions run in families, are more concordant in identical than in fraternal twins, are better predicted by peoples's biological relatives than by adoptive relatives, and are poorly predicted by any measurable feature of the environment." (p.46)

    Although plasticity is real, it appears to be limited, and is not the factor involved in getting the brain up and running--that's the genetic input. For that reason, we have 'dispositions' and certain degrees of damage in areas dealing with original disposition potental cannot be fully recoverd. A recent study/test of two young adults by neurscientists Steven Anderson, and Hannah, and Antonio Damasio showed that damage to the ventromedial and orbital prefrontal cortex at a young age (15 months, & 3 months) caused the subjects who had both been raised in stable homes with college educated parents, with other normal siblings, and who had normal IQs, grew up to be, for one, intractable, ignorant of punishment, a compulsive liar, who shoplifted and stole from parents as a teenager, and as a young adult, was dangerously uninterested in her own baby, and for the other, the same basically plus being easily angered.

    The author does not deny social and cultural (environment) involvement into an individual's mentaly make-up, but studies just what that is, and to what degree it is regarding any particular brain's plasticity--some brains may have more than others. One point made in this area, however, is noticible--that is what is 'good' and what is 'evil' has some room for variance. (for example, one process area in the cortext taking over for the other area which has the job of knowing whether the word 'variance' is spelled with and 'e', or with an 'a'. When the one usual processer causes the speller to type out 'varience', the other process area takes over, and makes him ease it and type in variance--the correct spelling ! And that's why it takes me so long to type out anything--these two processing areas are contiuously fighting for control. hee,hee,hee.....
    Sorry for being so late !!

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    Slightly off-topic, I can recommend a good book about how evil is portrayed in films and literature: Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behavior by Paul Oppenheimer. An interesting thing is the discussion of 'archetypes' of evil that you see in films. After I read the book, I find myself looking for these archetypes all the time, and they are there - how many horror films involve water, twins, underground caverns etc etc?

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    Thanks Tsuyoiko, I'll put that on my 'to buy' list !!

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    I think like a soul, everyone is born neutral, neither good or bad, simply as nature made them, and over time they learn to become good or evil.

    I dont think good and evil exist in the traditional sense, like christian view on it or tolkiens universe where the two sides are distinct.

    I think the world is alot of shades of grey and that everyone has to find a right balance.

    You have to strive to be good but also, you have to accept that you will always have the shadier side to you, not necisarrily evil and will turn you as such, but it keeps you real, i guess its something you gain to replace innocence.

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    Lightbulb you cannot rewrite the Bible!

    to fit your personal veiws. it doesn't work that way.

    I have a brother that has slept around alot..he said to me,

    "ya know, I beleive everything in the bible, except, the "can't sleep around part"

    apperently his secrataries back rubs disconect his brain to the fact he has a wife and 2 kids....

    all I could do is kinda laugh and feel sorry for him...I did'nt want to start preaching....

    but , it just confirmed my beleief more in the bible.as the word of God...

    there is no PC, there are no grey areas, there is right and there is wrong.
    the bible doesn't bend to justify sin, reguardles of WHO you are.

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    'Wrong' and 'evil' are two different things, IMHO. If you are evil, you are wrong, but you can be wrong without being evil.

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    Not really a believer in good or evil. They are just labels that people use to descibe how other people are. When the Spanish discovered the Incas and Aztecs and their tradition of human sacrifice they put the label "evil" on them, or rather their belief system. To the Spanish and their morals the Incas and Aztecs way of life was totally alien to European morals and understanding of life Yet to the Incas and aztecs it was perfectly normal for them. Part of the reason was they believed that if they did not perform human sacrificce then the sun would stop. It was a tradition passed down from times past. To them it was normal. Even modern day "evil" people are doing things that they think is right. Hitler thought that by getting rid of the Jews and the disabled, he was making the human race better. The people who followed him might have been cruel and insensitive, but you must look to upbringing and their early years to see why they did it. Maybe some of them where always told that they were superior to others , and their actions would be normal for them. Others could have been bullied when young. When put into a position of power of life and death over another they took their fustrations of their childhood and turned them on their prisoners. The bullied became the bully in other words.
    Even those who go out to "do something evil" are most likely suffering from a form of psychosis. something in the past made them what they are. sometimes we look at things and part of us wants to do something that is "wrong", fortuantely most of us have them ability to hold back these urges. Other people do not have this. Even changes in society can determine what you would call good or evil. For example we consider taking a 13 year old girl and forcing her to marry an much older person and act of evil. Yet 400 years ago this was perfectly acceptable. It is mentioned in Romeo and Juliet. She is only 13 and being made to marry an older man, but she is seen in the wrong for not wanting to do it. her own mother even mentions the fact that girls of her age are already married with children, something we would balk at in the west, but perfectly natural at the time.
    So to sum up. I find the notions of Good and evil are used by the society at the time to keep people within the morals of that society. Who's to say that what we believe is good or evil now might have changed in 100 or 200 years time?

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    Good or evil? I would simply say that good would be anything that causes true happiness, and evil that which causes unnecessary suffering.

    All would be governed by empathy. But not everyone looks carefully at themselves, nor does everyone choose the perceptions that cause one to be the most empathetic to everyone. Some aren't even aware of the power they have, and so they hate (not a happy emotion in itself) and cause others suffering. They never see that the perceptions they take on cause suffering, so caught up in their own angers, hates, egotisms, and other stuffs.

    As science becomes more advanced, and some perceptions no longer tolerated (like gays are immoral), so will a lot of unfounded beliefs be suppressed by others or changed when questioned.

    In the end, I cannot know that the guy who shot three people doesn't have a tumor in his head, that is severely affecting his ability to allow or check an impulse. I cannot know whether someone had a horrid childhood (children's brain development is definitely affected by traumatic experiences). I guess then it is better not to label good and evil, and to simply attempt to check the suffering the 'evil' person is causing.

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    1] What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    [2] For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    [3] For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    [4] Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    [5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    [6] Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    [7] Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    [8] Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
    [9] Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
    [10] How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
    [11] And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
    [12] And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
    [13] For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
    [14] For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
    [15] Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
    [16] Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
    [17] (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
    [18] Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
    [19] And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:
    [20] He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
    [21] And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    [22] And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
    [23] Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    [24] But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    [25] Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

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    Hi, Jarvis.
    Let me ask you this; Where is the fruit of your faith ?
    For the good Lord had said, "I will put an axe to the root if the tree does not bear fruit."
    I see nothing but anger and hatred in your posts against whoever's not in your extended racial/sectarian group.
    What happened to the two commandments ? Do they mean anything to you ? Do you even believe in Jesus and his teachings ? Where is you compassion and tolerance for ha goyim in your midst

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    Question

    what anger and hate?

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    and I am goyim if you beleive the idiotic talmud

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarvis
    I am goyim.
    No, you're not. You're the new Judah, remember ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarvis
    what anger and hate ?
    For people of the Islamic faith, and the African Americans, and non-Christians, and all the other lesser varieties of humans you despise and deem unworthy... perhaps including yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarvis
    where did I say that ?
    Never mind if you didn't mean it; I'm not a legalist. I'm glad in a way; just please stop the racial bashing.

    The ancestors of the African-Americans mentioned in the American Renaissence article by a Mr. Taylor would not have been in New Orleans had they not been taken slaves and brought there in the first place. Even if the incidents referred to reflect at least some truth, that article is hot stuff that will not go unjudged in the high court, I'm afraid, for the almighty Lord knows all.

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