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Good and Evil: how do people become either way?



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 8th, 2009, 6:54 pm
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Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

Is it nature or nurture -- or a combination of both?

I posted the following in a thread in the Cloak originally in a thread about this topic (only the topic was about the HP world...). Thanks to Alastor for the redirection .

Quote:
For the most part -- people tend to be predisposed at birth to choose to be good or not.

Also, I read an article about this (only it was about the Columbine shootings and the two people involved). And one of them turned out be a complete psychopath from the start. Always evil. And the other one was made -- he was depressed and all that -- but he seemed to have had a chance to be the other way... but the one who was entirely evil (for lack of a better way of putting it ) pretty much manipulated the other one.

So in the end, people who are vulnerable -- can be manipulated to turn evil too. So basically, it all depends on the situation and that kind of thing -- when it comes down to some ways people become that way.
That's my take on the issue in terms of how some people can become evil.

In the end, it all depends on the situation and that kind of thing... in terms of how a person turns out.

--------------------------------------------------------

Some questions:

If it can be related to what a person is like when they are born, is there some kind of way of redirecting that feeling? (in terms of evilness)

In the case of nature versus nurture -- can a good person be turned bad if the circumstances are right? And vice versa?

And... just how do these decisions to go either way happen?


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  #2  
Old June 12th, 2009, 2:08 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

Good and Evil is usually about Nature vs. Nurture. I think it's a bit more about Nurture though, since everyone gets treated slightly differently. However, genetics probably plays a role in how DNA should show your brain how to organize itself. For example, smart kids tend to come from smart parents. NAture forms the basis in which nurture can then affect. For example, I'm naturally smart, and i'm not too sure about my mom, but my dad has like an iq of 140-150. However, I'm also an artist and musical and neither of my parents are good at either of those. I think it would be interesting to see how kids are after they are adopted and whether they're more similar to their adopted parents or biological parents.

As for Good and Evil, I think both are very relative. What is considered good to one could be considered evil to another but mostly i think it has to do with nurture since while DNA forms the basis of your brain and hormones, your brain forms a LOT of connections during your lifetime.


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Old June 12th, 2009, 2:13 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

I'm no expert some cases they've found it's in the brain, the chemistry or maybe damage somewhere that brings on an evil nature.


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Old June 12th, 2009, 9:25 pm
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

The ROAD To Hell is paved With GOOD Intentions. When people go to the extreme it becomes evil. Life is a balance between right and wrong. We must watch out for extreme behavour and actions of people.
and ABSOLUTE POWER CORUPTS ABSOLUTELY Power if taken to the extreme becomes evil.
IMO people become evil when the checks and balances of right and wrong are not in place. Alowing people to go to the extreme which becomes evil.
Evil occours when good people do nothing



Last edited by Youdan; June 12th, 2009 at 9:40 pm.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 4:16 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

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Originally Posted by Fawkesfan1 View Post
Is it nature or nurture -- or a combination of both?
It's neither because no one is either good or evil, they're just people with qualities good and bad.


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Old June 13th, 2009, 10:32 pm
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
Good and Evil is usually about Nature vs. Nurture. I think it's a bit more about Nurture though, since everyone gets treated slightly differently. However, genetics probably plays a role in how DNA should show your brain how to organize itself. For example, smart kids tend to come from smart parents. NAture forms the basis in which nurture can then affect. For example, I'm naturally smart, and i'm not too sure about my mom, but my dad has like an iq of 140-150. However, I'm also an artist and musical and neither of my parents are good at either of those. I think it would be interesting to see how kids are after they are adopted and whether they're more similar to their adopted parents or biological parents.

As for Good and Evil, I think both are very relative. What is considered good to one could be considered evil to another but mostly i think it has to do with nurture since while DNA forms the basis of your brain and hormones, your brain forms a LOT of connections during your lifetime.
Good point v8.

Yep... true there for the most part. The environment could certainly have a big effect in terms of how a person turns out. If they're raised in a bad environment -- then there's usually a greater chance of them turning out evil. And vice versa for people who are raised in a good environment. There are most likely exceptions to the rule like anything -- due to elements outside the home as well... such as school.

I've heard of 'good' kids becoming 'bad' (not my choice of words here -- since I tend to think of them -- just as people who went through heck and had had enough of it) due to bullying and what not at school... it's sad really . To see that kind of thing happening -- and the teachers and stuff promoting the whole 'if you tell, then you're tattling' policy (that was so much baloney -- that it's not even funny). If there's something going on that you know about with a kid (whether they were raised in a 'good' home and have to deal with bullying or whether they were not and still have to deal with it...) then you should be able to tell an adult about it -- without having to worry about any repercussions.

It's really sad when it comes down to things... never having the chance to help these people get help... everything seems to go around in a circle when it comes down to it. A rather depressing one.

As for goodness... environment definitely plays a role. And I love to see people who are that way. I had an encounter with that recently over at my local Target... I was short 8 cents and some nice lady helped me out there . It was refreshing to see that -- since so many people are just mean and rude... not necessairly evil -- but still... like I said how people are raised really does influence how they'll turn out.


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Last edited by Fawkesfan1; June 13th, 2009 at 10:34 pm.
  #7  
Old June 14th, 2009, 3:45 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
As for Good and Evil, I think both are very relative. What is considered good to one could be considered evil to another but mostly i think it has to do with nurture since while DNA forms the basis of your brain and hormones, your brain forms a LOT of connections during your lifetime.

People have for thousands of years all over the world in each culture have known right from wrong. what is good and what is evil.
It is known as natural law or law of reason
The USA was governed by natural law for the first 130 years. People don't need to be told what is right or good they know it instinctively just as they know what is wrong or evil.
To say good and evil are relative is denial of reason and logic


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Old June 14th, 2009, 4:24 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

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Originally Posted by Youdan View Post
People have for thousands of years all over the world in each culture have known right from wrong. what is good and what is evil.
It is known as natural law or law of reason
The USA was governed by natural law for the first 130 years. People don't need to be told what is right or good they know it instinctively just as they know what is wrong or evil.
To say good and evil are relative is denial of reason and logic
Until the 1960s spousal abuse was accepted and segregation considered part of the natural order. How is that reasonable and logical?


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Old June 14th, 2009, 4:33 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

I think a person when born has certain characteristics genetically that predisposes them to being good or evil. I think environmental issues then take over. I think parenting, especially at a young age and again in teen years, help steer a person one way or the other. It then become an issue of choices to embrace the parenting and dispositions either good or evil, or choose to go in a different direction.


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Old June 14th, 2009, 4:47 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Youdan View Post
People have for thousands of years all over the world in each culture have known right from wrong. what is good and what is evil.
It is known as natural law or law of reason
The USA was governed by natural law for the first 130 years. People don't need to be told what is right or good they know it instinctively just as they know what is wrong or evil.
To say good and evil are relative is denial of reason and logic
In part I agree. Such ideas (like religion) have been created in a "vacuum" so to speak. Else they might never have come into existence.

But I also believe that people can be born predisposed to either side. We've had plenty of example of children who have enjoyed torturing the neighbor's pet to death becoming even more monstrous as they get older.

On a related note, for the sake of interest: Cultural Universals
A cultural universal (as discussed by George Murdock, Claude Levi-Strauss, Donald Brown and others) is an element, pattern, trait, or institution that is common to all human cultures worldwide. It should be noted that some anthropological and sociological theorists of an extreme cultural relativism perspective may deny, or minimize the importance of, the existence of cultural universals: the extent to which these universals are "cultural" in the narrow sense, or in fact biologically inherited behavior is an issue in the "nature versus nurture" controversy.

Cultural universals are sometimes referred to as "empty universals" since merely remarking on their presence in a particular culture doesn't actually show anything unique or significant about that culture.

The emergence of these universals dates to the Upper Paleolithic, with the first evidence of full behavioral modernity.


Fascinating when you take into account that thousands of years ago certain indigenous tribes in Europe had words that describe such complex concepts such as the eye of conscience, yet none for higher emotions such as compassion. (Despite the fact that some Neanderthals displayed such a range of complex emotions)





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  #11  
Old June 14th, 2009, 5:25 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

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Originally Posted by lupislune View Post
I think a person when born has certain characteristics genetically that predisposes them to being good or evil.
I can't agree that there's such a thing as an "evil gene".

If a person is predisposed to do wrong punishing them for committing acts of evil would, in itself, be an evil act as they can't help it any more than they could alter the colour of their eyes.

Plus it eliminates the option of free will.


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  #12  
Old June 14th, 2009, 8:16 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

I don't think someone is born good or evil. I think good and evil themselves are generally over-simplistic terms.

All people have good and bad qualities, and I think most people are capable of both some good and some bad. Hopefully more good than bad. But even most good people are capable of doing some harm under certain circumstances.

I think that it's a mixture of nature and nurture. There are probably genes that determine it to an extent, but certainly nurture plays a role, as well. People have different personality traits that are beyond their control. I don't think these alone make a person "good" or "evil," but they may contribute to how a person is likely to react to things. There are few absolutes when it comes to human psychology. Some people are driven to do harm because of trauma they've experienced, but other people aren't. That may be where nature comes in, to an extent.

The people who we would probably consider truly evil most likely suffer from severe mental problems and imbalances that take them outside the range of what's normal. Sociopathy, for example. This doesn't absolve people from personal responsibility, necessarily, but it needs to be considered.


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Old June 14th, 2009, 8:51 pm
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

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I can't agree that there's such a thing as an "evil gene".

If a person is predisposed to do wrong punishing them for committing acts of evil would, in itself, be an evil act as they can't help it any more than they could alter the colour of their eyes.

Plus it eliminates the option of free will.
well, all genes are are instructoins that make a specific protein, but the combination of all those genes form us. However, i think it is likely to have genes that cause people to be more "good" or "bad". For example, it is proven that our body secretes certain chemicals that are linked to happiness, sadness, anger, excitement, etc.


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Old June 14th, 2009, 9:54 pm
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
Until the 1960s spousal abuse was accepted and segregation considered part of the natural order. How is that reasonable and logical?
How can Abuse and segregation fall under life and liberty?
A Contradiction cannot occure in reality.
What were in fact civil laws. Those who hold the rights to govern, to vote, to hold power and who were to be subjugated. The Strong over the weak, the rich over the poor. are and will never be part of Natural law.



Last edited by Youdan; June 14th, 2009 at 10:01 pm.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 10:56 pm
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

well, what about simply how humans will kill others? There really aren't many "natural" laws i can think of...


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Old June 15th, 2009, 3:43 am
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
well, what about simply how humans will kill others? There really aren't many "natural" laws i can think of...
Good and bad do you know what good is? Do people have to study and learn how to be good? Do people need to be under the threat of forced (governed) to be good or do the right thing or do they just know?
Given a choice would people choose slavery or freedom?
Given a chioice to would people choose live in peace or go to war?
Given a choice would people like to keep what they worked for or have it taken away by force?
Given a choice Will people use force defend themselves for their lives, their way of life and their property or not to defend themselves to surender their lives, way of life and property
Take that use of force to its extreems of to little: people will be robbed or to much: become the robbers.
Natural law is to know with out being told or taugh right from wrong what is good and what is evil to know honesty from cheating, truth from lies, to know balance from extreems.


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Old June 15th, 2009, 1:38 pm
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

I think it's both, mostly nurture though. I say it's "nature" as I believe that people are evil by default. I don't believe that there is an evil gene like you named it above, which singles out a handful of people. I believe that evilness lies in everyone of us.

Just take a look at these Psychological experiments. Those people do not mean to do harm and yet are they hurting others, because it's in their nature.

Nurture obviously because whether someone becomes a murder etc later, depends mostly on their own upbringing. People who experience bad things, will most likely do bad things themselves in future. We learn by copying other people. When your parents say that Blacks are worthless slaves, then your going to believe it. It's what you were taught after all.


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Old June 15th, 2009, 5:32 pm
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

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Originally Posted by Youdan View Post
Good and bad do you know what good is? Do people have to study and learn how to be good? Do people need to be under the threat of forced (governed) to be good or do the right thing or do they just know?
Given a choice would people choose slavery or freedom?
Depends on whether they're the slave or the slave owner.

Quote:
Given a chioice to would people choose live in peace or go to war?
Well, there are a number of people who voluntarily join the army, obviously people from legislative bodies and the leaders of countries have to start a war. If someone feels threatened or wants something from another, they will often fight over it.

Quote:
Given a choice would people like to keep what they worked for or have it taken away by force?
Another example of how the only people who feel cheated are the ones who have lost something. Robberies do happen and i would be very surprised if even those who are "good" people haven't stolen something one time or another in their life, whether it be that pretty crayon in preschool for a few dollars from someone at school and not paid them back

Quote:
Natural law is to know with out being told or taugh right from wrong what is good and what is evil to know honesty from cheating, truth from lies, to know balance from extreems.
Problem is that many people believe in natural laws, but not everyone believes in them enough to refrain from doing bad things


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  #19  
Old June 15th, 2009, 7:25 pm
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

LOL V8

that is why there are people with morals and thoses with out. thsoe who can reason things out and those who let their passions rule their lives. those who are in denial of the truth around them.

That is why there is a constant battle between good and evil. A fine line if you will that people keep crossing over. Intentions or ideas that starts out as good can very easly turn bad or even evil.
why do poeple who are looked at being good, are held in such high esteem and those who look to do evil are held in such low esteem.
Why have punishment and rewards for good and evil? if the punishers are then evil for giving punishment.



Last edited by Youdan; June 15th, 2009 at 7:31 pm.
  #20  
Old June 15th, 2009, 10:23 pm
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Re: Good and Evil: how do people become either way?

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Originally Posted by Youdan View Post
Good and bad do you know what good is? Do people have to study and learn how to be good? Do people need to be under the threat of forced (governed) to be good or do the right thing or do they just know?
I think most people, on a basic level, want to do the right thing. But people are complex, and what's right and wrong isn't always clear.

For instance, on a basic, logical level we can say that war is bad. It's a result of conflict and causes harm. But when faced with a war, some people may feel patriotic and feel honored to defend their country or ideology. It's also a morally gray area, since a lot of times war does involve self-defense to an extent. Tie in the fact that actual wars don't always happen on a purely logical level, and you're going to have a lot charged emotions thrown in there, too.

I also think there's a difference between an evil person and an evil deed.


 
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