…Or do situations make them evil?
Good People by Jack Johnson
This is a subject that has fascinated me for ages, and is also one that I deem to be very important. It should be important to all of us. I like to believe that none of us are really evil, yet we all do bad, even terrible things, at different points in our lives. There are no ‘bad people’ but people who do ‘bad things’ because of the circumstances/situations. This may sound like an idealistic, naive kind of belief, yet this is a conclusion I have reached after years of experience/careful observation and thought. That does not mean that you can’t blame the person for their negative, evil actions, it does not mean that because the situation maketh the person, the person is excused for their behavior. I just prefer to think that instead of being inherently evil, people placed in different situations they may behave differently. I also believe that people do always have a choice. Even with that belief system, though, I don’t really understand how it is possible to commit some of the pure evil, horrendous acts that have taken place in the world from the very beginning, from the very start of human civilization (my last post is a sad reminder of a recent example).
This is a fascinating article charting the recent work done on the subject which started with Milgram’s now famous experiment.
And kudos for finally looking at the other side of the spectrum, the ‘goodness’ of human beings…check out Everyday Heroism at www.everydayheroism.org.
I hope you will all choose to do good, positive things today, and fight the situations that may cause you to do otherwise.