I know, I don't usually post here but this question...

Discussion in 'Your Religion & Spiritual Center' started by Seadog, Nov 23, 2010.

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  1. Seadog

    Seadog Ambidextrous dumb-ass with out coffee

    I really want your input on this question, I love you guys and read here often.

    I have notice evil in all shapes and forms and from people of all ages. Sometimes you can see an evil thought cross along someones eyes.

    I have personally witnessed evil acts from people of all ages and not gender or race specific.

    We all have seen things happen on the news screen and thought,,, Oh My God.

    Here is the question:

    Is Evil a learned or a taught trait to an individual, or is it incarnate and/or are people born to be evil?

    I have read theories that a child left on its own, would be a natural killer by the time it was 5 if he/she survived. I don't view this as evil.

    I have also read about children born into cults not necessarily evil but defiantly whack and very weird. Definitely "not" Christian (although called so by themselves), who at a certain age realized that what they were doing was wrong.

    Although I think most people who commit evil are wired different, I don't believe that an evil act caused by mental illness as in "my grandfather who suffers from Alzheimer's did????) is evil.

    Once again here is the question:

    Is Evil a learned or taught trait to an individual, or is it incarnate and or/are people born to be evil?
  2. June-

    June- New Member

    Is Evil a learned or taught trait to an individual, or is it incarnate and or/are people born to be evil?

    Either or both.

    There are some people who are sociopathic and worse who were just born without the ability to have a conscience or empathy and their behavior therefore has no regulation that we consider normal. On the other side of the coin, look at the atrocities of war. These happen when people are put in extraordinary circumstances and ordered by their superiors to kill (or whatever) for a good reason. Innocents are maimed and killed by the tens of thousands by military who are themselves good people trying to do what is right. In that case it is taught. Then we could talk about children who may themselves have the hardware and software to be decent people but who are abused physically or emotionally to the point where they are permanently damaged and unable to know what is right.

    Probably to come up with a more complete answer it would be helpful to do a more complete job of defining evil. Yes, we might all say we have seen evil, but that is an emotional response and you are asking an analytical question. For that we really need a definition of what you mean by evil so we are not talking apples and oranges.
  3. leviticus

    leviticus Jonah's whale

    As you know I am a Christian and therefore go by what the Bible says, we are by nature sinners, evil if you want to call it that, we do have a sense of right and wrong but the Bible says without the Holy Spirit living inside of us we have no power to overcome our evil nature. Even as a Christian I still fail everyday, it is and always will be a constant battle in our lives to do what is right. Jesus was the only perfect human being, and they crucified Him for it.
  4. June-

    June- New Member

    Seadog, if a wolf or bear had you in his sights and you saw in his eyes he had every intention of eating you, would that be the look of evil?

    If an enemy soldier had you in his sights and you knew by his look he would try to kill you rather than let you kill him, would that be evil?

    Could you differentiate between these determined looks and the look in an evil person's eyes if you just saw the eyes and didn't know anything about the circumstances?
  5. tm53

    tm53 New Member

    There are going to be those who approach your question from a spiritual perspective (this is the Religion and Spiritul Center) and those that approach it from a psychological perspective and those that approach it from a physical and or philosophical point of view.

    Each will believe they are right. Let's not turn this into a debate thread, just respect each other's points of view please.

    Sorry Dog, not to step on you post. I think it's a great question.
  6. June-

    June- New Member

    Is evil not only intent but also in the mind of the beholder? Does it matter whose ox is being gored? Or do we define it as the product of an insane mind?
  7. June-

    June- New Member

    I'm sorry, I can't answer any question without looking at it from various points of view. I don't just 'know' the answer.

    I'm out of here.
  8. tm53

    tm53 New Member

    Mrs Dash,

    I did not mean to offend you nor was my comment directed at you or for that matter anyone in particular.

    Apologies if it came across that way, not my intent at all!
  9. leviticus

    leviticus Jonah's whale

    Great question dog!!
  10. Imnoscientist

    Imnoscientist New Member

    A question which has been around since the beginning of time and there are so many angles from which to consider it. Two books on the subject which have made an impression on me are:

    Carl Goldberg - Speaking with the Devil, Exploring Senseless Acts of Evil. The author is a psychiatrist and therapist. He reframes 'evil' as 'malevolence' and basically his thesis is that, other than true sociopaths or psychopaths an individual needs to have gone through a series of abusive, shameful events in order to be able to commit such acts.

    Dave Grossman - On Killing. The author is in the US military and is also a psychologist. He is talking about killing (from a military perspective) rather than evil per se. His thesis is that in order for people (other than sociopaths or psychopaths) to overcome their natural revulsion to kill, there has to be 'distance' created between the killer and the target. That distance can be physical (pressing a button in Washington that sets off a bomb in Afghanistan) or mental - dehumanising the enemy.
  11. June-

    June- New Member

    Thank you.

    If there are never going to be competing points of view posted, then there is no reason for more than one person to post to any question.

    I also take exception to the thought that posts from different points of view are somehow not spiritual. Do all answers on threads on this board have to be wholly without scientific basis to be safe from being considered unspiritual? Many churches that I am familiar with give psychological training to their clergy.

    If an OP wants only Biblical answers to a post, I think it is important to state that in the original post so we are on notice and can respect that request by not posting if the Bible is not the reference for our answer.
  12. tm53

    tm53 New Member

    If implied, it was inadvertant, nope that's not the way I roll. Good to see ya back in the thread.
  13. cynthia

    cynthia I hope to shed this body for a better one some day

    Huh? I don't know. Why do you have to ask such hard questions SeaDog? Now I feel like dumbass because I don't know! I hope you know I am teasing right now and being silly? ::)
  14. cynthia

    cynthia I hope to shed this body for a better one some day

    I can tell you what I think, but I don't know if I am right. The first thing that popped into my head when I read your question was a scripture:

    Jeremiah 17:9
    The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    I know some people will go, "Oh no, not another scripture!" But that is just me. To me I look for my answers in God's word.

    To me how can that scripture fit a baby? Have you ever looked into a baby's eyes? Pure innocence! Pure! As they get older they start to lose that innocent look. Whether that is caused by learning, social environment or brain damage only God knows.

    I draw on my own personal childhood memories. If I had an evil or wrong thought I do remember I had a choice to make at that point and time. Do I follow through and do something I know is wrong or do I do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do? Or do I do the right thing because I did NOT want my rear end spanked by my parents? I think we all experienced that and did the right thing not because we wanted to but to avoid punishment.
    So I am curious Seadog, what is YOUR take on all this? What do you think? I don't know.
  15. Henrysullivan

    Henrysullivan New Member

    To answer that question, I believe we have to define the term, 'evil.' What is this thing? Evil is first perpetrated in the heart. So before an evil act is performed, and evil was present, lurking. So the act of evil is simply the furtherance of it, evil played out, but not evil itself. What evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows...

    But seriously, Seadog. You talk about seeing evil in he eyes of men. So you see their evil intentions, their intentions to do harm to others. But isn't evil also the withholding of goodness when one has the opportunity to render it? What would make someone drive by an accident where injuries are present, knowing that they might be able to help? So where does this definition begin and end, evil? I can speak from the Christian perspective as I understand it, but I do not know whether that perspective matches up with the definition of the term you ask about.

    Hey, and don't pull a Larry on us, getting us into a deep discussion while you sit on the side with a bag of peanuts, as if you're settling back in your seat at a Pacer's game. No, this is your question, biggun. So you are in this til the end. You're going to have to talk, big boy. ;DSo let's begin with what you call 'evil.' How do you define it?
  16. Chris0515

    Chris0515 New Member

    I think hatred and violence can be learned or taught from a young age; but cold blooded and dark evil comes from something deep inside that person's soul and takes over and controls them in my honest opinion.
  17. Imnoscientist

    Imnoscientist New Member

    That's a very interesting philosophical question Hank. Which is the worse sin/evil (I ask this rhetorically, I don't expect a definitive answer) - driving by the accident where one person is injured or turning away from the telemarketer asking you to contribute to efforts to end poverty, disease and early death for millions in deepest darkets Africa?
  18. cynthia

    cynthia I hope to shed this body for a better one some day

    huh? Where is Seadog?
  19. cynthia

    cynthia I hope to shed this body for a better one some day

    I have never had a telemarketer ask me to contribute to effort to end poverty, disease and earth death for millions in deepest darkest Africa.

    Instead I have had telemarketers try to give me credit cards, try to sell me time shares, home security systems, tell me I just won a free cruise when I didn't, sell me a direct buyers for furniture, burial plots (that was a fun call to take just after getting home from the hospital!), warranty insurance for my car, life insurance, work at home your own business, government grant money, go to school in your pajamas, technical colleges to earn a degree, lightbulbs that last years and years and year, but never, never, never have I ever had a call to end poverty, disease and early death for millions in deepest darkest Africa!!!

    Needless to say being deaf in one ear is no fun talking on the phone any more anyway so I just never answer the phone any more because of it. They all leave messages too!!!!!!!!!! My finger is wore out from pushing that delete button on my answering machine.

    Now my curiosity is hightened as I just want to know why Seadog wants to know.

    But I thought this was a discussion about is evil incarnate or socialization taught? Not which sin is the greatest?
  20. Seadog

    Seadog Ambidextrous dumb-ass with out coffee

    I am here.

    I have been on the Hags Christmas decorating, detail.

    I need more input. Killing as a rule, as exampled here in these comments tonight is not an act of evil but most times an act of survival, anger, jealousy, stupidity, rage, etc. Yes there is evil in some killings.. I would kill anyone threatening my family with a life or death situation. In a second with out regret. Am I evil?

    I would also steal to feed my family,,,,not evil.

    When I talked to a customer once and the question about billing and a certain issue was brought up, the customer (accountant) ,,well I saw evil in his eyes and then fought that evil and lies in Court. Evil is not always about life and death.

    In this country it astounds me that that we make a person place their hand on a bible and expect and believe that they are telling the truth. A truth that is a lie but you cant fight it because this individual swore on a bible.

    Is lying in court of law after swearing an oath on a Bible evil or survival? In this situation it was evil, for it was for financial gain. I think.

    I saw a 10 year old in a wresting seminar last year, after the match was called, he looked around to see if anyone was watching him and then threw an elbow into the side of the head of my son. He then got up and walked away looking at his fingernails. Probably thinking about having pizza. Was that evil? I thought so at the time.

    More tomorrow, its late, I am tired and I have to re-read all these intelligent posts.
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