Why are people 'Bad' ?

by Caliban 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • Caliban

    As far as I see it, people are bad / evil (call it what you will) because of two possible things:
    1. They are genetically that way. They are born like that.
    2. The way they have been brought up has made them that way.
    Either way, the influences are out of their control. Is it fair then to judge them because of this ?
    Any thoughts on this anyone ?

  • mgm

    this could be my question! I asked myself so many times, what is really bad and what are the reasons for a person to be "bad"!!
    Thats why only god can finally judge...and we should never judge any other humen, since we don't know the reason behind there acting.

  • spectromize


    Add another one to your list, which would be #3

    "People have the power of decision."

    Even so called good people have ruined their entire reputation on one bad choice!

  • NaweOfJah

    What a funky conversation. Interesting topic.

    IMO, if most people were honest with themselves, and examined their own actions they would have to admit they have made unwholesome choices along life's pathway. But choices were made. I speak from my own experience.

    Then one studies the Bible and learns why better choices can and should be made in the direction of pleasing our Creator.

    Honestly, I feel a good percentage of people choose to do bad after thinking and then deciding to cross a line. Some may well be genetically bad but for the most part people choose their life course each day. Which if you think about it, is positive. Even a formerly wicked person say, in jail, can choose TODAY to change their life. How many of God's people are living proof of this? Most.

    Edited by - NaweOfJah on 3 May 2000 22:24:55

  • Caliban

    Yes, I see your point and you are right - people can choose to do the right or wrong thing over every single decision.
    I was thinking more of life in general though and whether people do bad things because they've had bad things done to them and it's all they know.
    Does someone who has had a good upbringing in a nice house with good parents have a better chance of being 'generally good' than someone brought up in a rough area with abusive parents.
    If so, then isn't judging them on their actions compared to others based on their environment and experiences just another bad deal for them ?
    Does it not matter and both have an equal chance of becoming good / bad people ?

  • Frenchy

    I believe most thinking people continually ask themselves that question. I don't believe that it's a question that can be answered simply because it is a rather complex issue.

    Environment and upbringing (things associated with the family) are certainly factors but they are only part of the whole picture. People are born with certain propensities, inclinations (genetics as mentioned) but that, again, is only part of the picture. People begin at a very early age to be influenced by their peers (outside of the family). Education or the lack thereof is another factor as to the lifestyle a person will choose. There is also free will. All of these things (and who knows how much more?) go into making a person what he eventually becomes.

    I believe that, aside from serious psychological disorders, people pretty much become what they want to be. How many of us know of people who were brought up under bad circumstances and lifted themselves out of it and did something with their lives? And how many of us know people who were raised in good homes and turned out to be bums?

    I think that it may be easier for someone to be 'good' than for others. But in the end, I believe that we are 'good' or 'bad' because we WANT to.

  • sonnyboy

    I think it's a combination of 1 and 2.

    My cousin was the evilest baby I've ever seen in my life. I mean this kid was foul. Anyone who approached her would immediately get a rattle in the face. If the person didn't get close enough for her to get a whack in, she'd throw that sucker with striking accuracy and scream like a banshee. Her parents thought this was 'cute' and made no attempt to correct her.

    She's still has a nasty disposition and has been known to break the law from time to time. Her immediate family has never done anything to discourage her atrocious behavior, so it continued to escalate.

  • klydia

    Here's my two cents, for what it's worth... I think people we think of as "bad" are people who make a lot of excuses for themselves. They lie to themselves about how others perceive them. They have no sense of accountability. I've most often seen this in people who were either spoiled or else terribly abused as children (but then, I think spoiling your children is also a form of abuse). Spoiled children feel no empathy for others, they are selfish and only notice their own feelings. Meanwhile, I believe that children who were abused are too scared and insecure to allow someone ELSE to feel good because they fear that they might never be loved in return. Everyone makes mistakes. But it's only when you feel ashamed of your mistake and notice how you affect others that you can grow. If you are strong and are able to look honestly at yourself and admit your faults, you will be a good person. Anyone can be a good person, as long as they choose to be. No Garden of Eden is necessary. :)

  • mada

    Oh yes people are so mean and selfish nowadays,there's no one you can thrust

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