Are there evil people?
I feel that the word itself doesn't exist in humanity. Nothing in this world can be truly evil, including humans. Thinking about it, every living thing is justifying themselves to be doing something good, no one can just be thinking malice on another. Even the worst people there ever were thought they were doing the right thing as people, for how can people answer the question for themselves as to who they are if all they have done was malice on another without their own justification on the matter.
Animals in their way aren't truly evil all throughout, even though it may be straying away from the question, they aren't doing anything with conscious action of their doing of it. Animals do not justify themselves or think rationally so it is obvious they couldn't comprehend good and evil as concepts, only survival.
Evil things live for evil's spread, not just committing it on occasion. There aren't such people because all people want to do good for something or someone greater than themselves. So, no one can justify with themselves that evil is good. Moreover, humanity as well, being so unable to be evil, always at some point gives to another. Picture Hitler, he hated the Jews, but gave his all to the German people and his country, not to justify his cause in anyway in the stretch of the imagination, but he along with all will eventually give to another, so thus will do something good.
Yes is the short answer.
The issue is a little more complex than that, however. This case does touch upon the age old debate of is it nature or nurture, as if people are evil then they could be born that way, but sometimes it is the environment that they are brought up in as well.
Evil is also a very complex topic as well. What one person considers evil could be another person a correct action. A good example of this is ISIS. They think that they are correct and they are fighting the great evil of the west. We think differently. Please do not think for one second that I am suggesting that they are right, I mealy am showing the difference of opinion.
That being said, there is a clear cut areas that we can all agree on. No one can make an argument that the holocaust was correct, no one can make an argument that the bombing in Cambodia was right, no one can make an argument that the infecting of black men in 1920's with syphilis was right. These things were evil.
Again the conversation get more interesting with a couple of different facts. When the Nazis high command was given a psychology test, they found that they were all very psychology healthy. They all had certain circumstances which changed their ethics and their morals. People change dependant upon where they are and what the people they are with are doing. As a result a perfectly health person can have their morality changed to the point where they can do the most atrocious acts that have ever been committed because of the situation that they are in.
Are certain people born evil? We can never know. Whilst there are psychopaths and sociopaths who are capable of horrific acts, are they evil is another matter. Whilst they can do evil acts, is this a case of bad upbringing or an encouragement of their natural biology and physiology? We will never really know.
People can do amazingly horrific acts which are evil. The mechanism on how this works is another matter.
I don't believe in good or evil.
There are merely karmic instruments.
Some violate our perceptions of what that means, or our own personal identity through their violence, which is always regrettable; and yet remains karmic in nature.
The problem of evil isn't really a problem when you see it from a larger perspective than a selfish one.
If I'm overly identified with my race, or my family or my neighborhood or whatever; I'll perceive my suffering in these contexts, regardless of who appears to be responsible for that.
Leave God out of it. It's just karma, like everything else in the dualistic trap we're all in, and trying to get out of also.
Karma is both the problem and the solution to the problem. Being responsible for yourself is important.
Here is what Kahlil Gibran says on this subject, which I heartily agree with:
On Crime & Punishment
Then one of the judges of the city stood forth and said, "Speak to us of Crime and Punishment."
And he answered saying:
It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,
That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.
And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.
Like the ocean is your god-self;
It remains for ever undefiled.
And like the ether it lifts but the winged.
Even like the sun is your god-self;
It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent.
But your god-self does not dwell alone in your being.
Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,
But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.
And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime.
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
And this also, though the word lie heavy upon your hearts:
The murdered is not unaccountable for his own murder,
And the robbed is not blameless in being robbed.
The righteous is not innocent of the deeds of the wicked,
And the white-handed is not clean in the doings of the felon.
Yea, the guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured,
And still more often the condemned is the burden-bearer for the guiltless and unblamed.
You cannot separate the just from the unjust and the good from the wicked;
For they stand together before the face of the sun even as the black thread and the white are woven together.
And when the black thread breaks, the weaver shall look into the whole cloth, and he shall examine the loom also.
If any of you would bring judgment the unfaithful wife,
Let him also weight the heart of her husband in scales, and measure his soul with measurements.
And let him who would lash the offender look unto the spirit of the offended.
And if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness and lay the ax unto the evil tree, let him see to its roots;
And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad, the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together in the silent heart of the earth.
And you judges who would be just,
What judgment pronounce you upon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in spirit?
What penalty lay you upon him who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spirit?
And how prosecute you him who in action is a deceiver and an oppressor,
Yet who also is aggrieved and outraged?
And how shall you punish those whose remorse is already greater than their misdeeds?
Is not remorse the justice which is administered by that very law which you would fain serve?
Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent nor lift it from the heart of the guilty.
Unbidden shall it call in the night, that men may wake and gaze upon themselves.
And you who would understand justice, how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light?
Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self,
And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.
Then a lawyer said, "But what of our Laws, master?"
And he answered:
You delight in laying down laws,
Yet you delight more in breaking them.
Like children playing by the ocean who build sand-towers with constancy and then destroy them with laughter.
But while you build your sand-towers the ocean brings more sand to the shore,
And when you destroy them, the ocean laughs with you.
Verily the ocean laughs always with the innocent.
But what of those to whom life is not an ocean, and man-made laws are not sand-towers,
But to whom life is a rock, and the law a chisel with which they would carve it in their own likeness?
What of the cripple who hates dancers?
What of the ox who loves his yoke and deems the elk and deer of the forest stray and vagrant things?
What of the old serpent who cannot shed his skin, and calls all others naked and shameless?
And of him who comes early to the wedding-feast, and when over-fed and tired goes his way saying that all feasts are violation and all feasters law-breakers?
What shall I say of these save that they too stand in the sunlight, but with their backs to the sun?
They see only their shadows, and their shadows are their laws.
And what is the sun to them but a caster of shadows?
And what is it to acknowledge the laws but to stoop down and trace their shadows upon the earth?
But you who walk facing the sun, what images drawn on the earth can hold you?
You who travel with the wind, what weathervane shall direct your course?
What man's law shall bind you if you break your yoke but upon no man's prison door?
What laws shall you fear if you dance but stumble against no man's iron chains?
And who is he that shall bring you to judgment if you tear off your garment yet leave it in no man's path?
People of Orphalese, you can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?
On Good & Evil
And one of the elders of the city said, "Speak to us of Good and Evil."
And he answered:
Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.
For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts, it drinks even of dead waters.
You are good when you are one with yourself.
Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.
For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.
And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.
You are good when you strive to give of yourself.
Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.
Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, "Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance."
For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.
You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,
Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.
And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.
You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.
Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.
Even those who limp go not backward.
But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.
You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good,
You are only loitering and sluggard.
Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.
In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you.
But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.
And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.
But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, "Wherefore are you slow and halting?"
For the truly good ask not the naked, "Where is your garment?" nor the houseless, "What has befallen your house?"
- 1.profoundly immoral and malevolent."his evil deeds"synonyms:wicked, bad, wrong, immoral, sinful, foul, vile, dishonorable, corrupt, iniquitous,depraved, reprobate, villainous, nefarious, vicious, malicious; More
- 1.profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force."the world is stalked by relentless evil"synonyms:wickedness, bad, badness, wrongdoing, sin, ill, immorality, vice, iniquity, degeneracy,corruption, depravity, villainy, nefariousness, malevolence; M
If you go straight from the definition, then certainly yes. There are people who live with "profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity", and you could consider those people evil. If there were no such thing as evil, why would the word exist?
If you go more with the feeling than the definition, well, still probably yes. It's an infinitely large universe out there, and there will be people who see their wrongdoings as not for the greater good of something. Most criminals, burglars, murderers, etc., most of them still believe that what they are doing is for the good of something. So occasionally, there will be the one who knows that what they are doing is just BAD. That is the evil person.
However, I believe that there is no such thing as PURE EVIL. Someone with no humanity whatsoever? Maybe. Someone with no positivity whatsoever? NO WAY!!! Well, maybe Agent F.O.X. ...
Q. Are there evil people?
-According to evolution, all the life in earth were arise from simple DNA. First it started as a single cell as a unicellular organism and later evolved into complex multicellular organism. All those organisms are related and evolved by the simple DNA instruction. Charles Darwin was the first to formulate a scientific argument for the theory of evolution by means of natural selection.
-So DNA is the life of organism. No DNA, no life.
-When DNA makes a human being, mind spontaneously occur in that human and it permanently disappear when that living being dies.
-Today's society thinking is that during their lifetimes, some people become good and some people become bad due to genetics (nature) or influenced by environment (nurture). Bad actions of bad people are not due to their fault and good actions of good people are not due to their effort either.
-From the view of Theravada Buddhism,.
-Human beings are not blank slate at birth, according to philosophy of Theravada Buddhism. Some people are born good regardless of their good or bad environment or good or bad behaviors of their parents. Some people are born bad regardless of their good or bad environment or good or bad behaviors of their parents, too.
-That does not mean their good or bad behaviors, attitudes are fixed since birth. They can change from good to bad or bad to good during their lifetime. During the growing period from childhood to adulthood, they can become good or bad (especially bad if environment encourages) according to influence of environment (parents, teachers, surrounding people, etc).
-But it is easier to change from good to bad than bad to good. It takes more effort to change from bad to good than vice versa. It takes much effort to keep on having good behaviors. It is easy to keep on having bad behaviors.
-According to philosophy of Theravada Buddhism, personality is learned as it was acquired from previous lifetime (his/her repeated actions at that life). In one person's life, his/her actions, which he/she repeatedly does, become his/her habits, behaviors, and then become personality.
-According to the philosophy of Theravada Buddhism, Gotama Buddha emphasized more on the morality rather than any other thing as a person's destiny.
- Not doing the bad things, doing the good things, keeping one's mind purely- these are the Buddha's teaching. Gotama Buddha
- There are these three types of sons & daughters existing in the world. Which three?
- One of heightened birth, one of similar birth, one of lowered birth.
- "And how is a son or daughter of heightened birth? There is the case where a son or daughter's parents do not abstain from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, from fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness. They are unprincipled & evil by nature. However, their son or daughter abstains from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, from fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness. He/she is principled & admirable by nature. This is called a son or daughter of heightened birth.
- "And how is a son or daughter of similar birth? There is the case where a son or daughter's parents abstain from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, from fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness. They are principled & admirable by nature. Their son or daughter abstains from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, from fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness. He/she is principled & admirable by nature. This is called a son or daughter of similar birth.
- "And how is a son or daughter of lowered birth? There is the case where a son or daughter's parents abstain from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, from fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness. They are principled & admirable by nature. However, their son or daughter does not abstain from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, from fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness. He/she is unprincipled & evil by nature. This is called a son or daughter of lowered birth."
-There are these four types of people to be found existing in the world.
- One in darkness who is headed for darkness,
- One in darkness who is headed for light,
- One in light who is headed for darkness, and
- One in light who is headed for light.
- A person is born into a lowly family -- the family of a scavenger, a hunter, a basket-weaver, a wheelwright, or a sweeper -- a family that is poor, with little food or drink, living in hardship, where food and clothing are hard to come by. And he is ugly, misshapen, stunted, and sickly: half-blind or deformed or lame or crippled. He doesn't receive any [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, or vehicles; garlands, perfumes, or ointments; bedding, shelter, or lamps. He engages in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct. This is the type of person in darkness who is headed for darkness.
- A person is born into a lower class family -- the family of a scavenger, a hunter, a basket-weaver, a wheelwright, or a sweeper -- a family that is poor, with little food or drink, living in hardship, where food and clothing are hard to come by. And he is ugly, misshapen, stunted, and sickly: half-blind or deformed or lame or crippled. He doesn't receive any [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, or vehicles; garlands, perfumes, or ointments; bedding, shelter, or lamps. He engages in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct. This is the type of person in darkness who is headed for light.
- A person is born into an upper class family -- a noble warrior family, a priestly family, a prosperous householder family -- a family that is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions, with a great deal of money, a great many accoutrements of wealth, a great many commodities. And he is well-built, handsome, extremely inspiring, endowed with a lotus-like complexion. He receives [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, and vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and ointments; bedding, shelter, and lamps. He engages in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct. This is the type of person in light who is headed for darkness.
- A person is born into an upper class family -- a noble warrior family, a priestly family, a prosperous householder family -- a family that is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions, with a great deal of money, a great many accoutrements of wealth, a great many commodities. And he is well-built, handsome, extremely inspiring, endowed with a lotus-like complexion. He receives [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, and vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and ointments; bedding, shelter, and lamps. He engages in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct. This is the type of person in light who is headed for light.
- These are the four types of people to be found existing in the world.
Source - Tipitaka
Evil is an abstract concept that is a way of defining the polar opposite of an objective morality. So in a sense there is no evil people only people that have been judged as having only or close to only negative traits when compared to what is socially acceptable.
The concepts of good and evil will always be changing. They can vary depending upon individual situations, culture and location.
A simple example is being gay in some places this is a very negative trait others it isn't. There are still some myths about the subject and thus someone might associate gay with immoral and thus an evil individual.
Other cases are more universally accepted such as serial killers. The desire to protect ourselves creates this type of individual to be associated with evil. Most likely this will not change over time however even this idea is brought about by what is considered to be socially acceptable.
So as you can see evil doesn't exist as an entity of itself but is determined by society to mean undesirable person.
- everything is done because someone thinks its either for the greater good, or at least good for himself: Usually, but not always.
- not even sadistic people hurt others just because it is evil, they do it because it is fun, for them: How does doing evil things for fun make it not evil?
- everything that is intentionally done is advancing someone's cause: what if it's an evil cause?
- Are there evil people? Yes, there are. They're people who do nothing but evil things. What personal satisfaction they get from it is irrelevant.