Why are people bad or evil?


Green Jacket
Sep 7, 2015
As the name suggests, we will be discussing the question of 'Why are people bad?' with the interchangeable 'evil' included.

Please only say one answer at a time to maximize the variability in answers.

Feel free to use any explanation you want, just try to keep it relevant.

So, let's begin, Why are people bad or evil?
Can you go a bit more in depth with your answer there Grey?
Was this intended to go in the Plaza? Because that's probably why you got a one-liner of an answer.

I could use a quote I remember hearing some time back: There are good people who do bad things, and that's bad. But it isn't as bad if it was a one-time mistake and they learned from it. But when a good person does bad things over and over and over with no remorse... then that is a higher degree of wrong because you start to lose the capacity to be a good person. Innumerable things could allow this to happen; poor self reflection, inability to listen to others's opinions of you, narcissism, loss of empathy over time, overuse of excuses to your toxic behaviors.

 It's a less cynical explanation I prefer to use.
What makes someone evil is much more difficult to say. Nobody is born evil. Nobody wakes up one morning and says, "I feel genocidal today!" That's a much more complex sequence of events that distort someone's morals/view of the world over probably longer periods of time, that go unchecked or unpunished. That, or the person deludes themselves into believing their actions are right and just when in reality it becomes criminal behavior that they perceive to be doing the world a favor. They don't believe they make mistakes.
Myself, being a religious person, believe that it really can be broken down into the 7 deadly sins, now weather you believe in such things or not, you cannot deny their existence within people. The worst of all of them, in my opinion is greed, as it tends to lead to all of the others in one way or another, though it can be suggested that that applies to other ones similarly. I have seen people who cannot function properly without personal gain and the hoarding of obsolete material things, and the wasting of others charity for personal reasons. Murderers likely are too strung on the sin of War, also recognizable as that of extreme lust for violence.

Basically, if you were to break it down into a formula, I feel that every crime can always be broken down into those sins, otherwise, there is just no thought or basis behind someones actions.
Allow me to give my two cents. I firmly believe in the following: All or most humans are inherently good and want to do what they believe is right. Part of the problem is that there are varying ideals on what is "right" or "wrong" between various cultures leaving no clear answer for us.  This is only part of the answer though. Another thing said is that it is circumstances and things that turn people sour. Certain events and such can lead people down a dark path. Abuse in particular is known to cause good people to go bad or at the very least leave them bitter, jaded, untrusting, and/or a nervous wreck. I speak from experience as I've been emotionally abused for most of my childhood and have become basically all 4 of the above, but I desperately try to be a good person despite that. As pointed out before, the 7 deadlies can play a part as well, but we only start to harbor those because of the things that happen to us. In conclusion, it comes down primarily to two things: Values dissonance and circumstances that befall the individual. Of course, mental diseases can play a part as well, but even a sociopath or psychopath can, in theory, still be a good person.
I can accept that, I personally dont look at people in a bad light until they have given me good reason to think them wrong.
Psychopaths and sociopaths can by all means be good people, they are broad definitions of people when you consider the actual meaning of the words, like 'Sociopath' simply means that someone does not share Empathy with others, while it tends to be 'wrong' behavior from those people, it is by no means definitive of those people to be criminal. All we can do is hope for the best out of as many people as we can.
I've been thinking about this thread for years. After the recent surge of carnage across the world (Israel/Palestine, Sudan, Myanmar, etc.), massive expulsion (Pakistan) and the rise of far-right groups popping everywhere such as Europe and Latin America, and extremely out of touch billionaires that played with the thought of shock collars if the world ends. I found myself asking "why people chose to be evil?"

I don't know if people are evil by birth or inherited genetically their parents' personalities, but I do know that when it comes to a problem... some people find it much easier to destroy then find a actual solution that benefits everyone. It's easy to hate. It's easy to destroy. Hate is also a serious money maker, unfortunately hence the rise of grifters across the world.

“If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.”

As least in the United States; the hate campaign is becoming massively strong. The backlash of Civil Rights among white Americans is coming in full swing and there is no sign of it slowing down. The attack of LBGT+ rights, the rise of islamphoia, the rise of antisemitism; the attack of basic civil liberties (the courts recently weakened the Voting Rights bill). If they could (and this is probably their end goal considering the heavy attack on any emphasizes of history courses), they would bring back Jim Crow in a heartbeat.

Why do these people do this? Hate. Why people hate? Possibly because they do not understand or were purposely fed information from outside parties... in order to profit off of hate. Even in the most brutal wars, there will always be someone that makes a profit off of misery.
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