Have you ever wondered if you people are naturally born good or bad? This is a question that has been asked throughout the years. In this paper I want to learn whether we are born good or do we just learn it by the environment we are in. In a world where we live, I think it is easy to become evil, therefore people are not naturally born evil, but over time experience tragedy that turns them evil.
Simone Weil, a French political activist wrote a book called Gravity and Grace. In the book Simone mentions how “Creation is good that is broken up into pieces and scattered throughout evil. Evil is limitless, but it is not infinite. Only the infinite limits, the limits. ” By this I think she means that everyone is good, but they are placed in evil which is this world. No one is evil forever, good will limit how far you go. According to Weils, in her book she talks about the problem of Evil and how if we have a deity that is all good, why does evil exist? Evil should not be a thing if we have such a holy person. To Weils, evil is a negative thing that lacks good. Both good and evil are two distinct but equally the same because good is the opposite of evil and opposites in a sense means equivalent. In the book Weils also mentioned how when someone has the power of evil, they don’t realize what kind of power they have. They see as it is their duty to do evil. As soon as you start doing evil things it starts appearing as a duty. Some may see it as a good duty and some may realize it is bad. When people sin on extreme levels and lose their humanity, it leads to suffering, which hopefully leads to redemption. So are humans inherently good or evil?
For me, In order to be a good, a person must be able to put others before themselves, they show kindness and care about their family and friends and always make good choices in life. A person who is bad or evil some would day would be someone who are egoistic and only care about themselves. They are selfish and make poor life choices. According to my Hindu religion, “evil and suffering are considered to be an integral part of creation itself”. It is something that God had already planned for us before we came to Earth. Hindus believe in Karma which means they endure suffering due to their own actions. Many times when a person goes through so much pain, they end up becoming evil because of what they suffered for. It can have a huge impact on your life.
When we think about babies, we see them as the innocent and cute babies that they are. People don’t see babies as a killer or a rapist when they are born? Babies are not born to have intentions to be evil. However, there are many philosophers who believe that our environment around us shapes who we become. For example, Rousseau believed that we are all born good, but society turns us evil. I also agree with that, we are born good but our environment and society around us makes us evil. Our society is evil itself. People these days are cruel and cause people pain to the point where they kill themselves. Some people who are strong, do evil things like school shootings and mass murders. I believe if we were raised with good morals and had a good environment and upbringing, it would not cause a person to be evil. According to Simone Weils, she says how someone who has the power of evil does not even know what they have. I think people get so invested in that power they can’t see what’s right and wrong. Having that evilness makes people do horrible things.
In this world, babies are not born evil, they are not born as future murders. They choose to go on that path and there are many things that influence a person to do that. This can include things like child abuse, death in the family, depression and so many other things. When Kant said we have to choose a morally path because it is the right path, there are many people who, however, don’t choose the moral path and go in the wrong direction of life. Sometimes the wrong choices make you do things you often regret and that’s not because you were meant to do it, it’s because you chose to go on that path. I believe people turn evil and are not genuinely born evil. In Hinduism we believe that we were born in this life because of what we did in the past. This is the life where we amend and do good things. However some people choose not to do that and later regret. We are born to be good, but our environment and the things around us change who we are.
There are plenty of people in this world who would disagree with me, they might believe people are born to be evil. There might be early signs in kids that people notice like when children, many lack empathy towards people or other things which is the main key to developing psychopathy later in life. Kids who are unhappy all the time and are not social are said tend to be dangerous or develop a mental illness or become “evil” if they don’t change.
There are many reasons why people could think they are born evil, however according Essi Viding, professor of developmental psychopathology at University College London, says that nobody’s born a killer, but that there are individual differences that affect the likelihood of developing murderous traits. This might make certain people believe that they were already born evil and not realize why they are that way. According to the article “Are some humans born evil” there was a quote that said “Someone who commits murder doesn’t do so just because his parents treated him badly. A lot of peoples parents behave badly, but the children don’t turn into killers. Is it because he lives in a violent society where it doesn’t seem to matter so much? No, because he has a capacity to be different, he can choose to go along with the violent society or fight against it. Is it because of a psychological disorder? No, that’s another excuse”. The quote explains how some people are evil due to the society they are in and how it is normalized there. It is not always about the abuse or any other problems because some people do not choose to go on that path, however some do. It is not because they were born evil but because they went in the wrong direction.
To conclude, people are not in nature evil, but society and their environment shapes them to be that way. People are not always selfish, studies have soon people always instinctively thought about the community first than themselves. However the studies don’t take include psychopaths. Although the majority of people are good and many just make bad choices and end up going in the wrong direction of life.