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View Diary: Do bad people exist? (123 comments)

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  •  I don't believe people (11+ / 0-)

    are born bad.  I think people can be bad due to their own abuse, due to an inability to understand, due to coercion, etc.

    But the lowest of the low are the ones who do bad things for money.  They have the capacity to know the difference and opt for bigger profits.

    This is horrific, fourfive.  Best of luck to you and yours.

    I used to be Snow White...but I drifted.

    by john07801 on Sun May 16, 2010 at 03:22:40 PM PDT

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    •  You pretty much said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries, john07801

      what I was thinking: bad people aren't born, but they can be made.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Sun May 16, 2010 at 03:32:08 PM PDT

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      •  Sorry, but there are some who are born bad. (9+ / 0-)

        And I'm not talking about Jessica Rabbit. I speak from personal experience (see my reply to your comment upthread).

        The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        by sidnora on Sun May 16, 2010 at 03:55:43 PM PDT

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        •  I'm with you, Sidnora. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bnasley, MichaelNY

          Lots of times the signs are there very early.

          I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

          by NogodsnomastersMary on Sun May 16, 2010 at 05:09:11 PM PDT

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        •  The criterion was "born" bad (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Predictor, allep10

          We've all known or heard about the worst of the worst, but you make no case for infant sociopathy.  Because there is no such thing.

          Newborns can arrive with lots of problems due to their mother's pre-natal behavior but they are not behavioral problems until they are taught (or sufficiently neglected).

          There are human animals who will only produce future generations of the same and, at 2 years of age, it is perhaps impossible to change a child's course in life, even if adopted.

          But, right out of the womb, they are "blank slates," and even if they are dealing with addiction, a loving, nurturing home can save them from much of their birth parents' destiny.

          And, even if not, I defy anyone to brand them and give up on them before they've had any chance to establish their own lives and history.  Every child deserves our support.

          I used to be Snow White...but I drifted.

          by john07801 on Sun May 16, 2010 at 08:11:26 PM PDT

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          •  I'm not being simplistic or dismissive (0+ / 0-)

            when I say "born bad".

            But no, I don't believe kids are blank slates. They are born with some range of potential, either for good or for bad, depending on environment and nurture. While in the vast majority of cases that range is very broad, in some it's pretty confined, and rigid too. I'm not saying that this is always possible, or even most of the time, but I've known people who gave a pretty good preview of who they grew up to be by the age of 3 months (quite wonderful, in that case).

            The person I was referencing initially was the brother of a very dear (and now-deceased) friend and neighbor. He grew up in the same household with the same parents as my friend, who was thoughtful, generous and sensitive almost to a fault.

            We never met his brother until shortly before our friend died, though we knew he existed. Our friend steadfastly kept his brother as far out of his life as possible. Because my only brother died young, I hate it when I see siblings who don't get along, and more than once I suggested to him that perhaps his brother wasn't so bad, and that he should try for a rapprochement. He always refused, gently but with no explanation.

            When my friend was dying, his brother showed up, and it quickly became apparent that his only interest was that of a vulture, i.e., what did he stand to gain by his brother's death. He managed to wrest his brother's modest estate from the people he'd intended to leave it to (not me), sell off whatever he could as quickly as possible (and for far less than it was actually worth - sociopathy makes people behave stupidly as well as amorally), and moved into his brother's co-op apartment, which he owned by virtue of his inheritance, but which he did not have the right to occupy. After 18 months of squatting and legal actions, during which he filed self-authored, weird, incompetent lawsuits against the co-op, and made physical threats against the officers, he was finally forced to sell the apartment.

            I got to know this man better than I ever wanted to during those 18 months, and I know what was wrong with him was organic. It wasn't something that even the most caring nurture could have changed. Put simply, he had no moral sense at all, and didn't even understand what a moral sense was. You know those bank ads where they treat little kids unfairly, and you can see the hurt and sense of injustice in their eyes? He wouldn't understand that at all. He was wired differently. If you got to spend a little time with him, you'd understand what I'm talking about. I think sociopaths are fortunately quite rare, so perhaps you've never had the experience.

            I have another friend whose sister is a sociopath, and she deals with it pretty much the same way.

            The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

            by sidnora on Mon May 17, 2010 at 06:11:23 AM PDT

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    •  Our society especially since Reagan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allep10

      Has ridiculed morality, and instead substituted moralism.  We are encouraged to screw our neighbor, particularly for profit.  It's now become dog eat dog, bigger rat eat smaller rat, and if you don't eat all you can get, some bigger rat will eat you.  Probably will anyway, but at least it will buy you some time.

      I do not like thee, Doctor Fell, The reason why I cannot tell; But this I know, and know full well, I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.

      by opinionated on Sun May 16, 2010 at 06:02:38 PM PDT

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