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I think it has more to do with environmental factors, especially in childhood. but I believe everyone is capable of committing evil acts under the right circumstances (i.e. the stanford prison experiment).
 

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giraffe
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Everyone is capable of evil, but most people are just naturally selfish, not 'evil'. I think evil is just what we use to describe extreme selfishness and disregard for others feelings/lives to the point where your desires are all that matter regardless of what happens. Normal people have a conscience that makes them feel guilt when they give into their selfish desires, some people in society either do not feel guilt, or are capable of ignoring it no matter what they do. Those are the people I would refer to as 'evil'. It's either learned behavior, or natural sociopathy.
 

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I'd say a mixture of both.

Genetics do play a factor in terms of mental health and disorders. So I'd say a person is predisposed to certain attributes of their personality.

However, the environment in which the person is raised definitely provides them with the "rules" in terms of morality and the like. The person will be inclined to behave in the way the people they're surrounded by act.
 

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I think most humans are capable of committing evil acts, but not all are capable of feeling remorse and guilt for those acts. Some are just naturally sociopaths or psychopaths and lack the ability to empathize with others.
In the cases of serial killers/mass murderers, I think most often it's a combination of nature and nurture.
Apparently, differences have been observed in the brains scans of psychopaths. Here's an interesting article I read on the subject and another about a neuroscientist who discovered that his brain was similar to the brains of the psychopaths that he'd been studying.
 

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Humankind has been pondering this since its origins. Most likely, it's just a combination of very complex roots.
 

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jaynex10
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No such thing as evil.

That is all.
Yes there is. Slavery, persecution, rape, genocide... These things are objectively immoral. That fact doesn't change just because certain idiots don't understand it.

You might as well say there is no such thing as justice, philosophy, or science, because some people don't understand those concepts either.
 

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OMG
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Yes there is. Slavery, persecution, rape, genocide... These things are objectively immoral. That fact doesn't change just because certain idiots don't understand it.

You might as well say there is no such thing as justice, philosophy, or science, because some people don't understand those concepts either.
I'm glad there's somebody here who is completely unbiased and capable of seeing the world objectively. Tell me, what is the meaning of life? Because somebody said it was 42, but I'm a bit skeptical myself.
 

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jaynex10
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There is no intrinsic "meaning of life". That has nothing to do with human morality. Raping a child is evil. It's inherently bad. It does a large amount of harm. This isn't a philosophical viewpoint, it's a fact.

By the way, nice Hitchhiker's Guide reference.
 

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OMG
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There is no intrinsic "meaning of life". That has nothing to do with human morality. Raping a child is evil. It's inherently bad. It does a large amount of harm. This isn't a philosophical viewpoint, it's a fact.
Great argument. I think I'll scream "It's a fact, it's a fact, it's a fact" like a little child until it becomes true.
 

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jaynex10
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Great argument. I think I'll scream "It's a fact, it's a fact, it's a fact" like a little child until it becomes true.
Care to present an argument as to why raping a child isn't morally wrong? This ought to be good.
 

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jaynex10
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^:mum

Mission accomplished.
 

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I think it's in the genes.. I wouldn't call it "evil". This "evil" helps people survive.. some people have too much of it. If we were born 100% pure and good we wouldn't be able to survive.
 

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I think most humans are capable of committing evil acts, but not all are capable of feeling remorse and guilt for those acts. Some are just naturally sociopaths or psychopaths and lack the ability to empathize with others.
In the cases of serial killers/mass murderers, I think most often it's a combination of nature and nurture.
Apparently, differences have been observed in the brains scans of psychopaths. Here's an interesting article I read on the subject and another about a neuroscientist who discovered that his brain was similar to the brains of the psychopaths that he'd been studying.
Totally agree I studied the nature vs. nurture thing in my psychology serial killer class back in high school.
 
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