Evil Amoung Us

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by JJJ, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    While many of us here have learned through personal experience that evil and good can exist in the same person, I think this article does a great job explaining that to "others".

    Quote: Evil isn’t as simple as we would like it to be, nor is it all that rare…..[the Milgram] experiments demonstrated that authority is a powerful influence on behavior and that people will actually perpetrate evil….we all have the potential for evil within us.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We also don't know - and there is really no way to measure - the extent to which this is just another generation passing on a problem that's been passed along... not necessarily parent-to-child, but... one perp does a huge pile of damage, and then take that forward 30 or 40 or 50 years... how many of those affected end up there too? Not all - nowhere close. But some will. Where does the "evil" really start?

    (won't go there - this is not a philosophy forum!)

    There have been some famous cases over the years, horrendous stuff, where in trying to get to the "why" of it... it started with a very damaged kid. Some hide it with "success", some with "failure"... and some fight back, taking others down with them.

    They are right, though... it isn't the people and personalities you expect it to be.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Having lived it, I only have one very important thing to say...........

    Monsters rarely look like monsters, except to their victims. If evil were obvious, everyone would easily avoid it.

    I couldn't rest until I made sure that lesson registered totally with my kids.

    I watched the reports at first and then just stopped. When the news folks would debate why what's his name didn't stop the abuse he walked in on.......and they kept saying they would.....I thought to myself "how do you know what you'd do in his place, when you've never been in his place?" That was his boss. The guy had a major reputation, he'd established a major image for himself. The odds of him not being believed were astronomical. And he had to overcome his own shock at what he walked in on. I give the guy kuddos for even reporting it at all personally. Most wouldn't have said a thing.

    And no, he didn't do the right thing. He did what people do is all. It's reality.

    When we think of monsters and evil we bring up vile images in our heads. Society can't cope with them looking and acting just like everyone else does. Because if they have to accept that, then who do your trust? Scarey concept that. And sadly, as long as society can't cope with the truth, this evil will continue to perpetuate itself.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting that interesting article, JJJ.
    I think... evil is not at all what we imagine. The people who can stand up against what we later identify as "evil" at the time it is happening, and at personal cost to themselves and/or their families, are rare... moral heroes. Or probably just people who have understood that it is truly better to die than to lose your morality. It is very hard to see or to understand that - when I was young and unformed, I did not. And no-one can make someone else see it.
    I really believe that often times people are caught up in evil situations, which are condoned by everyone around them, and see no way to resist. This is all of us - how many of us would have resisted the Nazis? I would like to be one of those heroes but fear I would not have been. Life sometimes imposes impossible choices on us. It is much more complicated than people being good or bad.
    And it makes me very sad... because I really would like to be one of the Resistance fighters or harbouring Jews in my attic. But know there is part of me that would crumple, that would take the easy way, that would feel powerless to stand up for my values and beliefs. I and millions of others. And so the world turns.
  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I agree with y'all. We all like to believe we would do the "right" think in any circumstance but if you are honest with yourself, there have probably been times when you could have done something (maybe not on so grand a scale, but SOMETHING) and you didn't. It's human nature to protect yourself first. Not that it's right; it's just the way most of us are wired.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I've been in the situation where I was torn - should I do something or not? More than once.

    And sometimes, I have done something. But others, I have not.

    If it were easy to do/say something, it wouldn't happen as often.
  7. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I'm with Step - there's been a couple of occasions where I wasn't certain what i should do. I asked for advice from others.

    You are all right - it's easy to say I would do xyz and absolutely not abc - but when you find yourself in the situation you might surprise yourself by doing abc.