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Are criminals evil?

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posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 10:47 AM
Just a fundamental question - do you think criminals, and I'm talking real criminals, murderers, arsonists, rapists, mafioso, etc, evil?

That is, willingly and happily choosing to hurt people, just because it makes them happy?

Or is the criminal a person who is missing the ability to empathize with others, or a person who has been severely abused, or is mentally ill?

If the latter is true, and personally I think it is, should we feel sorry for them (though of course, not put them above their victims)?

And also, do you think if someone commits a major crime, like murder, arson, rape, or a Ponzi scheme, that they should be locked up or killed and deserve no chance to make good of themselves, no matter how unlikely they are to repeat the crime or how sorry they are?

My final implication is, since many elites are guilty of murder (if not by their own hands, than by actions in their political career), should they be in prison until they die? For such criminals are even worse than most murderers.

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 11:15 AM
Good thread, DD!

I personally think the word 'evil' is pretty subjective. One man's evil is another's self-preservation.

History has quite a few individuals to choose from that would be considered evil by many, but were heroes to others. I bet today, there is a soldier, 'fighting for America' in some foreign land, the picture of patriotism and a hero to his country, but decidedly 'evil' to those whose country he is occupying.

It would seem that our nation, and most others, base their legal system on their religious beliefs. Crime, for Americans, typically falls right in line with 'sins' in Christianity.

In theory, I think that the 'justice' system we have plays the part of God to it's creators, enforcers and maintainers. We have a very powerful entity that will 'punish' us when we 'sin.' Again, in theory, once we have been punished 'enough' (served our time, paid our fine, etc,) We will be 'forgiven.'

Somewhere that system got broken. Probably because it was inherently flawed, being based on a religious system that is so easily misinterpreted.

What we have now is a very blurry line. 'Forgiveness' is BOUGHT and is far more accessible to the rich. A man that commits a heinous crime may 'serve his time,' and be released from prison, but he can never be a part of society again. He can't vote, or exercise quite a few of the 'rights' he was granted by the founding fathers. What that means is that if his 'sin' was 'bad enough' he will not ever be forgiven by the system that was supposed to mirror God's grace. We have a silly little phrase 'paid his debt to society.' The problem is, that the 'debt' to society is never satisfied. Your 'record' follows you around until you die. It acts a permanent reminder to society that they should keep an eye on you.

I personally feel that some people can never be rehabilitated. Some people are so fundamentally flawed that they can never exist within a 'civilized' society. What we do with those people now, is either kill them, again playing god, or just keep them locked up forever so we don't have to be afraid of them any more.

Killing is wrong, it's ugly and it is rarely completely fair. If I shoot the guy that broke into my house because he's a burglar, I'm within my legal 'rights.' When I find out that his children were starving and he had reached the end of his rope and had exhausted his ability to reason through the problem, my 'rights' get a little more selfish and distorted.

I think crime and evil are definitely related in the human consciousness, but that the problem is that we are too shallow to really understand what's happening. If there were no reasons to steal, there would not be theft. No reason to see your children starve, or have an uncontrollable addiction, there would be the elimination of so many crimes, and so much evil.

I know it probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but I honestly feel that evil, and crime are both just labels that are created to allow us to be comfortable in our superiority of one another. Rather than address the core needs, the fundamental REASONS that people do these things, it's much easier to slap a label on them and sleep well at night knowing that we aren't as 'bad' as they are. Then when we ignore the problems facing our society, we can just chalk them all up to crime, or evil and forget about our need to be involved, generous and compassionate.

If my neighbors children are starving, it's as much MY fault as it is his.

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 11:30 AM
No, because people are not evil. People are complex amalgamations of behaviors, desires, and motivations. The actions one may elicit as a result may be considered evil, but not the person as a whole. On one side of the spectrum, you have criminals who hurt others as a way to lash out and reciprocate some of that inner pain they feel onto society. On the other, you have people who are convinced of their own righteousness. They see themselves as good and noble, working towards good and noble ends. Those they hurt along the way justified as means to a better end, or worse, dehumanized - so that those who are victimized can continually be victimized with impunity, because they are seen not as people - but as subhumans, cockroaches, and mockeries.

There's a world of difference between Jeffery Dalhmer, Pol Pot, and Thomas Jefferson - though each of their actions are unabashedly evil (Murder/Cannibalism, genocide, and slavery respectively).

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 11:31 AM
Well, I fall under the belief that good and evil are nothing but labels put on an action, specifically depending on a point of view. That said, some of the most horrific crimes in history can be justified or condemned, again depending on the point of view. It's easier to look at it from the perspective of malicious or benevolent.

Murder- Can be justified in some cases, but the law labels it as murder. Example being, if you kill my wife, and i kill you in return, am I a murderer? In my mind, no. in the eyes of the masses, probably not, but under the law, I am a criminal. At the very least, a vigilante. In any case, you maliciously killed my wife. But from the other side, perhaps "god" entered your mind and told you to do it, and some believe your story... who's truly the evil one in this case?

Mafia actions- No different than political actions, but the politicians have the law on their side. The general public will only see one point of view.

Rape- Crime against humanity. Personally I think every rapist should have their "special places" amputated. Followed with letting them bleed to death where they lie. Maliciously taking control of someone elses body for your own personal satisfaction. Does that make them evil? Not necessarily, some are genuinely insane.

Arson- watch Donnie Darko, you'll get my point by the end of the movie.

Those are just a few examples. I could be labeled as a criminal for quite a few things I do, but most label me as a good person. Just take a look at the old story of Robin hood, was he not painted as a good person? Did he not steal and kill to push his agenda? It's all perspective.

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 08:49 PM
Yes, I'm not sure if its a character flaw or possion, take a thief for instance -- they get a rush out of taking your stuff. a rush, a thief.
possed or charater flaw. I say "send them to hell and let god sort it out".

[edit on 26-8-2009 by Anti-Evil]

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 09:00 PM

I grew up in a white trash ghetto. I have known them in their future felon state, the reform school years, the gladiator stage and on into scumbag emeritus golden years.

selfish, mean, cold blooded and calculating. no redeeming qualities. multiple generations, passing the attitudes along.

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 09:03 PM
Who's judging the "evil"?

Do a little research into the mind of the psychopath and ponder the idea of the human mind that has no conception of "evil".

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 11:27 PM
I don't believe any person is inherently evil, but some people are infected more by the cancer of evil, if that makes any sense.

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 11:43 PM
reply to post by Donnie Darko

Some but not all IMHO. I think most are just lost. You got to remeber Moses killed a man before he was called to serve God. No one is perfect. But you got to think to I am a Christain, I do not claim to be perfect but I try to live as best I can but if you put me in a situation where my child's life were in danger I can not say that I would not kill to protect her or steal to feed her. We are only humans and depending on the circumstances we are all capable of comiting crimes.

posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 11:50 PM
reply to post by Donnie Darko

Evil, its an interesting concept, but that's all it is at the end of the day, an abstract idea, one that fluctuates with the various changes civilization goes through.

For instance people used to get married when they were like 14 or 15, nobody ever accused them of being pedophiles, old guys were allowed to marry young girls, women had almost no rights to speak of. People thought all of that was alright, now-a-days women have rights and there is an age of adulthood which is much higher than it used to be... Does that make those people back then evil, or just ignorant?

I guess true "evil" then is when you know what is right and wrong and still choose wrong most of the time. Its all about intent really, the intent and how long someone spent planning out their horrific crime.

I would say MOST murderers are evil but there are those that have good reason for doing what they are doing (or have at least convinced themselves what they're doing is justified), for instance a soldier can kill someone and its not called murder because it happens during war and its to be expected... To quote the Dark Knight "Nobody panics when things go according to plan, even if the plan is horrifying." so some civilians can get blown up in a war and no one really pays it much mind and they don't count it as murder...

We humans have a lot of violent and weird hobbies, we're truly bizarre.

I would say ALL rapists are evil. Rape was one I could never wrap my head around, I cannot even imagine the motivation that would cause one to violate another human being that way.

However while most murderers and rapists can be considered evil IMO that doesn't mean they are wholly devoid of "good" it merely means that during their crime they embodied evil, they put good entirely from their minds or had so twisted their psychology as to believe their evil deed was good (like Hitler)...

But in the end good and evil are just ever shifting concepts, words used to describe negative actions, people, things, or ideas that violate the norm to such a horrific degree that we cannot cope with them or that leave people hurt or dead...

posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 12:17 AM

Originally posted by Melissa101
reply to post by Donnie Darko

Some but not all IMHO. I think most are just lost. You got to remeber Moses killed a man before he was called to serve God. No one is perfect. But you got to think to I am a Christain, I do not claim to be perfect but I try to live as best I can but if you put me in a situation where my child's life were in danger I can not say that I would not kill to protect her or steal to feed her. We are only humans and depending on the circumstances we are all capable of comiting crimes.

I see.

Do you think anyone is beyond redemption/forgiveness?

posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 05:35 AM
Interesting question!

It's something that I have wondered about myself many times before. I have tried to understand criminal mentality and that of others who commit acts we describe as evil.

I think we have two possibilities; 1. A person who is genuinely evil or 2. Someone who isn't necessarily evil, but willing to do anything to get what they want.

I'd say the majority of cases can be described by point number 2.

For example,

A thief stealing money from someones handbag. Yes they might enjoy the thrill of committing the crime but simply its the fact that they can see the money, they need it or want it and don't have a problem stealing it.

Rather than work or earn money they don't mind doing whatever it takes to get it i.e. stealing

The same can be said about muggings. Groups of teenagers drunk or high, they see someone walking past with a brand new mobile phone, they want it so they will do anything to get it. Usually that involved beating the victim to a pulp...

Also I'll admit that theres probably a proportion of criminals who do commit their crimes because they lack the ability to empathize with others or because they have a mental illness.

In those cases I suppose I'd pity the criminal although still wouldn't forgive them for their actions.

Then we have point number 1. Those who genuinely are evil

Truly evil people do exist on this planet. Think Yin/Yang and imagine the nicest, friendliest person you know. The law of opposites suggests that somewhere there is a person who is his complete opposite.

Serial killers such as Ted Bundy, child abusers/killers such as Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

Unfortunately, and its a hard concept to understand, there are people who enjoy causing others pain and misery. People who you could genuinely describe as evil...

With regards to justice I think the punishment should fit the crime. Obviously chopping someones hand off because they stole a loaf of bread is crazily extreme but I do think varying degrees of crime severity should be met with appropriate punishments.

For example I think it would be pretty ridiculous to send someone to prison for 10 years for assault.

However, if that same person ripped someone to shreads with a knife and bit their ear off then 10 years minimum!

It's a difficult subject to talk about without bringing context into it.

Someone that kills another in protection of his family or that of another obviously should not be sent to jail. Although thats the way the worlds going with all this PC madness...

I definately do think that some people are beyond redemption.

Child killers and sex criminals spring to mind. I would have no mercy for those type of people.

My final implication is, since many elites are guilty of murder (if not by their own hands, than by actions in their political career), should they be in prison until they die? For such criminals are even worse than most murderers.

I'm not that smart on politics so off the top of my head I can't think of an example, if someone could describe such a situation?

However as far as I know even elites who kill(even through political means) are arrested if they have killed illegally?

I'm thinking along the lines such as war criminals etc ?

Good thread,

[edit on 27/8/09 by Death_Kron]

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