Monday, October 17, 2011

Are You Born That Way?


Yesterday as we sat around the dinner table, we talked about the talks that were given during church.  As most conversations do, it took a slight turn.  Kristin was talking about how one of her friends at school was asking questions about the church.  Baptism came into the discussion, and she was able to tell the story of her baptism.  She had to go under three times.  Yes three!  We believe the prayer should be said perfectly, and that the person should be immersed entirely.  Long story short, it took three attempts.  This moved the conversation to the Catholic faith--which Rich grew up Catholic--and how in their faith you are baptized as a baby.  This in turn led to another conversation.

In one of her classes, Kristin's teacher asked the class if people are born good, neutral, or evil.  She had them stand at certain points in the room according to their opinion.  Kristin, being young, and seeing good in everyone chose "neutral."  I didn't.   I am of the opinion that there are some people who are born with evil in them.  I don't like that I feel that way, but I seen too much, and I know I have yet to see more.

When I was about my daughter's age, there was a scary man loose in my area.  He was raping and murdering women.  Women of all ages.  He was evil.  He was dubbed, "The Night Stalker."  It was the middle of summer, we had no air conditioning and we slept with our windows shut.  I slept with a bat by my bed.  A wooden bat.  Old and splintered.  Additionally my softball trophy with the marble base was within my grasp--and I was well practiced.  I was not going down without a fight.  I was scared, but he was not going to "get me."  He was caught in a neighboring city and beat by the neighborhood watch crew.  He is on death row.  Despite that, he still strikes me as evil.  In a court room stock footage, he looked at the camera and grinned.  He was quoted as saying he was going to "Disneyland." He gives me the eeebie jeebies.  There are others:  Ted Bundy and Jeffrey R. MacDonald who were seemingly "normal" well liked individuals.  When in reality they were calculating, and "monsters."

What is your opinion?  Are people born evil?  Or are we born neutral, and then grown into good or evil? 


10 comments:

Nikki said...

this is an interesting topic. I honestly don't think people are born "evil". I think every baby is born good, and then, somehow, the world corrupts them in one way or another. I'm sorry you had to go through that, that must've been really scary! I would've been freaked out. With his case though, and I'm not making excuses at all, but maybe he was abused etc in his life which caused him to be that way.

Linda Medrano said...

Nature vs. Nurture. It's an old argument, isn't it? I think the answer may lie somewhere in between. While there are "monsters" out there, they are actually far and few between. I have never been afraid of them. The odds of being a victim are actually pretty small. I think we need to look for the good in people, and carry a big stick in case we need it.

MiMi said...

I never know if you are born evil or not, but I do know that evil exists in the world. So many people don't think that. : /

Emmy said...

I don't think people are born evil- I think some could be born with tendencies or even mental defects that make certain behaviors trigger and come that would otherwise not. I do think people are born with different dispositions that will lean towards good or evil- but no one is born evil

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

What a scary experience to go through!

I personally don't think people are born with evil in them.

Though, I believe some people are more inclined than others to make poor choices because of personality traits they are born with. Then, abuse or mental illness can also add to that. But I think letting evil take hold of you is a choice.

Trooper Thorn said...

I don't think anyone is born "evil", but some without empathy necessary to see bad deeds as cruel and selfish acts as harmful.

Christina Lee said...

Oh boy, can of worms over here, lady!
Well being a former therapist, I'd say that many factors go into what people turn into, even if they were born with certain "traits". A combo of their personality, coping skills, upbringing, experiences and society shape who they become. I mean look, even serial killer "Dexter" now only kills the "baddies." :-)))

mormonhermitmom said...

I think I would have gone with your daughter and stood in the "neutral" area to start with. So many things can draw us to good or evil. The trick is to make choices that keep us on the good side.

blueviolet said...

I suspect there are imbalances people are born with that make them susceptible to living an evil life, but I like to think that we're all born with a clean slate.

Nicole said...

That really is the question, Nature vs Nurture I think. And there may be a little evil in all of us... but it's also how we were brought up, the kind of childhood we had, role models we had, etc. So that's a really tough question!