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Good vs. Evil

5 posts in this topic

Good guys wear white hats and bad guys wear black hats. Of course, it’s not that simple.

How do the bad guys get to be bad guys? Are they trained that way, or are they just born that way?

Joe McQuade, our esteemed editor, recently wrote that writing about a subject helps him get it straight in his own head. This is what I’m hoping for with this subject.

A few years ago I would not have thought a bad guy was born bad, but that was before I met a four-year-old criminal. I originally believed he was just going through a stage. But as he got older, he was a remorseless older criminal.

When he was in pre-school daycare, he took prescription drugs out of his parent’s bathroom and distributed them among the other children in his class. By age eight, he was breaking into houses and businesses. Getting caught was merely an inconvenience to him.

Then there are people who commit crimes because of circumstances.

I met a man once who was a prisoner of war in Germany during WWII. His fellow prisoners were boys from Killeen, Texas, who grew up with him and who joined the Texas National Guard when he did. He told me that after nearly three years as a prisoner, he would have killed any one of them for half a piece of bread.

To classify this guy as a murderer or even a potential murderer misses the point. He didn’t rob, lie or steal. After the war he went back to his wife, had three kids, and was a true and loyal husband.

Several bank embezzlers with whom I crossed paths were all active in their churches, active in local politics (one was mayor of the small town where his bank was located), and all of them had reputations for honesty and integrity. Somewhere along the line they each got in financial trouble, and rather than face the music they misappropriated bank funds, probably with the intention of paying it back.

One kept juggling a $50,000 misappropriation for 15 years. During this time he couldn’t take a vacation or even miss a day’s work, lest someone discover his wrongdoing. Other employees told me he would sometimes come to work with the flu and fever so bad he would have to be helped to his desk.

In Arab countries, many young boys are schooled in a misinterpretation of the Koran that promotes hate. When they are teenagers, it is no stretch for them to become terrorists or even suicide bombers. They are loved and admired by people in their own countries, even though most of the Western world views them as the worst psychopaths on the planet earth.

Are they bad guys? That depends who is doing the classifications.

The next question: Do serial killers decide to be serial killers? Do serial rapists decide to be rapists? You could ask the same question of Einstein. Did he decide to become a genius?

One of the hottest debates today is, do homosexuals decide to be homosexual? Being gay is a terrible lifestyle choice, yet many people in the religious sector believe that with counseling and perhaps a conversion to Christianity, a gay person can be made to see the light and be rehabilitated . That flies in the face of gay priests who are counselors.

I have a doctor friend who while growing up aspired to become either a doctor or a pimp. The doctors he knew drove big nice cars and wore expensive clothes. The pimps he knew drove bigger, nicer cars and wore more expensive clothes -- so he had just about decided to become a pimp.

Then the pimp who was his role model got shot and killed by one of his girls. My friend reasoned that doctors don’t get shot as often as pimp, which made that profession a better career choice.

We send psychopathic killers and rapists to prisons that we call houses of correction, supposedly to be rehabilitated.

Can these people be rehabilitated? I think they are what they are. They have a different wiring system that prisons cannot change. Nor can homosexuals be changed. I often hear of gays coming out of the closet to announce their homosexuality, but I’ve never heard of a homosexual going in the closet.

The trick is to tell the difference between a person who commits a heinous crime because he enjoys it and a person who commits a heinous crime because of circumstances.

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I am impressed and intrigued with Jim Hamilton’s morality comparisons on the abortion and gay issues ("Campaign 2004" in Politics).

The Civil War abolitionists and the present day anti-abortionists are singing from the same sheet of music, while their counterparts are, likewise, on the same team.

The big divide came when the slave owner states saw that their right to own slaves was being taken away. They were ready to fight and die for that right while the abolitionists saw it as a morality issue to be settled by conversation and negotiation.

Today’s pro-lifers are ready to fight and die, and kill, for their position on the un-born while the pro-choice people would prefer not to fight, die and certainly not to kill for their belief.

When the morality card was played for the slave states, they couldn’t understand the problem because most of the people in the South didn’t consider blacks to be “people,” but creatures more akin to farm animals which should be properly taken care of and not abused. In that context, if the slave owners were asked if slavery of people was immoral, they would readily agree. If, at the same time, you asked the Yankees if owning and using farm animals was wrong they would say no.

We have a very similar problem with the pro-life pro-choice debate. When does life begin, on the conjugal bed or in the delivery room?

If life begins with the meeting of sperm and an egg, we are indeed a murderous lot and you would have a hard time trying to convince a pro-lifer that blowing up and murdering people at abortion clinics, in retribution, is a terrible crime, or even a crime.

The gay issue falls into the same category. If gays are gay by choice, then they are sinners. I heard the reverend Jerry Falwell say that a gay person could be cured by counseling -- religious counseling, that is. How can a sinner have a position to be considered when his sin cannot be recognized as anything other than a terrible, immoral wrong?

How can a resolution be negotiated by people who cannot even imagine the position of the other party?

The slavery issue was settled by the slaughtering of several hundred thousand people, but was the issue really settled? Southern people only recently have been seeing personalities in black faces where previously all black faces looked the same to them. They are slowly beginning to think, “Maybe they are people after all.”

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I have an older brother who was once a policeman and he told me that he had met criminals who he would trust with his life and on the other side he knew police who he wouldn't trust as far as he could throw them. On a more personal level I find this a very interesting topic because I try to live my life as good and decent as possible, ie. don't hurt others, be honest and truthful yet constantly get knocked down, however I know some people who have done terrible things in their life and they seem to get ahead in all areas of their life whilst I'm still struggling. I wonder if I was a complete a$hole would that help me be more successful, especially in regards to wealth and prosperity. If I can help someone I will, not to get a reward but more to make life a better place and still when things go wrong for me there is the thought of 'why me?' I know I could never be a deceitful person to gain something but at times I do think that life/universe rewards horrible actions/people and lets the good people struggle.

My sister is always vocal on her anti-abortion views, however she used to live around the corner from a little boy who would get physically assaulted by his father on a regular basis. Not once did she do anything about this little boy and the situation he was in but would go on and on about how wrong abortion was and I used to think 'why aren't you helping the child that exists instead of yapping about something that is a fait accompli?' I just don't get it.

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The answer is, "IT ALL DEPENDS!" Each of us can be influenced by outside events in many different ways, resulting in many different possible reactions from us.. If you rob my house...I will be upset with you, if I know it is you...but even that depends.....Do I know you already? Then betrayal comes in the affect my reactions, along with sense of loss...for the objects...loss for the friendship, anger at self cause I trusted you.....and so on Each of those feelings affect how I react to you with my anger....all the way from forgiving you because I understand the needs you had and how bad you felt betraying me...I might let my good side rule my behaviors to you in the future...Or I could end up wanting to beat you to death , whether or not I try.. IT ALL DEPENDS. A good teacher, might change a young child from becoming a psychopathic killer in the future... recognizing his good side, helping him understand his feelings, giving him better ones about himself at least...or even going so far as to remove him from his school, and or home environment...thus enabling him to be a good person as an adult. A teacher could also make his feelings grow a lot worse, thus leading his behavior to be evil and violent later in his life.. or hers,,,,,there are evil women as well...IT ALL DEPENDS on prior incidents, and prior reactions... ALIGermany

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