Is there such a thing as a good or bad person?

@Pose123 (21667)
Canada
August 15, 2008 7:45pm CST
That is a question that I have thought about many times over the years, and I have been convinced for some time now that the answer is no. People are not good and bad, they are simply different. As a young man, I assumed that there were good and bad people, that is the impression that most people are raised with. As we get older, some of us take a deeper look at life, at ourselves and at others. There are actions that lead us in different directions, and it is though those that we become who we are. Most of us experienced childhoods in which the words good and bad were weapons used to control us. You were good if you did what you were told, bad if you didn't, in my opinion now, not a very healthy form of discipline. I fully realize that many people will disagree with me and point at certain people in history, or even living today, and say, are you saying that such and such was not a bad person, or that so and so is a good person? The fact is we have labeled certain acts good and others bad, and of course we much have some kind of system of rules to live by. The fact is however, either one of us are capable of the best or the worse, given certain conditions. Accepting this thought will never be easy for some and impossible for many, but I would like everyone to give it some thought before condemning it outright. All opinions welcome.
4 people like this
12 responses
@poohgal (6848)
• Singapore
16 Aug 08
Personally, I feel that we are all born bad. My reason is human beings need to be constantly reminded to do good but we need no reminder for some of the bad things we do. This is why we need rules and regulations to keep us within control. For example, can you remember when you tell your first lie? Was it taught to you? I certainly can't remember when I told my first lie but I'm sure it happened when I was really young and no one taught me. I also believe this is the reason why we have the BIBLE (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). Our upbringing and moral values determine whether how much good we will have when we grow up. There's no 100% good or bad people in this world. There's a good and evil side in all of us.. it's just a matter of which side is more prevalent in our daily lives. My 2 cents - poohgal^^
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
16 Aug 08
Hi poohgal, Thank you for your 2 cents, it's great to get your opinion. I also like your explanation for BIBLE, I'd never heard it put that way before. Of course everyone don't have the Bible but most people do have their holy book which give them directions. I feel that we are all born innocent and that every experience we have from day one decides who we are. You are right of course, no one is all good or all bad. Blessings.
@bhappy2 (327)
• Australia
16 Aug 08
I have always believed that there was good and bad in all of us and the difference is how we want to live. We all have free choice so if I decide to steal I am allowing my bad side to come out. If I decide to be honest and do the right thing then I am allowing my good side to come out. Sometimes really good people do really bad things. A woman I once knew was murdered by her husband when he caught her with another man. Both the husband and the wife were acually good people but she allowed herself to get into this situation by making a bad choice and the husband reacted to her choice in a bad way; I am sure without thinking. This is why I believe we all have the potential to be good or bad and it is the choices we make that makes the difference.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
16 Aug 08
Hi bhappy, Thank you for responding, I appreciate your thoughts on this. What you say would certainly be true if we all had the same upbringing, but we don't. We are all born as innocent little children, but every experience from day one decides who we are, and is why we make different choices. The choices people make are judged good and bad, but are those actions who they really are? Should a person who has lived a good life up to that moment, be forever judged by something that he/she did in a moment of anger? Just more thoughts. Blessings.
• Sweden
16 Aug 08
I'm pretty sure that evil exist but no one is born evil but the evil exist and can be in all of us...depending on the circumstances and what we'we been through in life as the good can be in us all..
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
26 Aug 08
I agree with u that there are actually no bad ple.. The difference in differentiating them is their way of thinking is different from the majority of ple and thus they are labelled as bad person.. But instead, they are actually good ple whom just see and live life the way they wanted.. Thus, they are seen to be bad ple.. SO as time goes by, with nobody wanna support them, they start to be independant and things start getting bad to worse, when actually they are good ple ^_^ hehe
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
26 Aug 08
Hi kun2349, Thank you for commenting. Blessings.
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
16 Aug 08
I really believe that we are a product of our environment ,and this defines who we are as individuals. If we grow up with compassion and love is easier to follow the right path instead of following fanatics who only see the world as black and white. Hate can lead us to terrible actions ,and Love can lead us to wonderful actions. This is what usually defines good and bad ,but doing things differently should not be a definition of good and evil.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
18 Aug 08
Hi Mirita, Thank you for your thoughts, and I like your response. Blessings.
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
16 Aug 08
I think that there are both good and bad people in the world. We have Martin Luther King, Jesus, and various good people are trying to make the world better than they found it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Hitler, most pedophiles- (although I know some of them have serious mental issues and fight their impulses notably), and the soldiers who were involved in the Mai Li Massacre (not at all sure of spelling). Of course, every situation is different and there might be some exceptions, but I by think clearly that there are good and bad people in the world.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
16 Aug 08
Hi cripfemme, Thank you for responding and for your thoughts. I respect your opinion. Blessings.
@harips (106)
• India
16 Aug 08
hi friend, i think their is no need for the two words good and bad . it is really meaningless beacause one,s good may be bad for other. so we have to do always what u feel good. the whole other things are only secondary. be confident in you and that will make the differannce thank u dear for this topic(pardon me 4 this english)
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
16 Aug 08
Hi harips, Thank you for responding. I completely agree with your comment. Blessings.
@remyby (28)
• Bahamas
16 Aug 08
We all messup from time to time,but wanting to do better is important.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
16 Aug 08
Hi remyby, Thanks for responding, you make a good point. Blessings.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
16 Aug 08
Well if it were the case of original sin, we all have it, but to some God gives us grace and removes the stain through the blood of Jesus Christ. But if you are saying that some of the remainder have a greater capacity and will to do evil and some do not have the will to do evil, and some do not even think of it except for maybe white lies, then yes there are evil and good people in the world. For instance Hitler and Stalin. You cannot excuse their behavior on how they were raised. Hitler's parents could have had another child and raised that child the same way and that child would not have turned out to be a monster like Adolph and Stalin's parents could have raised their other child (assuming Stalin had a twin brother) the same way, and that brother might have turned out to be good. On the other hand, had Hitler or Stalin been raised by loving parents then what evil they did would have been limited to bullying kids in the classroom and writing slogans. And if a good child was raised by good parents, he would be all right, but a good child would not turn evil being raised by bad parents. So each one has a capacity to evil, but in some it is just a little bit -but in others, it is a great lot, and it is up to the parents or those in authority to see that the latter is keep down.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
16 Aug 08
Hi suspenseful, Thank you for your thoughts on this, I appreciate your responding. As I no longer believe in original sin, I think we are all born innocent, but everything that we experience from day one makes us who we are. That everyone don't have the same chance in life is very clear to all of us. Of course our society must have rules and we label things good and bad, but is the person bad because the deed is bad? I expect everyone has friends who see a lot of good in them, even people like a Stalin or a Hitler. Blessings.
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
16 Aug 08
I believe that there is good and bad in everyone. I have heard that a person who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior is capable of anything. People have good and bad actions. But because no one is perfect, there is no one who is all good and I believe the only one that is all bad is satan.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
16 Aug 08
Hi Rozie37, Thanks for your thoughts. Blessings.
• Philippines
16 Aug 08
I believe every people in this world is good at heart, all people are kind and loving, its just that there are things in this world that blinds that heart.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
16 Aug 08
I carloLL, Thank you for your thoughts, i would have to agree since we are all born innocent little babies. Every experience from day one decides who and what we become. Blessings.
• India
17 Aug 08
Well, there is such a thing as bad or good person. I don't think Jack the Ripper was a better person than mother Teresa. I don't think Bin Laden is better than Nelson Mandela.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
17 Aug 08
Hi headhunter, Thanks for commenting and for your thoughts on the subject, I appreciate every response. I agree with you in the context of the way we think in our society today. Good and bad have different meanings in different cultures, and has taken on completely different meanings at certain times in history. There is also the thought as to whether or not the person is bad because the deed is bad in our way of thinking. Tests done on serial killers for example, have shown that they are born with something missing in their brain. These people have to be kept away from society of course, but can we label them bad because of a birth defect? There is much food for thought in all of this. Blessings.
• India
17 Aug 08
Well, I agree that there are cases where because of defect in the brain people behave as they do. But most of human being are bad because of choice. If the badness is purely because of 'robotic control' by our brain, then why do we hold a person responsible when he or she murders someone. And the question whether we are purely a product of DNA without the individual having to will to choose bad or good is also like that. I don't Bin Laden bombs people because he has brain defect. I don't think Mother Teresa's love is a 'robotic expression' of her brain activity. I believe the immensely complex 'information-bearing pattern' (brain/soul) in which the matter (body) is organised is not static, rather it is modified as we acquire new experiences, insights and memories in accordance with the dynamic of our living history. And therefore I believe that the person has the choice to choose either good or bad. I think most often it's like that. Blessings!
• United States
16 Aug 08
Hi Pose123-I believe that there are good and evil people. Take serial killers for example. Studies say that these people are born missing something in the frontal lobes of their brains. Or could it just be that they had such a horrible childhood that they reach a point where something happens that causes them to snap? I don't know, but these studies have shown where most serial killers abuse and/or kill animals when they are small and graduate to bigger, worse crimes as they age. On the other side of the coin you have people who are normal, who do some "bad" things like lie, cheat, etc., and then the good ones who like everyone, never do anything bad and seem pretty much perfect if such a thing is possible.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
17 Aug 08
Hi cinnamonwoods, Thank you for your comments. I had forgotten about those studies that were done on serial killers, until you mentioned it. My thoughts are that good and bad mean different things to different people, depending on your culture and outlook on the world and it certainly had different meanings during certain periods in history. The other point would be if we consider the act bad, does this necessarily make the person who commits the act bad? Should we consider someone bad if they are born with something missing as in the case of serial killers. They certainly have to be kept away from society, I agree with that of course. I think there is still much food for thought here. Blessings.