Saturday, January 2, 2010

are we evil?

do you think we're all evil? that we're all sinful at heart? do you think we're all good and the evil in the world corrupts us? do you think everyone is different? some people good, some people bad...?

i go back and forth between us all being good and being corrupted by the evil that exists separate from us, and the idea that we are born good and evil.

i can look at anyone, hitler... pedophiles, and see the good in them. i can think and analyze and obsess over what their life was like, why they did what they did... never thinking it was ok, but understanding that we could all be capable of horrific things if we endured our own horrific experiences. at the same time i can look at them and have no grace what so ever. i can be so sure inside my own heart that i would never, under any circumstances, do the terrible things they did or do. does that mean i'm better? does that mean i am inherently less evil than them? and how can i know i wouldn't? i can't know that. i can believe it, i can stake my life on it... but i can't know that i am truly better than anyone else, not even a pedophile.

i do this with my own mother, i think about how bad of a mother she was and how i would never do the same. i look at people who have gone through the same things as me who decide to still be bad people and i look down on them. i look down on them because if i can be better, they can too. they just dont try hard enough. but could i really be the same as them if i was in their exact circumstance? whose to say? no one.

i have always had this battle inside me. on one hand i pitty people i think are bad... pedophiles, bad parents, evil dictators, killers, abusers. and on the other hand, i think they're disgusting and vile. i think they are heartless and so separated from me. but maybe they're not. maybe we're the same, only i have better circumstance... or i have better judgment, or better endurance, or higher intelligence, or just one trait that helped me through.

i do choose to believe that i am better, that people are better. i believe that people are for the most part good, that we are born good and loving. i choose to believe that there is some evil that is separate from us that corrupts us. or maybe there is evil in us, but it is small for most. it is a shadow on our heart. i dont believe we are all sinful or evil by nature. but i can always be wrong.

i think most people do believe they are better than the people we see as "evil" but they dont say flat out that they are better people. i think seth is better than me, but i am better than others.

the fact that i can see good in pretty much anyone and everyone is something i like about me, but at the same time its weird because i can admit to myself that i could be capable of anything those people have been capable of. if i can understand them, if i can have grace enough to get why a person would have so much hate or feel so much shame or hurt or whatever, does that mean i could be capable of those things in their situation? i can make myself understand and relate to any person no matter how good or evil. somehow that's good, but at the same time feels unnerving. most people i talk to can't understand the evil they see in others, can't imagine under any circumstances that they themselves could be just as wretched. i can. does that make me evil or compassionate?


back to the secret life of the american teenager... such a thought provoking show....



MEGAN said...

I can't read this whole thing right now because I have to go to work...but I just read a book yesterday, Murder in the Family, and I read a ton of books about serial killers, rapists, horrible things, and none has touched me the way this book did. This young guy killed his mom and brother, tried to kill his dad, 3 times, and was finally successful. He had a wonderful upbringing, great family, always loved, he just felt empty inside...I can't get over it. He's now on death row, sitting in a 10X6 cell until he's executed.

I think the difference between those of us that do not commit crimes and those that do, is some sense of rationalization. I get angry, but I think, I don't want to spend my life in prison, so let it go! There seems to be no rationalizing with someone who has murdered, raped, etc.

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