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Accelerated Evolution

Do you believe in evil?


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Thanks to my overly rational mind, I've been struggling with the concept of evil.

I watch that show "Most Evil" on Discovery (Times? Regular? Don't matter I suppose) and there is a forensic psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Stone the freely uses the term evil to describe people who kill.

Here is a breakdown of his scale so I don't have to explain it:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1347361/posts

Okay, my first gripe is that the term evil should not be used in a court of law. It has too many religious connotations and stirs too much emotion in the average person for them to, in a jury, be able to objectively decide a person's guilt or innocence.

Second, I have no religion, so believing in something truly evil like the devil is just out of the question. I believe there is only you and me and the fucked up people.

At last but not least, they brought up psychotic killers on this show once. Not fair. Ed Gein, I don't care what anyone says, was not evil, the man was extremely sick and disturbed, but not evil. I want to take up for him from my firsthand experience with psychosis-having the label "psychotic" is bad enough without the media putting out shit like this. It's shows like this that keep people ignorant to what is really going on.

No, I don't get offended or any bullshit like that if someone says "Yeah, my cat was going psychotic today!" It's an easy catch all term for deviant behavior and I will never change this. But to call extremely mentally ill people evil is irresponisible and unfair to the majority of mentally ill who never hurt a soul.

What do you think?

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Killing some one isn't only frowned upon in a religious aspect. Our societies moral look is that killing is wrong. I wouldn't label anyone who kills someone evil right away.

Also I didn't know who you were talking about so I wiki'ed it.

From Wikipedia:

Edward Theodore Gein (August 27, 1906 – July 26, 1984) was an American serial killer. Though only two murders on his part were proven, he gained great infamy due to necrophiliac behavior (which involved the skinning of his murder victims and exhumed corpses, the decoration of his home with parts of corpses, and the creation of articles of clothing and furniture from the skin of corpses). [citation needed] Besides the death of his brother in 1944 under mysterious circumstances, six people disappeared from the Wisconsin towns of La Crosse and Plainfield between 1947 and 1957.

If that is who you were talking about I'd say he's one evil fuck. And no I'm not in court. Necrophilia? Wtf, this isn't some Vampire Yaoi, this is life. You cant just sex up dead bodies.

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it's a word, of course i believe in a word, it is in the dictionary.

i don't know how this thread can really progress, like SD said the term is inherently subjective. personally, i think having a mental illness and being "evil" aren't mutually exclusive. maybe someone is a rapist because of emotional trauma, but they are still evil according to my own sense of morality if they rape someone. and then there are people who think rape is not an evil act. and so on i guess. all subjective.

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I sort of "believe" in evil, though it would be difficult for me to explain what I think the term really means. Whether I "believe" in it as a symbol or as an objective reality, even I couldn't tell you.

I agree that the term should most certainly not be used in a court of law, and that there are no evil people, only mentally fucked up people. (Although I do not separate myself from the fucked up people. Humans in general are pretty darn fucked up.)

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Killing some one isn't only frowned upon in a religious aspect. Our societies moral look is that killing is wrong. I wouldn't label anyone who kills someone evil right away.

Also I didn't know who you were talking about so I wiki'ed it.

From Wikipedia:

Edward Theodore Gein (August 27, 1906 – July 26, 1984) was an American serial killer. Though only two murders on his part were proven, he gained great infamy due to necrophiliac behavior (which involved the skinning of his murder victims and exhumed corpses, the decoration of his home with parts of corpses, and the creation of articles of clothing and furniture from the skin of corpses). [citation needed] Besides the death of his brother in 1944 under mysterious circumstances, six people disappeared from the Wisconsin towns of La Crosse and Plainfield between 1947 and 1957.

If that is who you were talking about I'd say he's one evil fuck. And no I'm not in court. Necrophilia? Wtf, this isn't some Vampire Yaoi, this is life. You cant just sex up dead bodies.

^The scary part is even after this Wisconsin didn't have necrophilia laws, but that's a whole other story.... XD

I'd like to point out whoever wrote this article is kinda not familiar with the terms though, and it seems they used "evil" to make it more understandable. It's basically focusing on psychopathy, because it has been found so far that people who score highly on the psychopathic scale are unable to be rehabilitated and treated with current methods available. They test inmates on this scale to decide the length of their term, parole, and whether or not they should face the death penalty. The scale has been around since 1985 and has since been revised a few times, but it isn't that new, and from the article I don't see any groundbreaking news about it or anything, but the addition of classifying the killers would be new in the court system since currently it's strictly focusing on whether or not there's a high chance if they'll re-offend. I think it can also be very dangerous to label killers as certain types in court, but that's because there's still a lot of work being done in that area and it's not as sophisticated as it could be.

Now onto the actual question at hand- (HAHA took me a while) I do believe in evil, even though I'm an atheist I've never really seen them as mutually exclusive. I guess it might be because I spent a lot of time when I was younger researching Wicca, but I'm not really sure. I don't think anyone is pure evil though. Even my professor who met Ed Gein said he was a very pleasant quiet man to talk to. << >> By the way, he was never deemed competent to stand trial, so he died in a psychiatric facility.

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I honestly feel that everyone has said something valid... but I don't know, this seems like a really ...pointless? thing to debate, just because it is pretty subjective and relative.

Labeling someone as "evil" does seem like a pretty large accusation, to me, and certainly a ridiculous thing to state in court.

I think that people can do "evil" acts, but using the word on someone, I think demands a little more precaution.

But I don't, I also sort of believe in it... but yeah. Strange debate topic.

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I honestly feel that everyone has said something valid... but I don't know, this seems like a really ...pointless? thing to debate, just because it is pretty subjective and relative.

That makes it even more valid in my eyes. Why not debate something that either does or does not exist? I never see anyone talk about these things and I want to know what other people think. It is so far from pointless-we do not have to agree but it is so important to me to know how people think about this sort of thing.

That is the point of this topic.

DreamerGirl, your professor met Gein? That is wild.

I know that in my psychology thread I stated my case against it as an institution, but psychology has been my fascination from about the age of 15. Maybe that is why I have such a problem with its concrete definitions and guidelines. I don't think the human mind is that easy to pinpoint.

I used to look at killers and think "Oh my hell, how could anyone do that?" and I still do when it comes to people who kill children, but the more I observe them and read about them the more I understand how it came to be.

The two killers that I can't put my finger on are Bundy & Dahmer. There was no history of abuse, no following the recipe for future serial killer, so I have to ask this of you now:

Are some people just born bad?

Also, who else agrees that Charles Manson is not a killer? He was just a charismatic psychopath who drew weaker people into his fantasy world. He is really not responsible for the actions of Squeaky & Pals.

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That makes it even more valid in my eyes. Why not debate something that either does or does not exist? I never see anyone talk about these things and I want to know what other people think. It is so far from pointless-we do not have to agree but it is so important to me to know how people think about this sort of thing.

That is the point of this topic.

DreamerGirl, your professor met Gein? That is wild.

I know that in my psychology thread I stated my case against it as an institution, but psychology has been my fascination from about the age of 15. Maybe that is why I have such a problem with its concrete definitions and guidelines. I don't think the human mind is that easy to pinpoint.

I used to look at killers and think "Oh my hell, how could anyone do that?" and I still do when it comes to people who kill children, but the more I observe them and read about them the more I understand how it came to be.

The two killers that I can't put my finger on are Bundy & Dahmer. There was no history of abuse, no following the recipe for future serial killer, so I have to ask this of you now:

Are some people just born bad?

Also, who else agrees that Charles Manson is not a killer? He was just a charismatic psychopath who drew weaker people into his fantasy world. He is really not responsible for the actions of Squeaky & Pals.

Actually supposeably Dahmer was sexually abused by his neighbor when he lived in Ohio, but it was never proven or really came out until his father started doing interviews I believe. I guess his father stated that it was after that when they began to find dead animals and such though, so it's kinda interesting. What is odd to me is that most serial killers choose their own race, but Dahmer's victims were mostly black. Also, I heard a rumor that they suspected him in the Adam Walsh incident, which was just a young kid and definitely not who he usually targeted at all. The source for that is just word of mouth though about something my parents supposeably saw, so I wouldn't really trust that.

I think Manson should be charged though because of his intricate plan. He was actually trying to start a race war and be in control, so while may not have killed anyone himself, he used his powers of manipulation to get what he wanted. It's scary that there are people so weak-minded that they can be controlled like that, but look at Germany in the 40s.... I still would charge the people under him the same charge, but I think both were responsible in a way. He was probably one of the most dangerous because of how he gained control so easily. I don't really know anything about his followers though, or how far they took things. It's quite possible some of them probably were going to kill anyways. (<-Has no real idea.)

It's so weird how within the educational field psychology says not to make things too black or white, but then once you get into the career field everyone expects a black and white diagnosis. It's definitely causing lots of problems.

Don't mind me, I love talking serial killers. I wanted to work with the FBI, but I don't really know if that's going to work anymore so now it's just a weird hobby. ^^;;

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Also, who else agrees that Charles Manson is not a killer? He was just a charismatic psychopath who drew weaker people into his fantasy world. He is really not responsible for the actions of Squeaky & Pals.

I don't know enough about him, but I know Boyd Rice likes him and thinks he's innocent and I kinda like Boyd Rice.

Anyway, on the subject of "evil" (and of course "good"), I think "evil" is a wholly subjective idea that people often use dumb down the world so they can comprehend it with little intellectual effort. The only difference between a "good" action and an "evil" action in the long run is the outcome.

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I think "evil" is a wholly subjective idea that people often use dumb down the world so they can comprehend it with little intellectual effort.

Nailed it! That is how I feel as well. So many people want to blame invisible forces and perhaps this is a coping mechanism so one does not have to accept the reality that people are not monsters, they just do monstrous things.

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I see what you are talking about, and you know what else makes me upset? The majority people that believe in those things do not practice them.

I have met your absolutely good Christian, I have, and I admire their devotion, but I cannot do the same, I cannot be a part of that religion because BAD Christians have fucked it up for me, and we all know they are out there. I wanted to believe in God for years, I really did. I thought (or hoped rather) that these people were on to something, and I have tried it over and over again, but I refuse to be a hypocrite like many of them are today, and have been in the past. Plus I keep coming back to the same conclusion-there is no God, we create our own fate to some extent, and the circumstances you find yourself in are not the result of some greater deity or force-life just happens, pure and simple. I also have a hard time believing in karma-maybe what goes around never comes back around, maybe it's just a phrase for the hopeless who want their enemies smited but don't want to deliver justice themselves. Also, I don't believe in true justice-what may seem like justice to one person may have destroyed someone elses existence (I mean guilty and innocent-for the guilty it has destroyed their family, for the innocent it has destroyed their life).

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soooo... your saying what?

You contribute nothing to any of my threads, so from now on I have no use for your opinions. Post all you want but your comments are invalid to me. I don't give a shit if you are joking or trying to be cute, that doesn't interest me. I didn't come here for that shit. I came here to hear what the rest of these people have to say because it matters to me. This will be the last time I even acknowledge you in my threads, so have fun. If I see you giving anyone else shit though, I will say something. And no that is not a threat, I'm just telling you how it is going to be while I am here.

Jeff, you are absolutely correct. Nothing is as black and white as some people may want it to be, and that is what I find interesting. I want to see more people open their minds and imagine the possibilities.

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Nailed it! That is how I feel as well. So many people want to blame invisible forces and perhaps this is a coping mechanism so one does not have to accept the reality that people are not monsters, they just do monstrous things.

I don't think the fact that people are not monsters negates the existence of evil. I'm not saying that in the spirit of yay or nay to the existence of evil, I'm just sayin', the fact that PEOPLE are not evil doesn't mean that this hypothetical "invisible force" did not move them to commit this evil act. I mean, think of the idea of demonic possession.

preemptive disclaimer: no I am not saying I believe people do evil things because they are possessed by demons, for god's sake you guys

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