Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to think some people are just born evil?

(228 Posts)
themomentsinbetween Sat 29-Dec-12 16:49:45

Do you think some people are born bad?

Or is it there surroundings and people in their lives that make them bad.

For example, Thompson and Venables, were they just born bad?

Charles Manson?

Harold Shipman?

Good people don't just have a bad day and start killing people.

I think peoples life experiences can push them over the edge.

Saying that i know twins adopted by foster mum and with her since babies, they came from an abusive family but were tiny when fostered.

One is in prison for repeated violence, the other is on drugs and had her own kids taken away yet the other adopted/birth children are very stable and have good lifes and careers.

The man who lived next door to me before here was a drug addict and dealer, his mum was a dr, his sister a nurse.

I also think people WAnt to believe someone is evil because it is easier to rationalise in their heads rather than contemplating a "normal" person has carried out that act.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 29-Dec-12 17:11:53

No, people are not born evil.

I think some people may be born more prone to becoming 'evil' than others, but they need the environmental push to get there.

BigShinyBaubles Sat 29-Dec-12 17:12:11

I think people can be born bad, why else do little kids start harming/abusing animals then move on to other children.

Ezarik Sat 29-Dec-12 17:12:40

cinnamonnut
OP mixed up there/their in her first post. Do you really believe she's a journalist anyway?

Really because I would have used the same their?

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 29-Dec-12 17:13:12

Oh and it's an interesting question OP.

Ezarik Sat 29-Dec-12 17:13:34

Oops I read it wrong, I saw people in their lives.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 29-Dec-12 17:13:52

'why else do little kids start harming/abusing animals then move on to other children.'

because they're being abused?

JakeBullet Sat 29-Dec-12 17:14:19

I don't think anyone is born evil no. What I think is that if you have a tendency to violence, have the wrong life circumstances, the wrong biology AND THE WEAPONS TO HAND as was the case in Newtown then you are more likely to be able to kill a lot of people.

Restrictions on certain weapons would have made so much difference in the Adam Lanza case. He might still be alive and more importantly so would the 20 children and four adults who lost their lives.

marjproops Sat 29-Dec-12 17:16:37

Dont know about evil but there are some bitchy comments here!!! OPs asking a perfectly innocent question.

Wasnt there a film with Michael Douglas that he was a good man, family guy, that through one thing or another completely lost it and got sent over the edge and started a killing rampage? Extreme I know, never seen film but think it was something like that.

Think poor upbringing accounts for much (but not every time) and circumstances. definately. circumstances have certainly sent ME over the edge...not to kill obv or make me evil but have made me very ill.

KatyPeril Sat 29-Dec-12 17:18:15

I think it's an interesting thread. Better than the normal bollocks of naice ham.

RowanTheRedNosedMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 29-Dec-12 17:22:36

Hello folks

I'm afraid we've been visited by a hairy-handed sock-puppeting entity here, so this thread is going to go pffft shortly.

RedToothbrush Bosnia-Herzegovina Sat 29-Dec-12 17:24:32

There have been studies into what mass murderers have in common to try and establish patterns.

One of the interesting ones, is whether someone has had a head injury in the past. There is a high instance of a history of head injuries in mass murderers.

Which suggests a third alternative to the ideas that you can be born evil or somehow raised to be evil; the element of pure chance - such as an accident that maybe does damage to the brain that changes someone in someway beyond their control. (so maybe good people DO have a bad day and start killing people).

If you are familiar with the story of James Cracknell there does seem to be credibility to the idea elsewhere - not just in mass murderers. Whilst cycling in the USA and got hit by a truck. When he was recovering he and his wife were given a frightening piece of information. "75 per cent of people with brain injuries divorce." Why? Because they cause personality changes. Indeed, he apparently tried to strangle her at one point after the accident.

Personally I don't think that murderers are simply born or raised or even created. I think the answer is almost always a combination of factors that add up together and then can be triggered by a crisis or incident of some description. Otherwise, you'd be able 'predict' a murderer with a certain level of accuracy. Which we can't do yet.

AmberLeaf Sat 29-Dec-12 17:24:34

Marj that was 'Falling down' I think?

I don't believe anyone is b0rn evil, I think people that think they are are a bit stupid really and show a huge lack of empathy.

Why do you think children do things like hurting animals/smaller children?

Because they are or have been abused and are acting out the abuse.

Ok I'll bite.

It is my personal opinion (no scientific study or proof) that we are born with certain personality traits for example impatience or happiness.

A person born impatient who is brought up in an abusive house will learn to deal with their impatience with abuse.
A person born impatient who is brought up in a calm household will be more likely to temper their responses.

The same way a happy person who is encourage will grow up still happy but one who is told that it is annoying or worse will end up cowed and reluctant to show happiness.

I don't think it's as simple as good or bad. We all have shades of grey and environment plays a huge part in what comes to the fore.

I hope that makes sense?

Emmielu Sat 29-Dec-12 17:25:33

There was a series on channel 5 called Born to Kill. You should watch it. That'll confirm your question.

HecateQueenofWitches Sat 29-Dec-12 17:25:37

That's a shame, Rowan.

Even though the op is a sad bastard, the discussion itself has the potential to be an interesting one.

Balls.

cinnamonnut Sat 29-Dec-12 17:26:44

Who's the sock puppet? Ezarik?

cinnamonnut Sat 29-Dec-12 17:27:01

Oh no, I see, never mind, got confused :p

ThePathanKhansWitch Sat 29-Dec-12 17:27:53

Oh how evil of them Rowan.grin

HaveYourselfAMardyLittleXmas Sat 29-Dec-12 17:28:51

I agree it's an interesting discussion. I sometimes wonder about this.

What if you had Damian the "evil" child.

pigletmania Sat 29-Dec-12 17:30:09

No I believe that some people are born with certain narcissistic, psychopath tendencies which make them do evil. To say that people cannot be born evil is very limited and shows a lack of understanding of the complexities of te human psyche

glastocat Sat 29-Dec-12 17:31:08

Ever hear of psychopathy?

HecateQueenofWitches Sat 29-Dec-12 17:31:19

I suppose it comes down to what you believe evil IS.

What is the nature of evil?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now