Does the Potential for Evil Exist in Everyone
By Bernadette A. Moyer
You can’t help but be struck by the evil acts of people like the Boston bombers and this Ohio man Ariel Castro, where three young girls were held captive for ten years. They were tortured and raped. Forced to live like an animal and caged. The person responsible now claims to have been sexually abused as a child. A rationale person would think that if you were molested and raped as a child, the last thing you would do is to bestow the same evil acts upon others.
Studies show that kids that are abused often grow up and become abusers. Sexual abuse is often a learned behavior. Many times this is just one reason why a sexually abused child denies help and does not seek out counseling. The reality for these three victims that are now young women is that they were forced to live with and to learn evil behaviors for an entire decade.
How is it that some people can go through victimization and trauma and turn it around and help others, while some become just like their abuser? Does evil exist in all people or is it learned behavior?
A few years ago I was with a group of teenaged girls who enlightened me on “mean girls” there was a movie and a series about just that “mean girls.” Most of these girls came from privilege and from wealth and high education and yet when they didn’t get their way they became “mean girls.” They had no boundaries and would do anything to hurt someone else that may have been a threat to them. They sabotaged others success, lied about them and did anything and everything possible to get even and to get back at someone.
Most often it was teachers or parents or a rival that was a target of mean girl’s behaviors. They were often motivated by jealousy or poor self-esteem. They may have become friendly with their group of friends or boyfriends and were viewed as a threat or a rival. There was no low that these self-professed “mean girls” wouldn’t go to in an effort to hurt another person. It was calculated and just plain hateful, vindictive and evil. Is this potentially in every single person?
If you know that your behavior is wrong, is based on lies and driven by your need to hurt someone else or your own self-preservation, and you continue is that the definition of an evil person? Clearly there is a lot of evil in our world. We have people in our society that hurt other people for their own gain.
According to a “course in miracles” every response we have is either out of love or fear. The people that are threatened by our religion or our way of life and act out on those feelings are most probably coming from fear.
Yesterday Dr. Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of murdering infants through the process of abortion, these babies were almost full term. The prosecutor asked in closing arguments, “Are you human?” These babies were born still moving, whimpering and breathing when he snipped their spines to kill them. This is a Doctor and a man that is supposed to preserve human life.
What causes someone to be so evil and to hurt and kill the defenseless? Where is their heart and soul? This isn’t about the right to abort; this is about babies killed that could easily survive. Where is the empathy for another human life?
From the “mean girls” to the bombers, abductors and baby killers, where are their hearts and souls and their inner sense of what is right and wrong, where is their conscience? How do these people live with themselves? What causes this kind of evil in people? Students, a school bus driver a doctor, they seem to come from all walks of life.
What will the “excuse” be for Dr. Gosnell as he enters the penalty phase? He was abused as a child? When will the blame of the past stop being a defense for the actions of the now and the future? A criminal mind, a sick mind, something is seriously lacking in our society when we have so little value for human life.
I don’t have the answers, but I do know that the only way to seeking solutions is to first acknowledge that there is a problem …