Human communities have always lived in separation of each other and as a result different societies have developed in isolation of each other with different ideals and morals, yet although being different, parallel examples occur throughout history, similar concepts of evil and justice exist common among them, an example of humans panicking and disregarding their morals as they do in Salem is the ‘Red Scare’.
In the USA in the 1950’s where people’s reputations were irreparably damaged by proof less accusations from their peers that they were communists, lives were ruined by the loss of livelihood and acceptance in society. However even when people had been victimized most kept their integrity intact by not accusing others regardless of the injustices that had been committed against them. I believe that people can show tremendous resilience against evils without retaliation and it is example of the good that lies within humanity, that even though people can exhibit good or bad traits it doesn’t define them, the traits exist within everybody, No man is completely good or evil , they inherit or in this case are pushed into the capacity for good and bad.
Humans aren’t inherently evil or inherently good, there is a balance within each of us. There are examples of good and bad deeds being committed around us everyday, people lie and steal, but people also exhibit honesty and charity without personal gain everyday. For every man that murders another jury of twelve will condemn their actions, and show their good above his. In the American Civil war for every man that would fight to prevent slavery from being abolished another would fight for the freedom of the blacks. I believe that although humans are capable of evil it doesn’t define their character; nobody could be called themselves evil, misguided maybe but not evil.
Nobody would define themselves as being evil, because no man would deliberately do what they genuinely believed was wrong, if they commit a crime it doesn’t define them as being evil because they often don’t believe they’ve done something wrong, their perspective is merely different from that of society, if they genuinely believed it was wrong they wouldn’t carry it out, and if they did believe it was wrong later then they are showing remorse which is associated with good.
I think that because evil is an abstract idea it is not easily defined because there will always be an exception; for example, the laws of society say that it is wrong to steal a loaf of bread, however most people would agree that it is not wrong to steal a loaf of bread to save a dying baby. So even though the bakery owner might label the thief as being evil, the thief wouldn’t because he believes what he had done was right and morally good, I therefore think that it is impossible to be inherently evil because it is impossible to define a person as being completely evil.
In Conclusion I believe that no one really knowingly does wrong. If a person really understands in the fullest sense that something is wrong then they do not do it, conversely if you do do it, this shows that you have not properly grasped, deep down, that it is wrong. This to me means that virtue becomes a matter of knowledge, and until a clear definition for justice or evil is defined then it is as impossible to call somebody universally evil as it is to call a piece of artwork universal beautiful.
I believe that people aren’t inherently evil, they are born morally neutral, if the morals of humans exist on a scale of goodness then for every good act there must be a relative evil act, some may exhibit more traits of good, some more of bad, but this is based on how the experiences of the perpetrators have molded their morals, and the placement of the acts on the scale depends also on who it is that defines their acts as being good or evil. With that in mind I think that Humans aren’t inherently evil, they are born neutral and should rise above evil, and it is our job as a society to teach and guide the next generation so that the evils of tomorrow are insignificant compared to the good. “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it” – Buddha.