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Fellow Christians, please help me understand why people choose evil?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Starmarigold1791, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Starmarigold1791

    Starmarigold1791 Newbie

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    Growing up as an adolescent, I was one of those gullible and misinformed teens who thought that any person who was evil was therefore crazy as well. This is because we all know that nobody in their right mind would do or want to do evil. But I see now that sanity is a matter of being able to distinguish between reality and fantasy, not as a matter of deliberately choosing to do right or wrong--that's morality. And we also know that if someone wasn't twisted or sick, they would not do evil. And I'm not talking about being schizophrenic, delusional, or even paranoia for that matter, because we know that is not the case at all. I'm talking about people who know their actions are wrong but actually have the gall to do it anyway. No normal person would even think of doing what they do.

    People say all the time that psychopaths/sociopaths know right from wrong and freely choose to do wrong, and yet they can't explain why they choose to do wrong. I don't understand their motives either. These people say this like they're perfectly normal people who don't have a trace of problems. But what I have trouble understanding is that these people really do choose to do wrong and that nothing or nobody forces them to do wrong. And the main reason I do (either because I may really have trouble understanding or because I refuse to face the simple and harsh fact) is simply because I would never think any human being would do or want to do something like that. It's just unbelievable. So I just automatically concluded that they are just crazy people with twisted morals. I didn't want to see they were people who choose to do wrong and for no good reason whatsoever cause pain onto others. I wanted to see evil as insanity and not evil as evil. I try to rationalize or twist things into how I wanted to see them.

    So tell me, if these people know right from wrong, why do they do it anyway? I just do not understand.....
     
  2. 7angels

    7angels Newbie

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    I WISH I HAD AN EASY ANSWER FOR YOU. but my experience shows that people are their infomation. what i mean by this is that a person cannot grow or do anything that they have no knowledge of. this is why many people that are abused for example grow up doing the same thing that they themselves swore they would never do when they grew up. so unless these people went and found help and got new information about their circumstances then they are destined to repeat the same mistakes. think about kids in todays society and how more then half of all married couples are divorced or living in strife with each other. what kind of an environment is this for kids to grow up in? kids are meant to have 2 parents in homes where there are disfunctions like strife or anything else then these kids go out to places where they can feel safe and usually these safe places end up in gangs or something similar.

    there is an old story that goes like this 'everyone has a story and everyone's story has a right to be heard'. if you really want to know the truth then try talking to some of these people. it will be a real eye opener.

    God bless
     
  3. I Eat Pie

    I Eat Pie New Member

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    Maybe they don't think that some things they do are bad enough even if it is something illegal. Like prostitution being a victim less crime (unless someone gets like hiv or something).
     
  4. football5680

    football5680 Newbie

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    People do evil things when they put their own desires above God and other people.

    This goes all the way back to the original sin. Eve was told by the serpent that if she ate the forbidden fruit she would become like god. God told her not to eat it but she put her own desire to become like god above the commandment from god.
     
  5. MacFall

    MacFall Agorist

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    The answer is in your question: "choice." It is a spiritual faculty that is a part of God's eternal nature, created into us "in his image". Because it is spiritual and eternal, it really cannot be understood abstractly by a mind anchored to a carnal and temporal existence.

    You will never fully understand the choices of other people as long as you believe that people have the ability to choose. You can only attempt to provide an ultimate explanation for the actions of others by taking choice out of the picture, making human action the inevitable consequence of physical laws acting on physical matter, or by making God a celestial puppetmaster who decides each and every action for us.

    Of course, there are environmental influences on our actions. A person who has been psychologically damaged through abuse may be just as incapable of choosing to be meek and kind as you are incapable of choosing to fly to the moon. But after all external influences have been accounted for, be they the actions of other people or physical forces such as gravity, each person's actions still originate within themselves, by means of their eternal, God-given faculty of choice. And at that point, there is really no point to trying to understand it. Because once you trace that line back up to Eternity, the question "why" has no intelligible answer.
     
  6. juvenissun

    juvenissun ... and God saw that it was good.

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    Temptation. That is it.

    If there is enough reason to do a thing which people do know is wrong, then some people may just do it.

    For example, one million dollars reward to break into someone's home.
     
  7. Hawisher

    Hawisher New Member

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    Combination of lack of sincere belief in an afterlife and lack of empathy for fellow humans.
     
  8. mandelduke

    mandelduke Newbie

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    Maby this will help.

    Romans 7
    7 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

    4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
    The Law and Sin
    7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
    13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

    14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.
     
  9. rcetc

    rcetc Author

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    Yes, I will have to concur with "mandelduke" Romans 7 pretty much sums it up, it's in our nature to be evil and only by the grace of God we become anything different.

    Rom 7:18-25
    18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. (NASB)
     
  10. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Few, if any, people choose evil (committing some harm against another), for the sheer sake of committing evil. All evil is committed in the pursuit of a desired good, although the good pursued is actually inferior to the good that should be pursued. IOW, all evil is the absence or reduction of some good, good being the status quo, so to speak, the nature of all creation as it comes from the hands of God. All of this is possible only because fallen man is self-righteous; he abandoned the righteousness of God at the Fall, becoming his own god, doing what's right in his own eyes for better or worse-and often for the worse as we're capable of justifying/rationalizing all kinds of unnatural behavior.
     
  11. itdepends

    itdepends A noob I guess

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    Not to oversimplify something ... but I think selfishness plays a large role. The idea that "This is about me, and I don't care about the other person," ....

    The ends justify the means, and before you know it, you are willingly causing harm without a care in the world, taking advantage of others as you see fit, etc and so forth.
     
  12. Hawisher

    Hawisher New Member

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    There are many respected theologians who would contend that's all sin really is, at its core.
     
  13. itdepends

    itdepends A noob I guess

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    I can see why they might say that :)

    ETA: On the flipside, those who commit evil actually thinking they are doing something "good" ... I might argue that denial is closer to the root cause of their choices. Perhaps denial because they're afraid of consequences if they've been found to have done wrong (i.e. Adam and Eve hiding, then covering over their nakedness to hide it, etc), or denial about the fear of facing their own nature, so on and so forth.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  14. samcarternx

    samcarternx saint

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    I start with chemistryman who is born separated from God with an independent and rebellious will. No way he can do good because he is hardwired to do the will motivated by every man for himself. After the coming of the Holy Spirit, the chemistryman wars with Him until the new man agree and submits to the sovereign will of God who then becomes his willer and doer. Until this takes place the chemistryman wins the fights, and evil is done.
     
  15. itdepends

    itdepends A noob I guess

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    I'm assuming by chemistryman you mean like humans are simply a bio machine ? Sort of like other animals ... running a program of "instinct", etc ?

    If I'm reading that correctly ... I used to think this way, years ago, but now I would view man more as a sort of meat puppet, or flesh conduit lol. I would have to think about it a bit more though, to be fair, as I haven't settled completely with my POV just yet :)
     
  16. samcarternx

    samcarternx saint

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    yes, since the time of Adam the spiritual nature of man is dead and the chemistry is all that's left separated from God. The Holy Spirit brings life into the man causing a birth into the spiritual universe. When the man has won the war against the flesh he reckons the old man dead and submits to the Lord's sovereign will. His will then does the man like a sock puppet willing and doing good through him
     
  17. itdepends

    itdepends A noob I guess

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    The part I bolded is the part that I might argue against. *Might* lol.

    The reason being is two fold --- in that I still see people interact spiritually, even though I would hesitate to say they are born of God, with the Spirit of Christ in them. Thus, a person (at least in my experience) can be a spiritual conduit, interact with other spirits, understand spiritual phenomena ... but seemingly not be in Christ. The reason I still hesitate to judge them *completely* apart from Christ, is due to the idea that God would pour out His spirit on all flesh ... rain on the righteous AND unrighteous, etc. So I'm not always sure if their gift is from the Holy Spirit and they are misusing it ... or if they are still a spiritual being who is wandering the earth, but separate from God .... hopefully you see my point :)

    The other reason being that I used to think the "classic atheist" was 100% spiritually dead. As such, I had no expectation of a "true atheist" even recognizing anything spiritual period. Why would they, if they are dead ? It made sense to me. But I'm still not fully convinced. So to me, the chemistryman is closer to the atheist who has literally never had the opportunity to recognize anything spiritual ... be it evil, good, of God, of another, etc. It would make sense they are atheist, since they don't have the faculty to even recognize something supernatural in the first place.

    But like I said, I haven't settled this with myself yet haha :) And I still lean on the "meat puppet" side of things ....
     
  18. Hawisher

    Hawisher New Member

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    If you don't accept that man has a spiritual side, then man is no more morally accountable for his actions than a hamster. Socially accountable, yes -- crime would still be punished even were we mere deterministic automata with no spiritual component. But God breathed into us an awareness, though not an acceptance, of the spiritual, and that is what separates Man from Beast.
     
  19. bricklayer

    bricklayer New Member

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    We choose evil because we were conceived sinners, born sinners and continue to be sinners even after being born again.

    However, Adam and Eve sinned before they were sinners. Adam and Eve sinned for very different reasons than we sin.

    God made Man "very good". God can only do good. He can only create good, but He cannot create something that does not change.

    God is good and cannot change, nor can He create something that does not change. Essentially, that is why we sin.
     
  20. samcarternx

    samcarternx saint

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    "The day you eat that day you shall surely die. The life in Adam was eternal and he was ruled by God's sovereign will putting him in the kingdom of heaven. When this relationship was severed he lost all access to the eternal. He became simply an organic machine ruled by his organic will (physical desire). This will is a rebellious will not subject to God so everything thought of and done falls short of the glory of God. This is the condition of everyone born into the human race. We call this original sin and is constant condition. The man who has been given a measure of faith and seeing the hand of God in his environment, realizes he is going to die in this condition can believe Savior the Anointed and His promises. When he agrees with Him and repents the Holy Spirit sent by Him can enter into the man and take control of him. Initially the man has many lies and habits that war against the Spirit but the man can see the punishment that comes from the rebellious will and reckon the old man dead and submit to the Lordship of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creature, the old will is dead and cannot compel. The Holy Spirit is now his willer and doer, and the life he now lives is righteous and loving and living in the kingdom of God.
     
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