Evil is defined by the oxford dictionary as
“(Of a force or spirit) embodying or associated with the forces of the devil
:” Our house strongly believes that people should not be labelled as evil.
Firstly I will explain how many people perceived as evil are actually victims of mental disorders. I will then argue that it is unfair to call someone evil as evil is an absolute term and no one is entirely evil.
The second speaker for our team is William who will be discussing
neurological reasons for misdeeds; dysfunctional neurological activity
And our final speaker is Joe
● Badly understood group of disorders that affect temperament medically recognised ● If you have cancer you are a victim of disorder. If you have mental disorder you are also a victim of a disorder. ● If you have a mental disorder your perception of what is right is altered.
● People who are perceived as evil aren’t evil, they are simply doing what they think is right.
○ As mentioned earlier, the definition of evil involves embodying the devil. Another definition is “profoundly immoral”. A mental disorder is a biological condition that has nothing to do with the devil or morality.
● The definition of evil is profoundly immoral: as a mental disorder is a biological state it cannot be moral as it is not concious. People who commit acts percevied as evil are not evil if they did it as a result of a mental disorder.
○ Ted Bundy: serial killer that murdered over 35 women and escaped prison twice
○ Dorothy Otnow Lewis,
Professor of Psychiatry says he exhibited symptoms of bipolar disorder and multiple personality disorder
○ Adolf Hitler: killed hundreds of thousands of Jews in holocaust ○ Numerous researchers have found that Hitler probably suffered from a massive range of disorders affecting temperament incl.
Parkinson’s disease, borderline personality disorder. Had to take 90 different medications over
○ Many more examples; you’d have a hard time finding someone widely regarded as
‘evil’ who doesn’t exhibit many symptoms of mental disorder. Dr Kiehl, a pioneer in behavioural neuroscience does not believe we should label such people as evil. "I tend to see psychopaths as someone suffering from a disorder, so I wouldn't use the word evil to describe them."
The our house believes that the phrase evil is now redundant, archaic (very old or oldfashioned) and metaphysical ( the nature of the mind".)
; and not of this age. The meaning of the word evil is vague any number of things could cause someone to be perceived as wicked: they grew up in a bad surroundings, they have a mental disorder affecting judgement, they have strong beliefs and many other variables
These factors are fundamentally different and have different impacts on a person and therefore should be treated differently. If these people who are perceived to be evil vary in so many ways what do you actually achieve by calling them ‘evil’? If anything by labelling them evil you would be isolating them from society that as a consequence of negative reinforcement never working they would never strive to be a part of. The entire point of a prison is to serve as a rehabilitation centre where an individual can be reeducated.
Humans are nor Evil nor Good. Humans are just human,the environment they are surrounded by may encourage bad behaviors but never make them evil.
● Calling someone evil is absolute; this is unfair as no one in human history has been entirely evil
● eg. Adolf Hitler, perceived as evil
● Hitler had a pet dog called Blondi and was very caring according to his secretary ● While some of actions may have been evil (the holocaust), the definition of evil says profoundly immoral and no character in history was entirely immoral.
● Actions are evil, people are not. We should not label peopel as evil.