Mary Bell – What is "evil"?

These are the results of our class discussion.
1. Most people are not born evil, but they may be raised or conditioned to do evil things.
2. Some murderers suffer from mental difficulties, so it would be wrong to call them evil.
3. Some actions are more evil than others.
4. Most people who do evil things have been conditioned to behave in an unacceptable way; it may be an expression of anger, or fear.
5. Only the people of a given society can say what is evil to that society – but they cannot judge another.
6. An ordinary person might do evil things due mental illness, social pressures or because of social conditioning.
7. Our media and culture may influence a child to do terrible things, but more powerful an influence is the society the grow up in.

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