PLE – 10xEN1 – Home learning due Tuesday 22 April

We will be studying Shakespeare’s ‘Scottish play’ after the Easter holiday. To prepare for it, and to consider some of the issues and themes the play explores, please answer the following questions*.

1. Is evil inherent in human nature? That is, are some people just ‘born evil’ or is evil caused by circumstance or environment?

2. Are women ‘naturally’ more evil than men? Is it the other way around?

3. Are our lives determined by fate or by the acts of our free will?

4. Is redemption truly possible? That is, is it possible to commit an act of genuine evil and truly recover from it?

5. Is it possible to admire or respect a person who you know has committed acts of genuine evil?

6. Do the ends justify the means? Rather, is the goal is more important than the methods you use to achieve it? OR, do you believe that if morally evil methods are used to acquire a goal, that goal forever tainted or polluted by the actions one has taken to achieve it?

I’m looking for thoughtful, developed responses to the questions. If you do not understand a question, re-read it, then ask others; perhaps do some research into the issue that the question is raising. Indeed, I think it’s necessary to do research before answering ANY of the questions – are teenagers REALLY able to consider whether evil is inherent in human nature WITHOUT researching the matter? In short, this is not a twenty-minute home learning task and that’s why I’ve set it for over the extended Easter holiday.

Please write your (developed, thoughtful) answers in the comments box below.

An independent enquirer working at:

  • Grade C will refer to research they have done when answering the questions
  • Grade B will use developed PEE paragraphs to structure their answers, some of which may require more than one paragraph to properly explain  
  • Grade A will provide your own opinions on the matter but your opinions will be insightful, balanced and expressed in a mature way 

Have a great Easter holiday!

Mr Legowski

* For the questions, I have to acknowledge and thank http://msburkeenglish.wordpress.com/syllabus-2/the-renaissance/shakespeare/

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25 thoughts on “PLE – 10xEN1 – Home learning due Tuesday 22 April

  1. Lucy

    1) I think that evil is inherent in human nature to a certain extent, as we (human beings) are all capable of being unpleasant and nasty (evil). Having said this, is it really possible that humans can be born evil? Environmental and social factors would have an effect on a person surely, but then a person who has committed acts of injustice such as a murderer may have been born amongst the nicest of people growing up. The fact is that people are capable of being evil (whether born with the trait or not) and we spend our lives thinking about what we could do to others in the hope that the same will not be thrust upon us. For example, a robber wants to steal, but doesn’t want anything stolen from them.

    2) No, I don’t think that women are naturally more evil than men or vise versa, as both men and women are very capable of being evil. However, in the sense of Macbeth, the Women in the play are associated with evil and commit evil acts, and as I understand Lady Macbeth acts as an agent of evil actions within the play, (making the men seem more pleasant).

    3) I believe that our lives are determined by free will, as although coincidences may occur in everyday life, they aren’t set in stone. For example humans are unpredictable and therefore not determined by anything let alone fate. As said before, we change our minds continuously, meaning that we have the ability to change our destiny, if such a controlling circumstance exists, in that itself we are in control and have the power of free will. We may be spurred along to do something because it is made to seem necessary or “the right thing to do” however, eventually our decisions, which determine our future are what controls our actions.

    4) This depends on the evil act that has been committed and the reasons behind it. Also, some people can get over and deal with events much more easily than others. Everybody’s mind works differently meaning that some will and some will not be able to truly recover from committing an act of genuine evil. Although, many are able to suffer their punishment and then re-build their lives or “change,” but can you really change who you are? I personally think that if a genuine act of evil is committed such as murder it doesn’t matter if the murderer recovers because the family of the victim will not.

    5) Again, I think that it depends upon the act of genuine evil that has been committed. No “acts of evil” are to be admired or respected, however the way in which they are carried out or the circumstance could be admirable. The person who has committed these acts may have had good and valid reasons for doing so. For example, someone who has had to put up with another person being evil to them may retaliate but this cant surely mean that they are evil. Overall, committing an act of evil may end up doing more good than bad (killing someone who is prepared to kill many others). This can’t be something to admire but deserves a bit of respect.

    6) Not always, e.g. if you cheated on a test and got a good mark in it you would most likely feel guilty about it, meaning that the ends do not justify the means in this case. However sometimes you have to be totally ruthless to get where you need to be etc. I still do not personally believe that this is in any way nice or correct but in some cases is needed to be overlooked.

    Reply
    1. Mr Legowski Post author

      Wow! Lucy, I’m very impressed by the maturity you have shown in your answers – there’s so much here that is well-expressed. And to end as you have done with this (abridged) comment: ‘sometimes you have to be totally ruthless to get where you need to be etc. I still do not personally believe that this is in any way nice or correct but in some cases is needed to be overlooked’ – I am looking forward to your contributions to our discussion on morality in Macbeth when we return after Easter.

      Reply
  2. Rosie

    1. I believe that whether we are evil or not purely depends on our circumstances and our experiences. Nobody is born evil, but they may become so depending on what happens in their life. Someone could be born to lead an evil life, but they are the ones that decide if they are or not. We have different amounts of evil within us all; some people are purely good without an ounce of bad in them, whereas some of us are always out to cause misery for those around us.

    2. As I said before, it depends on our environment and experiences as to whether we are evil or not. Being male or female makes no difference. Although if we are looking at evil from a criminal side, men tend to be the ones causing more trouble than women. But is that because these men aren’t careful enough resulting in their capture? That women are even more evil by managing to get away with these things and not be suspected?

    3. Personally, I am indifferent about the idea of fate. I know many people who are strong believers in it, but I also know and equal amount of people who think of it as absolute nonsense. So I’m in the middle. I believe that some things are destined to happen in our lives and that we have no say in them. However, I also believe that our actions affect our future, like karma. If we do something bad, then it will come back around and change our lives in a negative way.

    4. I believe in no such thing as redemption. Once you have done something bad, there’s no going back and you can’t expect forgiveness for it. People can try to get redemption all they want, but I don’t believe that they should ever successfully get it. It’s like second chances. I don’t believe in them. If you forgive someone for doing something bad, what’s to say they won’t do it again? If they do, you only have yourself to blame for believing that they had changed. Of course, these beliefs are purely from my own experiences and other people may beg to differ. If you commit a crime of pure evil, there’s no going back. You have that specific label for the rest of your life and will never be able to recover from it.

    5. It is most certainly possible to admire or respect a person who has committed a crime of pure evil, but it isn’t the right thing to do. If they’ve done something that has hurt others in some way, how can you look up to them? Why would you want to? Do they inspire your inner serial killer or psychopath? You’re almost bringing it upon yourself if you decide to look up to them. I, personally, could never do that. Those sorts of people interest me greatly, but I would never admire them.

    6. If you have a goal set and in order to reach it you must do bad things, it isn’t so much a goal anymore. Why on earth would you look forward to something if you had to do such awful things to get there? A goal should be something that is achieved by performing good and honest actions. If you cheat your way there or do bad things to get there, you hardly deserve to achieve it. I believe that it’s all about the journey you take to get there. What would the destination be without the drive? The climax of a film without the build up? The promotion without the hard work? What you experience on the way to your goal is what makes the reward all the more worthwhile.

    Reply
    1. Mr Legowski Post author

      Rosie, you have demonstrated a maturity beyond your years in your answer to question 6. – you’ve inspired me! Loved your answers to 4. and 5. too. A douple of interesting points are raised by what you have said. 1) You said, ‘We have different amounts of evil within us all’. Are you saying that we are ALL bad, if only to differing degrees? 2) Is it possible to not believe in fate and yet believe in karma? (Dictionary definition of karma: the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.) Good stuff!

      Reply
  3. Tara

    1) I believe that no body is born naturally evil. It all depends on the experiences they have had and the circumstances they are in. Environmental and social factors would have an effect on a person, but then a person who has committed acts of injustice such as a murder may have been born and raised by the nicest people. Everyone is capable of being evil but it all depends on whether they want to or not.
    2) Being male or female makes no difference. It all depends on the enviroment and experiences. But you do tend to find men more evil or aggressive then women.
    3) Humans are unpredictable and therefore not determined by anything let alone fate. We change our minds all the time, everyday, meaning that we have the ability to change our future, we may be spurred along to do something or lead us on the right path. But nothing is determined by fate as nothing in our lives is set in stone by it.
    4) Once you have done something bad in your life there is no going back and you can’t always get forgiveness. If you forgive someone for something bad they have done to you or anyone else, how do you know they won’t do it again. Everyones brain works differently meaning that some people will recover and some will not be able to fully recover from committing an act of evil. On the other hand, many are able to suffer their punishment and then piece their lives back together or to change their life around.
    5) If I found out someone had committed an act of genuine evil I would loose all respect for them. But if it was a close friend or family member my opinion may change. For example, killing someone out of the blue for no reason is pure evil. But if it was to save or support our country it’s a different matter.
    6) In everyone’s lives people have goals, to do them you need to be positive and make honest decisions. If you had to make bad decisions to get there you may as well find a different goal or achievement. If evil methods are used to reach a goal it’s not really a goal…more like a task or a chore that you’ve been forced to accomplish.

    Reply
    1. Mr Legowski Post author

      Tara, you’ve made some great points in your answers – well done! In particular, I’m really interested in the idea that external factors (environmental, social) are more responsible for a person’s actions than internal factors (that they’re just born that way). However, you also recognise that this isn’t an absolute truth and that someone may have a ‘good’ upbringing and yet commit an evil act – what is the cause of this? Thanks, Tara!

      Reply
  4. Mr Legowski Post author

    So, we’ve got three students’ responses already and they have set the bar very high indeed! There’s so much maturity and intelligence being shown here and I’m loving the nature/nurture slant in some of the answers. How are you going to better your peers’ answers? When answering the questions, you might make references to research that you have done. I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s answers.

    Reply
  5. Matt

    1. Evil is not born into people it is something someone chooses to be not because of inheritance. One reason for evil is environment but it won’t be due to circumstances that will only to lead to improvement in a person or them being held back as a person.
    2. I believe that men are more evil than women because they seem themselve as having to be more emotional strong therefore acts of evil may not seem as big to them. Altougth sometimes the solid emotion found can make the oppsite of evil, as I said in question one it is something you choose to be. Women are protective not evil which means they may come across as evil but are doing what is best for people around them.
    3. Our lives are not determined by something people call fate it is our free will as it is what we choose to do and what that leads to. If we choose to do something we can do it whether it is right or wrong there is nothing to stop us doing it.
    4. Redemtion from an evil act is possible depending on what the evil act was.
    5. There is no way to respect or even like someone who has done something truly evil. It is one of those things that will be with that person for the rest of their lives and nothing can change what they did.
    6. No matter what the goal is there shoud never be the use of evi acts in it. If evi acts are used then yes the goal achived will always be shadowed. The goal will become worth less.

    Reply
  6. Samantha

    1) I don’t believe people are born evil. Evil is developed due to circumstances and experience people have in countered. However certain pathways may encourage a evil lifestyle. Living a certain social life changes the way life is seen from your eyes, it may be that your are more influenced to share the same views of people who are perceived as evil, or that it is a form of protection for yourself. Hurting someone of something that hurt you is often away to move on and make them suffer the way you did. But does this make you truly evil?
    2) I think that men have the ability to be more evil than women. This is because of the strength and lack of remorse they carry with them. I think women can behave more appropriate without resulting in violence or under hand tactics. Men are often caught out more than women so does this mean women are just as evil or are more careful?
    3) I think we are set a pathway in life by the people around us and the lifestyle we live. I think that we have choices to make everyday and from these choices we live our lives. With these choice’s come actions, whether they are positive actions or negative ones they can alter the life we live physically, mentally and emotionally. This is caused by the act of free will.
    4) I don’t think that redemption can really happen. Once an evil act had been committed you can’t take it back, you can try and make things better and make yourself feel better by trying to make it up to them in order to get forgiveness and yes it couldn’t but forgiven but never forgotten. If forgiveness was given would your really be able to trust again? Once you have forgiven someone you are giving them a second chance but is this just another chance for them to hurt you again, cause you pain and completely change the way you live? You might live in fear of getting hurt or the fear of not living life they way you planned. Would it really be worth it?
    5) I think you could admire someone who has committed an act or evil but only if you admire them for the way they have moved on and become someone different and not admire them due to the evil they use to carry inside of them. But then again if someone is a murder is that okay? Is it okay to kill for the good? Is murder ever okay? I would have to question where the respect you have for them comes from and the admiration. What is there to admire about someone who has taken a life from the world? Nothing.
    6) If you had to gain a goal in a circumstance that would gain you respect and almost give a name to yourself would it truly be worth it if a bad or evil method was needed? Would you feel good about achieving this goal? If you achieve a goal in life you want to feel positive about it, you have worked hard for it and used up a lot of your time to earn this achievement. If you cheated or influenced the result in anyway it wouldn’t be much of an achievement any more. You wouldn’t just have cheated the result but you would also cheated yourself.

    Reply
  7. Erin

    1) I believe that people aren’t born evil but are taught to be evil. When growing up you see people lying, cheating, hurting and it becomes something you can’t un-see. I think that people from cities in the world that has a high level of crime would influence evil onto the youngsters of society. Children may be told to tell a little white lie to cover up for a sibling or friend but over time that lie will get bigger and they might be made to do something they don’t want to I believe it is the influences and environment that someone is in that makes them evil. But also, just what lengths you would go to to protect a loved one.

    2) I think that men are naturally more evil than women. This is because men are known to like to be more overpowering and are physically stronger than women making them feel like a higher power. However, women have been known to commit evil crimes like men have but are always made out to be a lot more innocent than they really are.

    3) I think that our lives are determined by fate and that there is a unique path for everyone as to how their lives will play out. However, if say your life has been planned out already by your parents like what job you will get or whether you go to university, many children feel rebellious and decide to do what they want to do which changes the path of fate. I also think its about being at the right place at the right time. For example, Gaz spent his last 20 pounds on going out with his mates and that night he got snapped up by the producers of hit TV series Geordie Shore. I think it just depends on your actions but your actions might be the layout of your fate.

    4) People may forgive you for something evil you have done but they will never forget. I think that if the person is capable of doing it once what’s to say they aren’t capable of doing it again? People don’t change. Everybody is a certain way with their own personalities and characters and yes they may learn from a mistake but they are still the same person who committed that evil act. Why give that person another chance when there are people out there who want to truly make you happy? If they messed up then they have to deal with the consequences.

    5) No you can’t ever respect or admire that person for committing an evil act. I think that even if they have changed their life and are a much better person you still shouldn’t admire them because they shouldn’t of done it in the first place.

    6) I would say that the end result doesn’t excuse any evil. If it was a goal in which you want to take short cuts to get to like kill a couple of people then you would have to live with that guilt. At the end of the day people would certainly find out one way or another and then your goal will be taken from you. I think that its not worth doing evil acts to get something positive as the positive goal at the begin will turn to a negative goal, full of negative feeling.

    Reply
  8. james

    1) i dont think that people are born evil, but simply pick up the trate by observing their parents or enviromental factors. For example, in nature diferentriation applies to everyone, your personality is shaped on your relation to your enviroment (e.g if your short in a tall town, this may cause you to be shy or less insertive.) But as people grow up they are introduced to new mabye strange things such as , drugs and alcahol and if you get mabye hooked on these things this will eventually lead to an evil nature e.g angry, lying, cheating and nastey personality and then people will build up your reputation as evil.

    2) in my opinion, men are overall more evil than woman, also woman are a factor why men turn evil or why they turn away from evil. i think this because of the fact that men are genually more oposing than woman e.g bigger stronger and contain testostorone. this could cause men to fight over things and then in turn become more violent, angy and overall evil.

    3)in my opinion life is free will, i dont follow a plac someware that determains my destiny i can follow my own path that i choose, even if there is fate people could still choose against it and make sure they lead there own lives the way they want.

    4) i think it depends on the act of evil, for example if you steel a car you can do enough good deeds to redeem your self, but if you murder someone you cant do anything to change peoples minds on you e.g you will always be a murderer (evil.)

    5) yes i believe that you can because from an evil persons point of veiw, good is evil and many evil people following someone would admire/respect him. for example, some nazies admired and respected hitler even though he commited mass genoside to many diferent types of people.

    6) yes, because many people could admire someone for winning an event but if they found out he cheated to do this then that will foreever pollut there minds into thinking that mabye cheating isnt so bad or that doing what is necisary to get the goal no matter who eveil it is, that this is all ok. A good example of this is lance armstrong who won the tour de france 7 times and cheated in everyone of them he aslo came back from brain cancer to win it 3 times! but he cheated and had his titles striped from him.

    Reply
  9. Jordan

    1) I think that evil is not inherent in human nature, but it can be developed by people’s experiences in life. For example, if a child sees people fighting all of the time, they would be more likely to become someone who spends their life fighting. I also think that people can be changed by addictions such as drugs and alcohol, as the side effects from them can change people mentally.

    2) I don’t think it matters if someone is male or female, they can both be as evil as someone of the opposite gender. However, men can be stereotyped as more evil than women as they are usually bigger and physically stronger.

    3) I think that our lives are determined by free will. I don’t believe that what we do has already been planned out and we only do what we are ‘supposed’ to do. What we do with our lives is down to our personal choice and what we do is only what we think we should do.

    4) Redemption is possible, but the severity of what we did should determine how hard we have to work to be completely redeemed. For example, if you murdered someone, you would have to put in more time and effort to redeem yourself than someone who stole a chocolate bar.

    5) Someone who has committed an evil act should only be admired for the good things that they do. However, if they have done something to upset or anger a group of people, they have the right to still feel the same way towards that person. However people should personally choose whether to forgive them or not.

    6) I think that people should try to use morally acceptable methods to achieve their goals. However if their goal is very important, such as protecting others and there is no other way, then they can use less acceptable ways to reach it. But, if the negatives of their methods outweigh the positives of their goal, the objective becomes less worthwhile.

    Reply
  10. Chloe

    1) I believe that people are not born evil, it is to do with the environment and influences they have been brought up with. For example if you have experienced violent behaviour around you or have seen it on a film, then you are more likely to do it yourself because that’s what you think is right.
    2) Being male or female does not determine the personality of the human. As i said before, the attitude of the person depends on their environment and influences. In my opinion, anyone is capable of anything. For example, when we hear on the news about someone being killed, just because the majority of murderers are male, doesn’t mean that females aren’t capable of that too.
    3) I don’t believe fate plays a part at all in everyday life, this may just be because i don’t believe in it personally. Other people have other opinions i guess. Although things may happen coincidentally, this doesn’t mean that a life path has been set out for you, it probably just means you maybe predicted it to happen or you were expecting it to.
    4) I personally believe that it is not possibly to truly recover from an act of genuine evil. For example, if you have murdered someone, you may think that it is in the past, but there will always be that feeling of guilt in the back of your mind. However much a person tries to forget whatever it is they’ve done, in my opinion, they can never fully forgive themselves. The memories will always be with them and the victim.
    5) This depends upon how bad the genuine act of evil is. Using the example of murder again, if you know someone who has committed this crime, you may not admire or respect them. However, I’m sure if it’s someone you would normally have a lot of respect for, someone who you wouldn’t really expect to do that, then they would obviously have their reasons. This doesn’t mean that the person is an all-round evil person.

    Reply
  11. Tyler French

    1) Being evil is defined by your actions as a result of your thought process towards a certain circumstance. Naturally we each become fascinated, intrigued, lured by certain aspects of life; sport, music, writing, art etc. Some people become entranced more by one thing than another and more than other people. We can have an interest in what is considered evil, and then there is actually being evil. Say a man kills hundreds, he is a murderer? A conqueror? Did he murder out of hate? Fear, pain, loss, revenge? If said man has his family, his world ripped from him and he kills those who killed his family, is his suffering the cause of his act? Does this make him evil? To kill a killer. To become a monster to kill a monster.
    I wouldn’t say you inherit evil, you can be subject to cruelty or a dark sense of life, resulting in becoming evil. So your environment could influence you. However, sometimes you can be raised in the light only to dwell on what happens in the dark, and vise versa. This of course being temptation/curiosity. We all have a price. To sacrifice everything, for that one thing. But then, don’t we want to know everything? To see everything. Experience all we can. On every choice we consider both sides. Besides you could sacrifice something bad, for something good. Your actions are your choice unless your mind has been twisted by another, even then you listened. If someone gave you a gun and ordered you to kill, remember, you’re the one with the gun.
    2) Women are more vulnerable than men, not to sound sexist or derogatory. Throughout history, women have been subject to heinous acts, considered powerless and forever in the shadow of men. In history, men would have to be more evil as they, we, were more oppressive. In todays society I’d say that both men and women are equal in malevolence, not including certain groups still living in a prehistoric mind-set.
    3) This question in my opinion is very controversial and basically never going to have a final answer, even if you ask every living person. To say you believe in fate is almost to say there is a form of higher power, a God of some sort. Free will is, well it’s the term to describe acting with only yourself as a guide. Fate is strange. You can say you don’t believe that your life is written beforehand, but how do you know you weren’t ‘designed’ to say/believe that? You can make your own choice, but that choice may have been chosen as your only real path. It’s really up to you whether you think it was really you or not.
    4) Redemption. It is possible. And it can be unreachable. If you do something that isn’t of real importance, say take a bag of sweets form a shop, then it can easily be repaid, no one is injured. But if you truly hurt someone, you can’t mend a wound that you cannot touch. A mental wound is fatal to that person, just like a physical wound. But a scar on the skin will forever be a reminder, always brining you back to that moment whenever you look at it. But a mental scar, never lets you leave that moment, because you can’t look away from what’s inside your head. You can suppress it. But as soon as that mental block, that sentinel of your mind goes, you will re-live that day forever, until there’s no more days for it to be remembered.
    5) Yes.
    Honestly, you don’t have to like the act, but the mind of the person who committed it, to me can be incredible. You may think that doing something so evil is wrong, but then how did they do it in the first place? They broke every rule of innocence, yet isn’t that incredible? To completely defy everything that is right.
    It can be a sick thing. Both the act and the admiration. But to be so fascinated by it doesn’t make you sick unless you start putting up posters on your walls or rein acting the event. People are fascinated by war, which in itself is considered terrorism.
    Acts of evil are never commendable. But if you know the person who did it, do you love them enough to either keep them hidden, or let them be free?
    6) Honestly, we live in a country that has slaughtered 1,000’s. We have a history that has shaped our country into what it is now. Every country has a history. Some much darker than others. But have we abandoned them? Civilizations have forged from genocide and war. And let’s face it, there’s more secrecy in most governments worldwide than there has ever been. Some of these secrets people die over, hundreds have died over. But knowing this, we still trust our governments. I don’t want to sound anti-government and pro-revolution, but it’s truth. We ignore most of our past. We’ve forgiven parts of it. But it still happened. Not everyone will get over it. Not everyone will ignore it.
    It is possible to ignore the journey as long as the destination overthrows it. But the journey could be so rough, that the destination seems pointless. I guess it would really depends on the person or the people. Can they forgive it, brush it aside, because in truth, it happened. You may be able to correct it, but it still happened.
    If there’s a good, a better way to do something that reduces the risks in every way possible, then why ignore it?

    Reply
  12. Emilia

    1) I agree with Rosie and anyone else who believes that evil is not naturally born, but caused from personal experiences and circumstance. For example if you suffered from a violent childhood you are most likely to grow up automatic violent response. In comparison to some people that were born violent and others that have learnt to become violent.
    2) I don’t believe that being male or female has an impact on whether you are naturally more evil than the opposite sex. As i mentioned before in the first question it is about personal experiences and circumstances.
    3)I am undecided on whether our lives are determined by fate or free will.
    4)I don’t think that redemption exists. Once you have committed a crime, it will become a part of you. However it depends on the crime and why it was committed. For example had they done it out of anger or love?
    5)I believe if you strongly admire/respect a person who has committed an act of genuine evil, you will be able to overlook their mistakes. But as i said in my last answer it, once again depends on their reasons for committing the crime.

    Reply
  13. Georgia Lock

    1.I believe that people aren’t born evil or good, but everybody does contain both good and evil within them. Everyone is different. Everyone has witnessed different expieriences throughout their lives, and it is those expieriences of both good and bad which then depend upon the person you are. For example if you have been brought up in a violent environment, you can either enhance the violence, or you can stand against it, learn from what you’ve seen and know you want better from yourself. People take things differently. People go through different things. We are all different. We all have a spark of evil within us, whether we show it or not is down to us. At some point in life we’ve all done something bad, whether that is not doing as we are told. Making nasty/evil remarks about someone you know, or just someone you walked past in the street. You may have broken the law. Got in a fight. No one is innocent, it’s there in all of us.

    2. As I stated in question 1, it is our environment and expieriences that depend upon whether we are evil or not. It should not matter whether you are male or female. There are so many routes of evil who’s to say who is worst? I agree with Rosie’s point, “men tend to be the ones causing more trouble than women. But is that because these men aren’t careful enough resulting in their capture? That women are even more evil by managing to get away with these things and not be suspected?” I think this is a good point as it shows that either way both males and females can be evil. An example would be Ian Brady and Myra Hindley who were responsible for the moors murders of 5 youngsters in the 1960s. They both are as evil as it gets. How could you say one is ‘not as bad?’

    3. In my opinion I do believe that we all have our own free will, but is that so? As we are influenced by others and made to do things we dont want to do, such as the slave trade, the slaves wouldn’t of chosen that life. Why should others have the say on our own free will? Or is that just our fate? I think that you can’t argue whether it’s your choice as maybe the choices we make in life were meant to happen. You weren’t meant to go to the party, but you chose to go. That could of been your fate, meant to happen, that you would change your mind and go. Instead of you changing your fate by free will. We will never know what’s right, as in the end it’s all meant to be and you get different things from it. Good luck? bad luck? Who knows?

    4. It depends upon the crime committed, whether you ask for forgiveness and receive it or not…no one will really forget. There will always be a mental reminder forever replaying in your heads, going over the memory. Whether its a scar that will remain their from the hurt, it will never go.

    5. Yes, I guess it is possibly to admire or respect someone who has committed a genuine crime. Like Tyler said you may be fasinated by what drove them to commit the crime, thinking of their minds as ‘incredible’. I do agree with Tyler but I think I’m more fascinated by how incredibly sick and twisted people can be. For example if a family member committed a crime such as murder just as an act of pure evil, would you let it go just because they are family? the persons life taken would also of had a family. Yes, you may still love them but it wouldn’t be the same. You’d be more in love with the memories. It depends on the crime and the reason , shall they then be respected.

    6. I think that people should use moral acceptable methods in order to achieve their goals. We’ve been brought up in a society where it doesn’t matter what you do, who you are, some people will always find a reason to go against you. This can knock you down but they keep going of the satisfaction of making you unhappy. Overall what kind of goal must it be, to make you be so evil to reach it. Whether it is by knocking others down, what do you get from it? Loosing people around you? People not liking you? You then become loney and lost, to realise the goal wasn’t worth the hurt. I think its the journey you take to reach the goal. That way when the goal is reached you will feel only proud with no regret, but only sad to the fact that the way was so good you wish it didn’t end.

    Reply
  14. Jaz

    1) I don’t think that anyone is born evil, I think for someone to become or behave ‘evil’ is social and environmental factors encouraging them, for example environmental would be if a child grew up in an ‘evil minded’ household, they would not know any better themselves. I also don’t think anyone is actually ‘evil’ in themselves, just in their actions and words. I agree with what most of the others have said, by saying we all have good and evil in us, but what matters is the part that we choose to act on, and that’s who we really are. A person could be born nice and kind hearted and then one day suddenly snap and get angry or ‘evil’ but that person still wasn’t born evil.
    2) I think men and women are both as bad as each other when it comes to ‘evil’. I agree with Georgia’s and Rosie’s points, and I think men and women can both be evil, but the way they portray this ‘evilness’ is different.
    3) I did believe in fate, but when I try explaining why, I always end up contradicting myself, so I am in the middle. “Life’s what you make it” – But, what if whatever you chose was your fate, and you chose it because fate already planned for you to choose it. So for me, I’m just going with the flow.
    4) I agree with what Lucy said, that if you murdered someone, you could recover but the family of the victim may not. Going back to question 1 (about being born evil), I think for someone to commit an evil crime, and then forgive themselves, no matter what the reasons, could show a sense of evil in that person’s personality which could of resulted from environmental or social factors. Because, no matter if you forgive yourself there are always consequences for the other side.
    5) I did think well if it was someone that you loved, you would be able to overlook it, but then if someone close to me got murdered, and the parent of the murderer still respected him/her, It would anger me I think, so sometimes you do have to face the harsh reality of it, and maybe re-evaluate why you love this person when they have committed an act of evil. For example if a husband or a wife cheated on one another, it would be hard for the other to overlook it, as you wouldn’t hurt someone that you cared or loved about.
    6) I think if you committed acts of evil to reach your goal, the only thing you’re going to gain from achieving it, is guilt, and it wouldn’t really be you earning it, it would make the goal worthless. For example, people admire Olympians that have achieved gold medals by sweat and hard work, not drugs and steroids.

    Reply
  15. Ellie

    1) I don’t think people are born evil, I think that people could become evil or act it because maybe the way they have been bought up and picking up bad habits off other people that might be called evil. I believe that no one is truly evil they just act it or maybe the things they say could come across as being evil but everyone has good and bad in them but everyone is different. But i think it is mainly to do with the persons childhood for example they could have been raised with violence and as a result them growing up they might take it out on the world and their actions might been seen as evil.
    2) I think that men can be more evil than woman because there are generally more powerful and strong compared to women, but it doesn’t matter what sex you are are because men and woman are both capable of evil things but men normally commit the most crimes.
    3) I believe that our lives are determined by free will because our lives have different paths to take there isn’t just one path to follow, i believe that its our dissension what we do and that our live isn’t already set out for us to just follow. I fell that you can make your own dissensions and be yourself without someone telling you what you should and shouldn’t do and to have your own free will.
    4) I think that if you commit a small crime then yes you can have forgiveness but you have to earn it and show that your sorry. But if you commit a serious crime like murder then you cant be forgiven because the crime is just too big and you loose all trust for the person and forgiving them will make you bad for trusting them again and putting people in danger. But you can never respect them or trust them ever again.
    5) You can never respect anyone that did something really evil like murder because they have done something so horrible and hurt so many people by doing the evil crime. But on the other hand they might do something so kind or something good to earn you forgiveness and showing they care you could respect and admire them for trying to earn forgiveness and for being determined.
    6) If you tried really hard to get a C in a subject and methods you choose are good and you try really hard, and out your all in it but don’t get the goal you want then the method was better than the goal. But if you cheated in the test and got a C then that shows that the goal was good but the methods you chose were wrong.

    Reply
  16. myles

    1) i believe that the nature of our minds and how we think through things is all determined on the experiences we face throughout our lives. Its also determined on your upbringing and how you were taught to react to certain things. we all have a little evil inside of us but i think it is controlled depending on experiences and upbringing. this is also the same for the level of evil inside of you, if you’ve been faced with disturbing situations in your life then you level of evil maybe higher than those who have lived a more civilized life.

    2) for this question i do still think whether your a man or a women it does not mater, what matters is the situations you’ve been in and had to face and how you were brought up.
    but then come to think of it you see many more men in prison and getting into to trouble than you do women so this may just link to something a mans human nature, maybe because they are considered to not care for people and children as much as women do, women being mothers who are usually emotionally attached to their child.

    3) i personally think its that you make your own mind up in life and whether the decisions are right or wrong you also face the consequences of your actions. so free will determines and sets the path of your life and you decisions and thoughts alter the way the path is set out. and as i’ve said before you decisions and thoughts are all unique depending on your upbringing.]

    4) i don’t think its possible to fully recover from an act of genuine evil because if you have genuinely gone out to kill someone and you where successful you then have the mind set to be able to do it again and again and no matter if you have a condition or need medical there is nothing there to stop you from forgetting those thoughts. there are thousands of people and victims who have to suffer from such an event and they will also never forget, as we never forget people like Hitler who committed terrible terrible crimes.

    5) i don’t think you could respect or admire a person who has committed an act of true evil but i think you could have a morbid fascination as to what it is about this person that has made them commit the crime. i think the only way too truly admire someone of such kind is to be in the same mental state as they are (crazy) to believe and see why they do it and understand the feeling. and those kind of people are not normal.

    6) i believe if you reach a goal using evil methods and cheat if you like, all you can gain is regret and guilt as you know there is a high chance you will now get caught and you should have gone the long way to achieve your goal in order to feel proud at the end of it and not just earn guilt and most likely end up in prison.

    Reply
  17. Ian

    1) I believe that you cannot inherit “evil”. It is a state of mind in which is influenced by their surrounding and environment and what they have been brought up to think. “Evil” is defined as profoundly immoral and wicked, in which could change by circumstance in anyone’s life, depending in the situation and how they believe they should handle it.
    2) Being an “evil” male is the same as being an “evil” female. It’s consequences are the same. It’s only difference is that women think differently from men. I don’t think that being “evil” matters for either gender as anyone could be manipulated by their uprising and environment.
    3) I don’t believe in fate as such. In my belief, it is just an excuse due to the fact that you can’t change the past. The future is ultimately made by our free will, in which we feel is the right thing to do at the time.
    4) The mind is a very sensitive thing. Committing a genuine evil, like killing, would repeat for any sane person. People who have committed murdered will never fully recovered, unless so “evil” that they have deluded themselves to the point that it is almost like they believe that anyone deserves to die.
    5) Unless committing the same crime, you would fear for yourself and them as they are capable of such acts.
    6) I believe using methods of such evilness to achieve your own goals, it would never be fully achieved. Committing these crimes causes all repetitions of what you have done just to achieve a selfish goal, you will be conscious that you have ruined others.

    Reply
  18. Pandora

    1. Is evil inherent in human nature? That is, are some people just ‘born evil’ or is evil caused by circumstance or environment?
    For this question I did some research on the internet, looking at Q & A blogs and forums. ‘Evil’ is a very strong word therefore people tend to interpret it in many different ways. To start with, you should consider whether you believe people will be evil or good from the moment of conception, or if the potential to commit evil acts is influenced by circumstance or environment; because that is essentially all the question is asking. To a certain extent, I believe ‘evil’ is inherent in human nature. That is to say, I think that human beings as a species are all born with the potential to commit evil acts or be evil. It’s a very tricky question to tackle, because by saying that essentially you can say that a poor living environment and traumatic happenings are what can turn a good child into an ‘evil one’. But this is hardly the case, you can pick out numerous historical figures that have accomplished great things in their lifetime, despite bad circumstances and environment; take Ghandi for example who was a very poor man in a very poor country yet he’s known as one of the most influential figures of his time.
    The easiest way of looking at it is to assume that most people tend to adopt the idea that you are either born good and the world turns you bad, or that you are born evil yet you suppress the natural instinct throughout your life. Interestingly, if you look at Freud’s theory of the human psyche you could use his theories to provide evidence to support either argument. For example, if you take a look at his psychoanalytic theory, “The psychoanalytic theory holds the view that man is evil that the thoughts of man are wicked, man is illogical and irrational, the mentality of man is unhealthy therefore, and man is prone to making wrong decisions.” This shows that he believes that the minds of humans are corrupted and therefore it is in our nature to make evil decisions. However, if you look at his theory of child development, he explains how the way parents deal with and influence the natural instincts and urges of young children; which suggests that we are influenced to be evil by circumstances and environment, or in this case, individuals.
    2. Are women ‘naturally’ more evil than men? Is it the other way around?
    I think this is a question thats response will always be dictated by peoples previous experiences with both men and women. Someone’s gender should not define their actions against others but it is one of the first things people will consider when someone has committed an ‘evil act’ or is suspected of having done so. I would say this has been influenced by our media culture where works of fiction and real people’s misfortune are provided as our entertainment; the majority of the time one gender is always depicted in a bad light. For example, it is commonly unchallenged when a group of men will talk about how women are the downfall of men. And this is shown in old books, new books, films, television programmes, and some of the time in real life. Even I would be far more inclined to feel more sympathy for a man when he has had his heart broken by a woman than I would for a woman that had had her heart broken by a man.
    I still would not provide an answer for women or me being naturally more evil than the other though, because the question in itself is not clear and could be interpreted far too many ways for a straight answer to show the meaning you intended. The fact that the word ‘naturally’ is in quotations leads to even more interpretation because naturally could mean many things, since someones ‘natural’ actions have to be influenced by a variety of factors. Also I do not believe that a person can have a certain level of ‘evilness’ because people change quickly and unexpectedly and cannot be tied down to a label such as ‘evil’.
    3. Are our lives determined by fate, or by the acts of our free will?
    I do not think our lives are determined by fate, nor do I think they are predetermined. Everyone has a choice and I personally think the belief that you don’t have a choice is just the lazy or overly-conflicted persons way of dealing with consequences they cannot accept are their own fault. Everyone has control of their own life, so free will shall dictate where it leads. Indeed, sometimes people and events will interfere with us carrying out our own acts of free will, but that is all because of the choice someone else has made, THEIR act of free will. How much other peoples actions conflict with our own can be extremely different depending on the culture, the society, the era even. Nothing is predetermined and if it is, then that is due to the choice that the person made by an act of free will.

    4. Is redemption truly possible? That is, is it possible to commit an act of genuine evil and truly recover from it?
    Redemption can only occur through acceptance. No other person can truly redeem you, I believe redemption is the act of being able to forgive yourself when you know and can accept that you have done an ‘evil’ thing. However, some people’s attitudes and outlook on events may mean that by their standards they have not done anything wrong, yet someone else may believe they have committed an ‘evil act’.
    I still do not fully understand redemption though as it is not a concept I hold much esteem in. If a person believes they require redemption then the only way that can occur is by them making a personal choice to BE redeemed. If someone is happy with how they act and have no misgivings about their actions, then why should they need to be redeemed? In the end it does not affect anyone but yourself.

    5. Is it possible to admire or respect a person whom you know has committed acts of genuine evil?
    Yes. Some people respect people DUE to them having committed acts they believe to be ‘evil’. And even if you do not agree with someone’s past actions and believe them to have committed acts that you would define as ‘evil’, no matter how much people dispute it, it’s very easy to forgive someone based on their present attitude and actions. People are fickle, they can move from one perception to the other, have an attitude towards something one day, and a completely opposite one the next.
    Some people are also very good at manipulating others.
    Let’s take an extreme example to explain that point. Adolf Hitler. Most people in our modern society know of his actions. The vast majority dispute them and call him evil. The majority of the people that don’t dispute them keep their views secret as they know they will be judged as ‘evil’. But in his time, his society, his culture, there were still people that were 100% aware of all the shocking things he had done, yet they still looked up to him, admired him, respected him, even carried out a lot of these actions for him. The majority of the time there WILL be people that look up to people that believe they deserve to be looked up to.
    6. Do ‘the ends justify the means’? That is, the goal is more important than the methods you use to achieve it. OR, do you believe that if morally evil methods are used to acquire a goal, is that goal forever tainted or polluted by the actions one has taken to achieve it?
    In my opinion, the ends will always justify the means. It is entirely up to you whether you decide to let the past taint your future, but in no way do you have to. My general belief for most scenarios is that people should do what they feel necessary to be somewhere in life that fulfils their desire to be happy. Obviously in some cases, this does not apply. Politics for instance. When you’re juggling with peoples lives on a large scale you quite clearly have to be careful otherwise you could cause far too much damage to ever be where you want to be in life. But I believe in day to day life, the past is something that must be moved on from, good OR bad, as it will always hold you back from where you are now.

    Reply
    1. Mr Legowski Post author

      An outstanding response to the task, Pandora – thank you and well done! Your answers are developed, intelligently argued, rooted in reference to your research and written in a style that shows you have a natural talent in this subject. Thanks, too, for picking me up on the ambiguity of question 2. (Are women ‘naturally…) – yes, it does leave it open to interpretation, though some may have considered it from a ‘born evil’ point of view. And your comment about redemption being ‘the act of being able to forgive yourself’ is one that I agree with – the perpetrator must take responsibility first and come to terms with what he or she has done. I would question your response to 6., though, and whether your answer is as sharp and focused as your answers elsewhere. Overall, however, your answer cannot be anything other than a good, strong A so again well done.

      Reply
  19. Niamh

    1. I don’t think people are born evil. As a child grows up most are taught the difference between good and bad by their parents, teachers and people around them. Not everyone has the same circumstances and not everyone has as good a life as everyone else. For example they might grow up in a household where things like abuse and violence are considered normal. I think that these people are more likely to grow up to be ‘evil’ people because they have been influenced by the environment around them. Nobody is born evil, there is an equal chance that someone will grow up to become either ‘good’ or ‘evil’.
    2. I think women are more evil than men but I also think it depends on your definition of evil. Men are evil in the way that they are more violent and lash out physically whereas woman play “mind games” and are more evil in the sense that they mess with your head. In my opinion both of these are quite evil because both of they result in people getting hurt however women in my opinion are worse. This is because most of the time men’s violence is an outburst of anger or other emotion and is a spur of the moment thing however it isn’t the same with women. Their “mind games” are planned, thought out and deliberate making it much worse because they have thought of the consequences and know what’s going to happen but still they don’t care.
    3. I think our lives are determined by the acts of our free will, I don’t believe that our decisions are made for us by a higher power. Nothing is decided until we ourselves make the decision because otherwise surely the decision wouldn’t be there in the first place, if there was such thing as fate then surely we would never have to make a decision in our lives because our path has already been chosen for us and our fate has been set.
    4. I do not think it is possible to commit an act of genuine ‘evil’ and truly recover from it. For example if someone killed another person intentionally I don’t think they could ever carry on with their life as though nothing had happened. For one thing the guilt would be too much, whether they did it in cold blood or not it would be constantly playing on their mind wondering whether they did the right thing. Also the worry of getting caught, they would be paranoid that someone would discover their secret and turn them in. Committing an act of genuine ‘evil’, whether you feel it was right or not, is not something you can just forget about even if you ask for forgiveness.
    5. I don’t think it is possible to admire or respect someone whom you know has committed acts of genuine ‘evil’. If you discovered that someone you know has committed an act of genuine ‘evil’ then I don’t think that you can ever look at them in the same way again. You’d be scared of them and what they can or whether they’d do it to you. You’d also be constantly wondering what else they’ve done and whether they’re going to do it again. Also you’d never be able to trust them because they’ve done it once before who’s to say they won’t do it again. The only circumstance under which you would is if you have grown up around that sort of thing and it’s considered normal and by committing acts of ‘evil’ you gain respect of the people around you.
    6. I don’t think the ends justify the means. I believe that if morally ‘evil’ methods are used to acquire a goal, the goal is then tainted by the actions taken to achieve it. For example if someone takes performance enhancing drugs to win a race then their achievement will always be tainted by the fact they didn’t use honest means to get it. When you achieve a goal you get a very satisfied feeling but if you achieved that goal using morally ‘evil’ methods then you can never fully feel that sense of satisfaction because it will always play on your mind that that achievement isn’t yours and yours alone.

    Reply
  20. Louis

    1. I think that acting evil depends on the circumstance, yet the personality of the person is also important. The person’s personality is determined on their up-bringing as if they were brought up poorly then they could have certain characteristics such as a strong temper and little patience. The reason that it depends on the circumstance is that, for example, if a person stole your watch, but you managed to get it back, you could be forgiving to the thief. Although if it was a house robbery then, depending on your personality, you could retaliate and preform evil acts towards the robber.

    2. I don’t think that one gender is more evil than the other, although it is scientifically proven that Testosterone, being in males, increases the aggression, so that could play a large role in which one is more evil if i had to pick. The stereotype of men would also help prove this point, especially teenagers, as the stereotype is of them being hooligans and rude whereas the stereotype of females is about them being smart and sophisticated so it is seen that men are more evil.

    3. I think that our lives are determined by acts of free will as i feel that we are able to make our own decisions although what was discussed today was that the choices that we make, even if we think we are changing things, it would still be our fate. For example, I wanted to buy an apple, but then instead i buy an orange, i think that it was an act of free will or that i had changed fate, it could have been in my fate to change my decision so i cant really say which one i think.

    4. Like many people have said, i think that it depends on the act of evil. If you stole some money you could recover because it may not have effected you life as much as burning someones house down as that could have repercussions, such as if you were to think about the family or the possessions inside that may have been destroyed. The bigger the act of evil then the harder it would be to recover from it.

    5. It would be determined by your personality, like i said earlier, if you were forgiving then you could think that “They’ve done some bad things in there life but it is in the past now.” So that person that committed genuine evil acts would have the opportunity to be respected and honored, although that would depend on if the persons good acts out leveled the bad so that the person would not be judged as evil because then they would not be able to be respected.

    6. I think that, like from Myles’ point that the only thing you would achieve is regret and guilt as you would feel that you have not earned it and that there could have been another, and brighter way to achieve this goal. Although if you feel that you have been very smart in your choices, even if it was evil then you yourself might not feel that regret, as you could feel that you earned it through your talents.

    Reply
    1. Mr Legowski Post author

      Thanks Louis. I’m interested in your answer to 2. when you provide a biological reason (testosterone) for why men are more aggressive than women. Scientific evidence is always welcome, though if you were to provide a link to the source you found, and perhaps a little more detail, it’s push your overall grade for the home learning from a C to a B.

      Reply

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