Underneath the slimyest and cruelest person is there really just a person who has had a bad time in life? Is there really no such thing as a bad person but only ppl who have been made that way due to lack of love??
I think that there is always the potential for a "bad" person to change. And, it's very noble of you if you pity them. Not only because of bad things that may have happened to them, but also because they aren't experiencing love as much as they should be. However, it's not necessary to allow them to hurt you or to just sit back and wait for them to change while taking their hurt/abuse. It's good of you to try to help them, as long as you're taking care of yourself.
I don't think that "bad" behaviour is completely excusable w/ "sorry, I just had a bad life..." but I do agree that there is always potential for things to change. Whether or not the person takes responsibility for their behaviour is a huge part of this. I think that each situation is different, but on related terms, for example, some people believe in the death sentence and others don't. You have to decide for yourself what is excusable or justificable or even just forgivable and what's not. ie. if someone kills someone you're close to, some people may be able to forgive but not forget. Other's can't. If the person shows remorse does it make them less bad? Their behaviour was bad, but what about the person? What if they dont' show remorse? Are they inherently bad then? This also touches on the nature/nurture debate, ie. is a person born like that (inherently bad) or is their behaviour a reflection of their experiences/environment (nurture)?
For the "regular" public, I'd say give someone a chance... you never know why they react or act the way they do, until you have found out about their past and experiences... but as Dianna said, dont' let those factors excuse every person's behaviour.
I don't believe people are born bad, they are made into what they are by their enviroment, and experiences in childhood, I could never get my head round Richard Dawkins and his gene centre beliefs!
As for forgiving someone for doing something bad, it depends what the bad thing was and whether they were sorry and Had taken steps to change their behaviour. I've always believed people should be given another chance and that you should listen to them and find out why they did what they did.
Some years ago when I was attending a day centre attached to a hospital a charge nurse took me across to a secure unit on the same site to do some voluntary work there, I got chatting to some of the people in there and you only had to listen to their storys to see they werent born bad, most had had childhood without love or sercurity, and suffered the most aweful mental and physical abuse from their parents and other family members, it no wonder they had done the things they had, I still keep in touch with one of the guys and he is happily married now with a son, and a job hes found the right enviroment now and hes changed.
to me, simply by saying "all people are bad", one creates the other argument "all people are good". To say someone is one things is to say there are also the other, for how could "bad" exist without "good"? If all things were "bad", then just what the hell does "bad" mean if it applies to everything? we define it in contrast to what "good" is. Thus, if "bad" exists, so, too, does good (see Jung's theories). As one person said, there are bad choices. some people choose to do things regardless of how negatively they will affect other people, including oneself, and it is natural to feel anger in defense of this. But, so long as there are people that make beneficial choices, there will be those that make harmful ones, and it is necessary for these two to exist. One challenges the other, and thus causes them to evolve, and to me, evolution is better than stagnation. As the Tibetan Buddhist philosophy goes: "our enemy is our greatest teacher, for only our enemy can truly teach us understanding, patience, and compassion". People are everything at once, and nothing at all. We can choose to act any way we want.
I agree with Dr. Baxter. For the most part, people are well-intentioned, kind, and wish only to find happiness for themselves and those they love. They carry no ill will toward anyone. However, there are a few who are just plain bad. They think only of themselves and have no care for the effects of their actions on others.
It took me many years to get it through my head that some people weren't capable of being helped to be good members of society because they didn't wish to be good members of society. Their wish was to use society to satisfy their own perverted, selfish needs. While I may not be glad to have made this discovery, it's saved me a great deal of grief over the years.
It is difficult for me to believe that people are purely mean, it shatters my fragile self to know that some ppl are just purely mean and enjoy it and so I want to search for possibilities that they are not, but maybe it is true, maybe some ppl are just cruel.