The Core Allegiance of our Being: Are we Essentially Good or Evil? Examples in Modern Culture

The Core Allegiance of our Being: Are we Essentially Good or Evil? Examples in Modern Culture

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When we are first born, as mere babies in our mothers arms, are we evil? Through reading The Lord of The Flies and learning about various tragic events in history, I have come to the conclusion that yes, humans are somewhat evil. Although, I believe that it is not our everyday educated and civil surroundings that make us this way, but our thoughts and experiences that bring out “the darkness of man’s heart” (Golding 202). “It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways” (Buddha). I have come to these conclusions because of real-life historical events and symbolism in the story, such as: the Stanford Prison Experiment, Abu Ghraib, Jack Merridew, the Jonestown massacre, and The Beast.
In the summer of 1971, at Stanford University, Philip G. Zimbardo developed The Stanford Prison Experiment to test his theory on the Lucifer Effect. The theory that good people can turn evil when placed into a bad situation or a position of power over others. For this experiment they set up a simulation prison in a corridor of Stanford University, they collected 24 average, male, volunteer, undergraduates who were all tested previously for psychological abnormalities, and split them up into two groups, guards and prisoners (Stanford Prison Experiment) The guards all wore identical khaki uniforms and aviator shades to de-individualize them and hide their emotions. Also, they had been given no training or instruction on how to be a prison guard, were given free range to do whatever was necessary to maintain law and order in the prison. Whereas the prisoners were all forced to wear thin paper gowns with nothing underneath, and a metal chain on their ankle to constantly remind the prisoners of their situation and to further de-...


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...position with control over others and power, the demon inside us all begins to stir. Because of evidence I have found from the Jonestown massacre, Abu Ghraib, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Jack Merridew, and The Beast. Yes, humans are essentially evil, but that evil is squashed deep down inside of us and only comes out when temptation lures us into bad situations.



Works Cited

"Inside the Jonestown Massacre." CNN. Cable News Network, 13 Nov. 2008. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. .
"Iraq Prison Abuse Scandal Fast Facts." CNN. Cable News Network, 30 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. .
Zimbardo, Philip. "Stanford Prison Experiment." The: A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment. N.p., n.d.Web. 19 Dec. 2013. .

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