Are Humans Innately Evil? Lord of the Flies and Jim Jones
1421 Words6 Pages
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). Buddha once said: “It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways”. 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 idea that good people can become evil when placed into an atrocious situation or a position of authority 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) All guards 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, and were given free reign to do whatever was necessary to maintain law and order in the prison. Whereas prisoners were forced to wear thin paper gowns with nothing underneath to humiliate them, and a metal chain on their ankle to constantly remind the prisoners of the...
... middle of paper ...
...all begins to stir. Evidence supporting this was found from the Jonestown massacre, Abu Ghraib, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Jack Merridew, and The Beast. So I have come to the conclusion that yes, humans are essentially evil. But that evil is squashed deep down inside of us by society, only coming out when temptation for power lures us into dreadful situations.
"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. .