Good or Evil?
At what point in time does a child know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil? At what time does that interpretation change from its wrong to not share your toys with your baby brother to it is wrong to kill someone or steal? Are people born inherently good or evil? Is there any middle ground? When man first enters the world as an innocent child, he has no knowledge of what is good or bad. Therefore he cannot purposely commit a good or bad deed. At what age does that change—or does it? A child is born malleable, malleable through elements in his or her environment—upbringing, physical environment, peer pressure, economics, tragedy, stress, etc; the most important elements being upbringing, personal conviction, and peer-pressure. In more than one way, a child’s environment shapes their world, his perspective on life, his morals and standards; his definition of what is right and what is wrong. Knowing the power of love as well as having a sense of belonging is an environment that will give a child a solid foundation to turn back to; whereas children who have been neglected and abandoned, will turn to alternative pathways – usually not very good ones. Most recently, yesterday’s Record Searchlight tells a story of Daniel Scruggs, who grew up in a cluttered, dirty home where he committed suicide when he was just twelve years old. Critics say that Daniel was depressed and neglected. Unfortunately, Daniel saw only one way out of his misery…and that was to take his life. Even literature illustrates this truth - In the novel Animal Farm, a brood of pups are taken away from their mother and are raised by a greedy, power-hungry pig that uses them to maintain power and to reinforce his presence. The pups had no choice in the matter and grew up to be violent, blood-thirsty dogs. Upbringing is so important, it leaves life-long impressions. So many things affect a child’s perspective on what is right and what is wrong, and it is up to...
Cited: Class Survey, 22 Jan. 2004
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. 1605. 23 Jan 2004 (1.7.21)
Baker, Russell, C.M Woodhouse, and George Orwell. Animal Farm. N.p.: Plume , 1996. 5-298.
"System Failure." Record Searchlight 22 Jan. 2004, sec. D: D-2-D-2.
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