Social Question

SatouKimu's avatar

Do bad people perceive the world differently from good people?

Asked by SatouKimu (121 points ) September 21st, 2011

A ToK question I’m having trouble with. It is my belief that bad people don’t see themselves as ‘bad’ or ‘evil’, and since good and bad are both subjective… well. Just give me your ideas?

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25 Answers

kenmc's avatar

Every human sees the world differently from every other human.

And good & bad aren’t black and white concepts. You could have a serial killer that donates to homeless shelters or priests that are racist/sexist/otherstuffist.

Blackberry's avatar

Of course. People will always justify their beliefs, even if it is seen as bad by the majority.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think anyone sees himself as the villain in his own story, but I do think there are people who do wrong, people who know they are doing wrong and do it anyway. They justify it in some way that would not make sense to those who follow more or less conventional morality.

I’m not convinced that everyone’s view is utterly different from everyone else’s. (I’m not convinced by any assertion that no two x’s are alike; I think two or more feet, snowflakes, pregnancies, worldviews, etc., can be very much alike, with differences so slight as to be immaterial.) Rather, I think that people’s perceptions can probably be grouped into a finite number of categories, perhaps with a few that refuse to be classified but with the majority fitting into some describable pattern.

However, I do think that “bad” people are more likely than others to see bad in one another, to impute evil motives to others, and to assume that others either do behave like them or would if they had the chance. I think they’re more likely to believe that people refrain from wrongful acts out of fear or cowardice or lack of opportunity than out of belief in any sort of code or obedience to any inner voice.

In essence, I think jaded people have a jaded view of the world, and people with a clear conscience have a generally benign view.

Likewise, the jaded people will know exactly why there is suffering in the world, while the conventionally “good” agonize over the question.

filmfann's avatar

I think bad people like to believe bad things about good people.
Good people like to believe there is some good in bad people.

Hibernate's avatar

It all depends on the definition of good an d bad here even they are subjective.

For instance a bad person can say he’s not bad and by his standards he’s just okay while a good person will see him as bad.

It’s good to eat ice cream but it’s bad to eat a whole bucket ^^

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think that bad people see far more gray in the world than good people could ever comprehend.

blueiiznh's avatar

Who is the judge of good or bad? As you stated, it is all subjective.
Do you think Charlie Manson thought of himself as bad?
Put any name you want in there and there is always room for discussion.
Some people just simply do “bad things”, but that is based on what the cultural norm is at the time.
Nahhhhhhh…

wundayatta's avatar

Of course bad people perceive the world differently from the way good people perceive it. Then again, good people perceive it differently from other good people, and bad people perceive it differently from other bad people. In fact, come to think of it, everyone perceives the world differently.

Societies form and they make rules and when enough people agree on the rules, you can sort people into those who follow the rules and those who don’t. People who don’t follow the rules will almost invariably say that the rules are wrong or bad or stupid for one reason or another, and this justifies the need to break those rules.

A few people will agree that they are “bad” and they will break the rules simply because they don’t like them of they don’t care, even if the rules are right.

As you say, notions of good and bad are subjective. They are built on the prevailing values of the community. Almost no one, I think, thinks of themselves as a bad person. They think of themselves as being different from other, for the most part. However, when they are told they are wrong often enough, then yes, they will think of themselves as bad. They will be aware they perceive the world in a way that is different from the prevailing societal point of view.

I am such a person. I have been faced with this idea that either I am a bad person in a good society, or that I am a good person in a bad society. When I am healthy, I take the latter point of view. When I am sick, I believe I am wrong, and that I might as well kill myself since I don’t fit in this society and never can fit in. In general, I’d rather be a good person who doesn’t fit in this particular soceity (instead of a bad person who is not reformable and should kill himself). But there are times when the drag of not agreeing with various rules is too much, and I’d rather just stop it all.

chewhorse's avatar

Basically, being narcissists, the evil men do don’t see good or bad but what will benefit them, and all those who stand in their way (either purposely or inadvertently) is considered expendable. They don’t consider the repercussions of their actions as their totally absorbed in their own wants and needs and if caught, rely on the bastardization of the law to vindicate their vileness. Good people can’t understand this evil because they don’t carry that kind of hatred inside them.. Yes, they can hate but refraining from action separates them from the criminal.

Jeruba's avatar

I absolutely disagree that good and bad are purely subjective, and I absolutely disagree that no two views are alike.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I think that bad people only see themselves as they are in moments of extreme clarity. In fact, I believe people in general very rarely see themselves correctly, even the most introspective of us have a bias. We see what we want to see. This is true for all people. So we are all alike.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Jeruba I disagree with your disagrees

cockswain's avatar

Yes. They think Michelle Bachmann is more qualified to be president than Barack Obama.

wundayatta's avatar

@Jeruba Where does your objective notion of good and bad come from? Or on what basis does it stand? Also, could you give me two points of view that are exactly alike? Let’s assume that the world populated purely by identical twins and other clones. Show those two people who think exactly the same.

Also, could you give me the web address of the world you live in? Pretty please?

Cruiser's avatar

Bad people know they are bad…they just can’t help themselves.

leopardgecko123's avatar

It all depends on your definition of bad and good, doesn’t it?
But, just to answer, you can have a “bad” person who knows that what he is doing is wrong and regrets it, but it is very hard to stop doing whatever it is they’re doing. This I the case with many Christians; they know they are sinning and try hard to stop, but it is hard and takes a long time before they actually stop.
Just my opinion

Tbag's avatar

Hmm, bad people? Some know what they’re doing is wrong and as well as deny that. Others perceive differently and will only think of themselves, put themselves before anyone. Good people, shit I can write a book about them.
Let’s say you trip and fall yeh? A good person tries to help you get up and makes sure you’re okay. A bad one would be like ” What a fuckin’ douchebag? ” and walks in front of you like nothing happened. Maybe irrelevant but I think it gives a good idea about this whole thing. I guess that’s my perspective..

Sunny2's avatar

I think “bad’ people, especially young people, do see the world differently from others. They lack the executive function that tells most people what is right and what is wrong. An example: If you walk by a neighbor’s home and the garage door is open, you notice it, but aren’t interested in going in. Someone without a stable executive function will see the open door as an opportunity, go in and take whatever strikes their fancy. They don’t recognize society’s rules and don’t think of it as wrong, necessarily. Teaching them to pay attention to such things so as to stay out of trouble is part of the solution. They are often surprised to find they are in trouble for doing things we consider wrong.

King_Pariah's avatar

This bad person sees himself equal to some of the most vile scum on the mudball.

blueiiznh's avatar

Genghis Khan was really a good guy.

martianspringtime's avatar

I don’t think most people are cut-and-dry ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ There are some people that I feel I can safely dismiss as ‘bad’, but for the most part I would say that people have a little bit more depth than that and usually have a good side as well. It’s very hard to only have a negative side. But yes, they would have different perspectives.
Anyone’s idea of ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ would entail that the different sides have different traits, and traits always affect your perception.

chewhorse's avatar

@blueiiznh… Just ask his mama… @martianspringtime .. Very good answer.

gr8teful's avatar

Yes Bad people see the World differently to Good people, but I do believe there is some good in almost everyone, even if it is knowing that the best thing they could do is end their lives ,because the World would be a better place without them, that in itself shows they have some good in them.If a very bad person asked a very good person to help them do this, would this make the good person a bad person or a very understanding good person?Not All bad people see themselves as Bad, but some do and some people who believe themselves to be Good, may not be.

ISmart's avatar

yes they see the cup as half empty rather then half full

chewhorse's avatar

Well, if your talking ‘really’ bad to good then it’s perception.. Where one see the world as sharing, the other sees it as theirs. Good uses others for the benefit of the whole, the bad uses others for their own selfish means.

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