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  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Default What are the qualities of a bad person?

    I'm thinking about when people say "Jane does XYZ bad things, but she's really a good person," and wondering if there is a general reluctance to ascribe the label of being a "bad" person to people.

    I think to myself, it's statistically impossible for there not to be bad people in the world, and I'm not just talking about the macro level of bad person (i.e. Hitler). Is there a such thing as a bad person at the micro level, or is the person just misunderstood? It's easy to say someone who kills another person in cold blood is bad but what about someone who consistently shows callous disregard to others, misanthropic, is morally destitute, but holds these attitudes to themselves so there isn't anything concrete to pin the bad person label?

    Should the quality of being a bad person only be applied to someone who would clinically fall into that category, i.e. a sociopath?

    What would you say the inner qualities of a bad person are and how do they manifest themselves outwardly? Are the qualities of a "bad" person, simply the opposite of those of a "good" person? I'm leaving the definition of bad open to interpretation.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
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  2. #2
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I guess I bad person would be a sociopath, but I don't know, because I'm sure some bleeding hearts would so "Oh Jim,yeah, he's a sociopath,but he really isn't a bad person"
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  3. #3
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    "Bad" is a moral judgment. Two levels, maybe:

    1. "What he did to others."
    2. "What he has the potential to do."

    Both can be used to say, "He's a bad man." A level 2 judgment of "bad" is more serious, and where it exists it would confirm a level 1 judgment of "bad".

    But... Level 2 judgments are tough calls if one believes in redemption. A level 2 judgment of "good" traditionally mitigates a level 1 judgment of "bad".

    Or does it? If the potential for remorse (and perhaps acts of recompense) exist, is the man "bad"?

    There can and/or should be a balance between level 1 and 2 judgments?


    I was thinking about it today because one of the MBTI test questions is (something like) "You support Justice more than Mercy--yes or no?"

    I plumped for Justice because Mercy doesn't solve a problem, it allows problems to reappear, but that doesn't mean I subscribe to the right to call someone a "bad man." I believe the principle of each person's right to be independent and free from constraint is sufficiently valuable that it must be protected (which sounds like I'd support just punishment) but I also hold that once a thing is done, it's done, and if the thing done didn't harm the long term interests of the person, then Mercy can be shown. (But the only person with the right to offer Mercy is the aggrieved party, and if they are aggrieved and likely to hold that grief, then they are not unharmed... So, if you think about it, the overarching theme there is Justice.)


    In summary:

    If there can be Good Men, then there can be Bad Men.

    But to judge which of us is Bad...


    You're gonna need some Ti thinking on this. I'll tend naturally to speak of pragmatics, and don't quite know just yet how to deal with the absolutes needed for this one.



    I am so being INTJ about this--always allowing for the possibility of something good or useful even in a heap of ashes... I'm fudging the idea of absolutes as if I were a bleeding heart.

  4. #4
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    I guess I bad person would be a sociopath, but I don't know, because I'm sure some bleeding hearts would so "Oh Jim,yeah, he's a sociopath,but he really isn't a bad person"
    Yeah..
    I tend to look at diagnoses for Antisocial Personality Disorder as the science behind what causes some people to have the propensity to commit less-than-good deeds moreso than others ("good" & "bad" defined to me as adaptive & maladaptive)... the diagnosis just explains it.. doesn't condone it in the least... nor should it..
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I don't like to use the words "good" an "bad" when I'm talking about people.

    But after thinking about this for a couple of minutes I think I would describe a "bad" person as someone who consistently puts their own needs and interests ahead of anyone or anything else.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  6. #6
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    I don't like to use the words "good" an "bad" when I'm talking about people.

    But after thinking about this for a couple of minutes I think I would describe a "bad" person as someone who consistently puts their own needs and interests ahead of anyone or anything else.
    What's bad about always putting your own needs before others? Mind you, I don't mean, consistently at the cost of others...
    I figure you can't take care of anyone else sufficently anyway without taking care of yourself first... though I can't bring myself to put that theory into practice consistently.. just kinda playing the devil's advocate here.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree with you, Lexicon. You can't do much good in the world if you don't take care of yourself.

    Your answer, as you seem to have already noticed, is in your question. "Consistently at the cost of others."

    Edit: I suppose I could have added your italicized words, but it seemed implied to me. "Consistently" by itself wouldn't be good, I think. I'm thinking of mother/child relationships in this sense. But I think there could be other situations where the safety of others was concerned.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  8. #8
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    I guess I bad person would be a sociopath, but I don't know, because I'm sure some bleeding hearts would so "Oh Jim,yeah, he's a sociopath,but he really isn't a bad person"
    There's no hope for people with such bleeding hearts, they are part of the reason evil flourishes.

    Yes, lack of empathy, when desire for power takes the place of desire for love, that's what I would say makes the difference. The little Hitlers of the world, estimated as 1 in 30. Socialized psychopaths are the more intelligent ones who learn how to work within the law to get their power kicks, they hurt people throughout their lives and get away with it. And there's always, always, always people ready to defend them, give them "second chance" because so many people cannot handle the concept of evil in others.

    Then there's also corrupt judgment and people who don't balance their T-F use. To veer too far in either direction T or F I think leaves a person lopsided in their judgment and open to create havoc for others.

  9. #9
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    A bad person is someone who treats others as if they are less worthy of respect.

    A good share of moral propositions cover this...

    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    "Love they neighbor as thyself."
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  10. #10
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    Yes, I agree with you, Lexicon. You can't do much good in the world if you don't take care of yourself.

    Your answer, as you seem to have already noticed, is in your question. "Consistently at the cost of others."

    Yeah.. narcissists are jerkfaces.
    I've tried in RL to explain the idea of psychological egoism with regard to altruism... but then I'm told I'm a bad person to think that way, by the more sentimental folks.. Sigh.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

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