The "truly good" thread and a couple of other things made me think about evil.
I think humans are basically good. They try to do the things they think/feel are good. Of course, you'll get conflicts of interests.
If two guys are in love with the same girl, there could be a fight among them, even if the guys aren't really violent to begin with.
A suicide bomber sees himself as a hero, sacrificing himself for his country, family, hoping his sacrifice will give others a better world. I'm sure a competent fiction writer could just tweak some details (eg change America into Undead Country) and make a story where the suicide bomber will be seen as a hero by the readers. Samson from the Bible killed more Philistines with his death than during his life, and this was, according to the Bible, a good thing. Hero or terrorist?
But now I'm reading a book about Mao Tse-Tung (Mao, the unknown story; by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday). It's written by an enemy of Mao. I do not know whether the book portrays the historical Mao or not. It contains of course a very negative view on his character. Now, regardless whether it's historically correct or not, the character Mao as portrayed in the book intrigues me. It seems a realistic character. Such a person can exist in the real world.
The character is totally uninterested in other persons. He seems to lack any morals. He's only interested in getting himself power and luxury. He sees himself as a great hero - someone whose task is to shine and reap the benefits during his life. He doesn't believe in communism, it's a tool to get him to the top.
And this sort of person, who seems realistic enough for me, wrecks my theory of "everyone wants to be a good person". I don't understand this. Are there really humans who disregard their fellow humans that much? How is this possible?
I think it's too simplistic to assume some people are "just evil" and regard them as a sort of human demons who have nothing to do with us. I think that's the first step to become a suicide bomber - think some sort of humans are "just evil". I want to know whether there is an evil Tamske inside me, if maybe with another upbringing I wouldn't care about good or evil at all and just try to get power. I want to get into the mind of such people and understand them, because to understand evil is the way to avoid it.