Why then, when all elements have standard characteristics, do the rules change with people? Are we not all made of the same matter in spirit? Even our bodies are made of the same elements. If we look at it from a chemical perspective, we are all the same.
We hear in the news some story about a human being causing malicious harm to another, and we gasp. What a shame someone could be so evil! I could never do such a thing....
Or, could you?
Are you absolutely positively sure that you would under no uncertain terms do the same thing if you were under the same pressure as this crook?
I used to think of myself as a good person. I never killed, stole, fornicated, adulterated, viewed a movie rated R and very few PG-13, I didn't drink coffee or smoke, I sang primary songs, and I played an instrument. I was about as clean and perfect as they come. I would not talk back to my elders. I would try not to laugh at the jokes that 'lessor' students would make. I would sit up straight the whole band class. Yes, I was a molly Mormon, and I was perfect.
Then I discovered that I had multiple personalities. Low and behold, I had other personalities, that under different conditions than my front personalities, had:
Snarked at my Mormon upbringing, hated Jesus, swore, smoked, had strings of pornographic images imbedded in my mind, fornicated, committed adultery, stole, hurt children, and committed murder.
To my benefit, I carried out such sins under the most trying of circumstances. I was taught to believe I had to commit such aggressive sins or be killed. I was made to believe I had no choice.
Do you know how soul crushing it is to realize you are not the good person you thought you were? That, after all, I am human, just like every body else?
I can only pray that you will not have to endure the same experiences I did to realize that you too, are capable of committing horrendous crimes under the right circumstances.
So, what makes bad people bad? Their circumstances and their beliefs. Do not be so quick to judge a sinner. If you were in their situation, you would most likely handle the situation even worse than the so called criminal.
I once had one of my pedophiles break down and tell me how horrible he felt for being a pedophile. He told me he wished like anything he wasn't a pedo, but that he did his best.
I am no saint, I did not easily forgive him. But, his pain and anguish that he openly placed upon me made a mark upon my mind. After all, who would this man turn to for help in our current society? I decided right then and there, that it is the self righteousness and false shame that society places on people that forced this pedo to abuse me, instead of allow him to come to the light and be healed. I thereby blame much of my abuse to the self righteousness of humanity, and the unwillingness for humanity to recognize its fallen state and be willing to help people who find themselves lost in the deepest throes of sin.
If you want to change a bad person into a good person, you have to give them opportunity to find better life circumstances, and better belief systems. You have to give them a chance to be loved. It is hard enough to turn away from the dark, and to quote the musical "the Phantom of the Opera", people in the dark are inclined to turn away from that "cold, unfeeling light."
I had the biggest breakthrough, in the Mormon temple ceremony, when I pledged to give my life to serve the light. That is when all the programming came crashing down. I realized, that my beliefs were more important than my life. I realized ,that no matter if I was threatened with death, or something hurting my family, that I could choose to stand by my beliefs anyhow. I realized I did not need to obey anybody at gunpoint. No matter what, I have my agency, and kill me or not, I will not be forced to live a lifestyle against my will.