Does bad negate the good?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by JustMe, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 18, 2012

    Thinking through something...

    Lets say a person contributes to his family. Or society. Or the field of medicine. Or sports. He makes a huge impact. But then he murders a person. Or it's discovered he molested his children. Or something equally as horrible. Does that make his other contributions null and void? Or can his life be divided and separated so that he is still credited and admired for the good he contributed?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Hm, good question. The way I look at it is that it doesn't matter if someone has saved thousands of lives if he destroyed just one.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    For me, I question the good things that person did, but it may or may mot change how I feel about the person.

    For instance, I worked with a guy who ran a local business and volunteered his time with Boy Scouts and our school. He was arrested for taking baked photos of teen boys at a nearby park. Other really awful things came up lager. His good things are clearly negated because of an obviously bad motive.

    If the good and bad events are not related, then I could think differently.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Unfortunately, I believe that the way society works is that one mistake (intentional or not) topples the tower. One bad choice loses you all trust, and you need to build it again from scratch. So in a way, I think yes, the bad negates the good. However I also believe that good can negate bad afterwards. For instance to make up for it, the person engages in some activity to obtain absolution. It's slow work but it can be done.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I find it difficult to compartmentalize. I put great emphasis on a person's moral character. If they show serious transgressions, like the examples mentioned, I would find it almost impossible to think positively about other things they have done.
     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I do believe that all the good things the person did in the past will make it null & void if he does something horrible. The person shouldn't get any kind of leniency either in their punishment sentence.

    One can also look at it this way if they're religious. Let's say you go to church faithfully & love your minister & he can do no wrong in your eyes. BUT, then he did some horrible thing. Will I still want to support him & atttend his church? NO. All his past sermons would mean NOTHING if he can't even live right. He's huge hypocrite. Now each person will choose to do what they want: Forgive & forget or forgive, but never forget, etc. I'd personally find another church.
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    If you look towards the Bible for your answer we see that sin can be forgiven, but it comes with a price. That price might mean no longer having influence or being able to make an impact. When Cain murdered his brother God still forgave him, but he was marked for life and had to wander the land, away from his family. We all make mistakes, but depending on the degree of those mistakes the effects can be long lasting and destructive.
     
  9. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I think doing something horrible like molesting children, would negate prior good deeds.

    I have a friend that was molested by her brothers at a young age (they were all young) and she has managed to forgive but not forget the sin.

    Where I have questions is what if a person commits a terrible act, asks for forgivness, seeks penance, and then goes on to make positive contributions to society.
     
  10. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2012

    It depends. Was the murder in self defense? Was it an accident? Preplanned or in the heat of a moment?

    However, if the purpose abused or molested children, tortured animals, then, no. Whatever good they did is now negated.
     
  11. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Nov 19, 2012



    Perhaps you're right, but they often do, and this is a relatively accepted (though not entirely agreed upon) practice. I'd note that in death sentence cases the judge usually specifically has to at least look at all circumstances of the offenders life.
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2012

    I appreciate everyone's feedback.

    To follow-up...

    If you feel the bad essentially erases the good, how would you deal with this is a loved one in your family was discovered to be a child molester? Are you done with that person? Sever ties? Would you build a wall but still treasure the memories you have? Something else?

    For the record, I started thinking about this because of Michael Jackson. He was featured on the music awards last night and my husband made a remark that got me thinking. Of course, he wasn't found to be guilty, but still...got the wheels turning. I absolutely love him. Love. Him. But then I think about the what-ifs.

    Then I thought about my papaw. A molester. It's hard to sort out my feelings about him.
     
  13. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    This reminds me of an SVU I watched last night. This guy is really really charitable, gives away tons of money, always helps "the cause" and turns out to be a rapist. I know it was just a show, but to me he was a bad person. If you're truly a good person, you're a good person in all aspects of your life. Not just a few parts.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sounds very interesting!
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 19, 2012

    I've never been in this situation, but I think the bad would probably void all the good. Bad meaning situations when another person's life is destroyed and can't be fixed (killed) or the damage cannot be undone (molestation).
    So in this case I don't think I would want to deal with the person, family member or not.
     
  16. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2012

    I agree with this completely (of course murder in self defense or by accident not included). I think that you have to judge people by their full character. There are plenty of kind and compassionate do-gooders out there who don't do horrible things to waste time with those that do.
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 19, 2012

    In my previous post, I was speaking from the perspective of society. When it comes to interpersonal relationships it obviously becomes a lot more complicated.

    For instance there are some people out there (many mothers notably) who still love and vouch for their criminal and serial killer sons. There are even some who would try to help hide the crime or take the blame for it.

    I would say it depends on on the closeness to the family member and the severity of the crime. I think with family sometimes it's hard to completely sever ties with anyone over anything, even over unspeakable crimes.

    My BF's brother has been in a chain of crimes, drug abuse, and theft, especially from his own parents, and honestly I don't see why they just don't kick him out of the house, but they continue to house, feed, and clothe him for free, as well as buying him things like new cars and motorcycles and such, despite the grief and tears he causes his family. I will probably never understand it, but there it is.
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 19, 2012

    If I found out that my own relative did a horrendous deed, I'm sure I wouldn't have any contact w/ the person anyway since the person would pobably be in jail. Let's just say the person is still living their regular life, but they did this horrible thing, I'd probably not be in contact w/ him/her. How he/she chose to live live is between him/her & God. It's not up to me to give a punishment.
     

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