Tuesday, 7 April 2009

I’ve yet to encounter a child who was born truly evil

In my work I have yet to encounter a child who was “evil” — born bad. Rather, children behave badly because of what has been put into them and how they have been brought up. Violence is frequently the result of other violent acts.

Children often experience violence in their lives and, while the source of that violence is usually a child’s parents or carers — last year, for example, more than 60 per cent of children murdered in this country were killed by their parents — child-on-child violence remains common.

As a result, children are often very astute about managing threats of violence and this is one reason we have seen younger and younger children prepared to carry knives.

Feeling that the “adult world” fails to take their fears and anxieties seriously, children turn to each other to sort out problems and, sadly, this often ends in tragedy. Read more
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1 comment:

John Rhomas said...

But how would you know a child who was "born evil", as opposed to "born good" (or "born morally neutral")? You could only know one kind by having known the other kind, for comparison. And if no children are born except being born good/neutral, how would the "violence ...[tendency to] violent acts" have come into existence in the first place? Presumably, if all the babies you have known were not "born evil" the people who did "violence" to them must have been born evil, but were not ones you knew of. Or, the evil might have come from evil organisations/systems, etc. But how did they ever get to be evil, all organisations/systems, etc. having been created by people ... Should we blame animals? Or maybe it's just that people really aren't born "good" or "morally neutral" at all, as the Judeo-Christian tradition has always taught ... rightly ...