Good vs. Evil


By Hailey Paulson

Good or evil? It’s one question, two adjectives, and two decisions in everyone’s lives.

Recently I stumbled upon the evil in society. It’s not pretty. By evil I qualify this as all of the corruption in our government, the violence in society, and the intolerance among us all. These are a few examples that popped into my head after 3 seconds.

When I try to think about the good. It takes me 10 seconds and the only thing I can pull are the Random Acts of Kindness that are all over the internet but based on what I see all around me, those cancel out pretty quick.

I have been struggling to find positives in our society we live in today. Especially the American society. The American society is filled with evil and good, but the evil always seems to outweigh the good I see in society.

As we all know society is an influencer to all of us whether we like it or not. The society I live in now doesn’t give me much hope. It also doesn’t necessarily encourage me to be the best person in the world. I’m constantly surrounded by so many negative events and situations that influence my decisions.

Good and evil in society are exemplified by the evils and violence in our society. Photo by Emily Mikesell

I am constantly having to check myself in my decisions to make sure they are distinguishable as good. So much now I find it hard to make the good decision. Media disguises evil as good in small ways but these small instances add up.

I feel as though our society is losing its ground in taking a stand in what is supposed to be good. It was pointed out to me though that humans have always been imperfect. Senior Maddie Martin does not see a way that our society can truly be perfect project management tools.

“I think that societies are flawed because they are created by men and they are going to be good aspects of that; there are going to be bad aspects of that. It really just matters what value societies are based on from the beginning,” said Martin.

What values are we as a society based off of though? Obviously we try to find the best values that help to create a “good” society. We can always create a almost perfect model, but, are we capable as humans to attain an okay level of decisions?

Society is often led by those in power in government or public figures. Are the figures we are giving attention to leading us and influencing us correctly? Senior Andrew Greer showed that people in higher positions affect our society through their actions as well. “Society is definitely lead by leaders though who can act good or evil,” said Greer.

Does any of our choices originate from our own personal brains? Or are we as people in our society influenced by those in power? I find that although I may have my own thoughts they can be dramatically swayed by someone who is more “qualified” than me whether in education, age, popularity and more. Can the decision being more “good” or “evil” be influenced to the extent that it may not be your decision?

Greer concluded that leaders don’t have the effect to change his beliefs entirely. “At the end of the day though, there definitely is a choice. And while role models and leaders like I said have a decent influence, you definitely can’t blame them all the way,” said Greer.

So with this being said, if society can’t blame its leaders then they can only blame themselves. Inherently we won’t be perfect but society is swayed by the multiple people making up the leadership. The leaders don’t make the decisions but we do.
The only way I find going about making decisions with the intent to make good decisions is one: checking over the values as well as two: putting a lot of my decisions in a system of values that will ensure that whatever comes out is good enough for the “good” standard.