It’s very easy to label people as “bad” people. Most would consider anyone who commits a crime a bad person, but what is it really to be “bad”?
The way I see it is that everyone has certain things that make them happy, and we tend to do things to fulfill that happiness. For one person, that thing might be playing baseball, but for someone else that thing might be stealing. If the person who enjoys baseball plays baseball, they end up being happy and there’s no problems. If the person who enjoys stealing robs a bank, they might be happy, but will also have to deal with the consequences.
The question is this: If both people are doing what makes them happy, can you label one of them a “bad” person?
Although the kleptomaniac is breaking the law, they are only satisfying a need of their’s. That means this person has two options:
1. Never steal, and never feel the satisfaction of their need.
2. Steal, and deal with the consequences that will follow.
The person who enjoys baseball will have these options:
1. Never play baseball, and never feel the satisfaction of their need.
2. Play baseball and feel satisfied.
Since neither person can control their own desires, is it really fair to label people “good” or “bad”? If anything, the kleptomaniac should receive pity, because they weren’t fortunate enough to have a legal desire. The baseball player actually has it easy. This person is not fighting any urge not to steal, they simply don’t feel the need to. That does not make this a better person, it makes this person the luckier of the two.
Another example is a sexual one:
All people have certain things you would call “turn-ons” which satisfy them sexually. Some people have odd “turn-ons” which we call fetishes. Some fetishes are very innocent, such as a foot fetish. This person is sexually aroused by feet. There’s no problem here besides the oddness of it.
For some people, their fetishes are harmful to others, such as rape or pedophilia. These people, for whatever reason, are only turned on by these illegal, morally wrong practices. These people have the same options as listed in the last example. In order to fit into society as a “good” person, they cannot fulfill their sexual desires. This is beneficial to society as a whole, but not to the individual.
Personally, I don’t fall into these categories, so I consider myself lucky. I think about things that make me happy, and am thankful that those things don’t happen to be harmful to others or illegal in some way. I couldn’t imagine having to live my life fighting such desires. So instead of labeling people as “good” or “bad”, I see the world as gray. I just feel sorry for those who must live their lives with, what I would consider, a warped set of needs.