# How many bad people are there?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by DaveC426913, Dec 28, 2018.

1. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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most likely stats would conform to a bell curve
out of 7 billion of us
14% either leaning toward good or bad
let's say 8% mostly good
1% almost saints
1% evil motherfuckers

by the above, we would have 70,000,000 evil motherfuckers

wild guess
that is most likely a high number

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3. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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30,813
Extrapolating from the percentage of Americans who backed the Iraq War and supported its proponents after the facts came out - not high.

Unless Americans are uniquely likely to be evil motherfuckers.

5. ### wegsMatter & Pixie DustValued Senior Member

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What do you mean?

7. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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This is about as close to a test of goodness/badness as it is possible to get in a controlled study. And quite counterintuitive too.

https://gizmodo.com/researchers-lost-17-000-wallets-in-hundreds-of-cities-t-1835666685

"A group of 13 research assistants (11 men and 2 women) were recruited for a trip around the world. They traveled to 355 major cities across 40 countries. In each city, they visited banks, theaters, hotels, police stations, and other public spaces and turned in a “lost wallet,” which they claimed to have found on the street, to a nearby employee.
...
(more specifics of the experiment)
...
All told, the team “lost” a whopping 17,000 wallets.
...
Averaging all the countries together, there was a clear, if counterintuitive result.
Fewer than half (40 percent) of people bothered to contact the wallet’s faux owner when it had no money,
but a slim majority (51 percent) did when they spotted the cash.

And for the wallets with $94.15 inside, an impressive 72 percent of people tried to return them." Let's recap that. Wallets with no money were returned 40% of the time. Wallets with a little money were returned 51% of the time. Wallets with a lot of money were returned 72% of the time. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! The yellow dots represent a country’s rate of reporting wallets with no money, while red dots represent the rate of reporting wallets containing the equivalent of$13.45 USD.
Illustration: Cohn, et al (Science)

Gotta say I'm a little disappointed in my fellow Canadians, ranking at 17th. I would have liked us to be up there above 10th, under the Nordic countries.

But overall, I'd say my faith in humanity's altruism is not dead yet.

8. ### Gawdzilla SamaValued Senior Member

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"They're all bad save thee and me, and thee I'm none too sure about."

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9. ### RainbowSingularityValued Senior Member

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dog whistle idealogicalism as a moral cultural game of bully logic.

if people do evil things to evil people does it make them godly ?
is it like mathematics ?
-0 + -0 = +1 godliness ?

10. ### RainbowSingularityValued Senior Member

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...

Last edited: Aug 18, 2019

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12. ### river

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Many bad people also want control of others . Because that what makes them happy ; at the expense of the happiness of those they want to control .

They don't " feel bad " about what they are doing . They have no empathy nor compassion towards those that their attitude affects . It's a form of meanness .

Selfishness .

And this happens through all walks of life . Unfortunately .

Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
13. ### fessRegistered Senior Member

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If you were poor and your kid needed medicine that you had a tough time affording and you found Jeff Bezo's wallet. Would it be immoral to take some of the money out, considering he would never miss it?

14. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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Yes. It would be theft.

Literally anyone can rationalize that they need it more than the guy who has it.

Now being poor and needing medicine for your kid, you could certainly say you are desperate enough to commit an immoral act. And you might well be forgiven. But that still doesn't make theft moral.

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15. ### RainbowSingularityValued Senior Member

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why does society normalise bullying and abuse of school children ?

16. ### Truck Captain StumpyThe Right Honourable Reverend Truck CaptainValued Senior Member

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I always check for bodies first, and I never touch without wearing gloves or covering my prints
just sayin'

musings offered IMHO only
good and bad are culturally defined, and the label of "bad" typically is broad and subjective, and definitely dependent on location, timing and situation
Dictionary.com

is a person "bad" just because they occasionally do something "bad"? Well, that makes all of us "bad" considering the studies on just the average number of lies a person tells. ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/.../how-often-do-people-lie-in-their-daily-lives ; https://www.reference.com/world-view/many-times-day-average-person-lie-47b13ac29354113c )

so... who defines what is "bad"?
there really is no definitive list of "bad" unless you join a religion, and then the list is defined or abided by solely at the discretion of the individual.

even the law has subjectivity built into the definitions of what is "bad" (or illegal). For example: Slavery - it wasn't "bad" in the past but it is considered "bad" today.

17. ### Truck Captain StumpyThe Right Honourable Reverend Truck CaptainValued Senior Member

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just thinking out loud here, but... there may well be a means to determine an average using existing data

if you check the crime statistics for the area involved (USA, CAN), then compare that to the population, and lastly check the number of repeat offenders and recidivism rates for that area, you can make a quasi-determination for that area about the number of "bad" people
one limitation of this would be underreported and unreported crimes (and false charges), but it can give you an idea of a general number, which is what it appears you're seeking... however, it is a relatively stable display of "bad" in an area supported by data and it can show a rise or fall as well as trends

Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
18. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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caveat
crime statistics include victimless "crimes"
and
our adversarial criminal justice system ain't fair nor just.

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19. ### Michael 345New year. PRESENT is 71 years oldValued Senior Member

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So are YOU deciding crimes, which are on the books, are victimless crimes therefore persons engaged in doing them are not bad?

Sounds very subjective

And that's the key. Good / bad ARE subjective because they are CONCEPTS and do not exist as ABSOLUTES in reality

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20. ### Truck Captain StumpyThe Right Honourable Reverend Truck CaptainValued Senior Member

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true, however, it is still a crime by definition, therefore it's considered wrong, making it relevant as the primary basis for being "bad" is the actions and habits of the person being judged "bad".

not sure this is relevant either, IMHO, as the term "bad" is subjective.
the criminal justice system is definitely flawed, but it's mostly fair and just.

so it all goes back to the subjectivity of the term "bad" - good and bad are culturally defined, and the label of "bad" typically is broad and subjective, and definitely dependent on location, timing and situation

21. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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In the OP I laid out the kind of scenario I was referring to.

In a nutshell: Amazon leaves a package on your doorstep. Taking into account all factors of location, neighborhood, etc., (samples taken all over North America) and averaging them - of 100 people that happen to walk past your place, how many of them will seize the opportunity to make off with your parcel?

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22. ### Truck Captain StumpyThe Right Honourable Reverend Truck CaptainValued Senior Member

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I got the gist but the answers that people give will honestly be based solely on their perceptions of humanity unless, like the gizmodo link you posted, there is an attempt to do a controlled study.

imho - the best answers would come from examining the crime statistics (as I suggest in post#54)
it's more objective and you can adjust for outlier factors easier (under-reported or unreported crimes, etc)

or were you just looking for people's opinions and taking a quasi-poll?

23. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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I'm too lazy to research it merely for curiosity. More of a discussion point to help me potentially reset my expectations of the world, after seeing those videos of porch thieves that circulated recently.