You might think some saints and criminals are basically good or bad. • Mother Teresa devoted her life to the care and service of the poor. • Zacarias Moussaoui participated in the 9/11 terrorist conspiracy which resulted in the death of 2,996 people, and at least $10 billion in damage. • Nelson Mandela was a … Continue reading Criminals – Are some people just bad?
Nearly 75% of those aged over 18 and charged with offences committed during the riots, had prior criminal convictions. A few commentators have adopted a condemnatory attitude. “These people are just scum and that’s the end of it.” And there is a common view that trying to throw light on the riots in terms of social problems is tantamount to excusing individual actions. Social explanations do not erase responsibility of individuals but labelling these people as criminals does not help us understand why they became the way they are. Examining any relevant factors in society is not to justify behaviour but to try to throw some light on it. I would suggest a spiritual attitude is to condemn the behaviour but not the person: it is to look to enhance civil and moral order.