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    Thread: Does drug addiction turn some people evil, or were the evil ones already evil?

    1. #1
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      Does drug addiction turn some people evil, or were the evil ones already evil?

      This is a philosophical/psychological/sociological issue I have been wrestling with for many years. I have been close to a lot of drug addicts, and I have watched some of them come to show that they are totally cold blooded and do not have consciences. What I want to know is if they ever did have consciences. Were they bad people who knew how to act like good people? I know that drug addiction is a monster to deal with. Cravings can be outrageously overwhelming, but when a person can steal and really hurt people who care about them without ever showing they feel any major level of guilt, it seems like it might say something about who the person was in the first place. Many of them will do anything to keep the habit. Did they suddenly become pathologically selfish when they weren't before?

      I have had my own issues with drugs, including pain killers. I never got as bad off on them as a lot of people I have known, but I had very strong cravings and did the stuff very regularly. A day without a few fixes was a day that didn't truly count as a real day, as far as I was concerned. I used needles for several months. Quitting hurt like Hell, but I did it. In the time I was addicted, I never once stole from anybody and never lost my capacity for empathy and remorse. Although I have been addicted to pain killers, I do not relate to the grand level of cold evil that many addicts are on. I cannot picture myself there under any circumstances.

      Somebody very close to me took a bad turn a few months ago. He was somebody I really trusted and thought a whole lot of for a very long time. Now he is just a machine that cares about nothing but keeping his habit going. He has stolen from me, told me horrific lies, and acted like an absolute schmuck. He has seen with his own eyes and heard with his own ears how much he is hurting people, including his family members, with his outrageous behaviors, and he doesn't really seem to care at all. What kind of person is this? Can his evil really be fully blamed on his addiction?

      If he is willing to hurt people so much to keep his habit going, it seems like he is at least not the kind of person who would run into a burning building to save people or jump into really cold water to save somebody from drowning. Such selfish drug addicts are not exactly the die for your country types. If they were, wouldn't they fight their addictions with everything they have and choose suffering over destroying other people? The bravest military heroes don't use extreme discomfort or the fear of death as an excuse for running away from a battle at all costs. What's a drug addict's special excuse? Is there one?
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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      There can be no good without evil, your friend wants to escape this world and live in his own. one in which he uses drugs this gives him much more pleasure and entertainment than ordinary mundane life, he prefers fantasy rather than reality, can you blame him? unfortunately his addiction has had and will continue to have a detrimental effect psychologically and physically, continuously numbing his mind and his "conscience" as he slowly loses his ability for compassion, understanding and empathy due to the long term effect's the drug has had and will continue to have on his brain you could say he is slowly losing himself as his chosen temporary reality takes over his mundane reality.

      In conclusion to your question I don't believe people are born evil but simply influenced psychologically by several factors mainly upbringing and environment although having said that people could be born with a brain disorder maybe a hormone imbalance leaving part of there brain that regulates empathy,compassion,understanding and decision making etc,impaired or not functionally optimally, so there biology would be to blame in that instance.

      really you need to ask, does free will exist? if free will doesn't exist then people have no option, people cannot choose there environment and associates there opportunity's and experiences there hobbies and interests there addictions... another words people cant choose to be good or evil there born that way.

      "innocence cannot Coexist alongside corruption"

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      Drugs and addictions fuck with the brain. They can change a person quite a bit. They are addicts. They crave drugs like anyone else craves food. Maybe it's worse. They need help. It sounds like his addiction was more serious than yours. Any idea what he was on?
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      Consciousness in the Void Universal Mind's Avatar
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      Thank you for the responses, and thanks ahead of time for any future responses.

      Quote Originally Posted by Incubus View Post
      There can be no good without evil, your friend wants to escape this world and live in his own. one in which he uses drugs this gives him much more pleasure and entertainment than ordinary mundane life, he prefers fantasy rather than reality, can you blame him? unfortunately his addiction has had and will continue to have a detrimental effect psychologically and physically, continuously numbing his mind and his "conscience" as he slowly loses his ability for compassion, understanding and empathy due to the long term effect's the drug has had and will continue to have on his brain you could say he is slowly losing himself as his chosen temporary reality takes over his mundane reality.

      In conclusion to your question I don't believe people are born evil but simply influenced psychologically by several factors mainly upbringing and environment although having said that people could be born with a brain disorder maybe a hormone imbalance leaving part of there brain that regulates empathy,compassion,understanding and decision making etc,impaired or not functionally optimally, so there biology would be to blame in that instance.

      really you need to ask, does free will exist? if free will doesn't exist then people have no option, people cannot choose there environment and associates there opportunity's and experiences there hobbies and interests there addictions... another words people cant choose to be good or evil there born that way.

      "innocence cannot Coexist alongside corruption"
      He is 37 years old. He had some glaring personality flaws when we were kids, but he seemed like a great guy since he became an adult, aside from some a few bad drug behaviors that showed up from time to time. He reached a whole new level last spring.

      I don't believe in free will, but I do believe in choice. I think choices are determined by the laws of physics. His brain is in a terrible state, and I am wondering if it was already in a pretty bad state and he just acted fake for almost two decades. I am seriously wondering. But you are probably right. I think the chemicals involved in conscience are out of wack and his conscience just isn't there any more although it used to be.

      The thing about the fantasy element of drugs is that they start out that way and then become just addictions. I don't think he is really getting high any more. He is just preventing himself from getting sick and following an irrational obsession.

      Quote Originally Posted by TimeDragon97 View Post
      Drugs and addictions fuck with the brain. They can change a person quite a bit. They are addicts. They crave drugs like anyone else craves food. Maybe it's worse. They need help. It sounds like his addiction was more serious than yours. Any idea what he was on?
      I agree that he needs help, but he is not within light years of agreeing to it. I understand the extreme cravings, but it seems like there is a lack of conscience involved in putting the cravings first. People with solid morals and conscience will suffer a lot to avoid hurting the innocent. Serious drug addicts usually don't.

      He admitted to being a Lorcet addict until last April. He might be on that now, but he acts much more like he is on Adderrall or cocaine. Those are the drugs he has a long history of abusing. They also turn him into an irrational asshole, and that is what he is at all times now. But like TimeDragon97 said, drugs can break down a person's conscience. I think that is what has happened. He really seemed like he used to have one.
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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      I haven't read any of this because I'd rather wait to talk than take in the discussion. This is because I am an addict, or at least I have an impulsive personality. With an impulsive personality, when my body desires something I will often rationalize the desire using minimal thinking, thus circumnavigating the possibility that my conscience won't like it. This is disposition, and must be made aware of in order to combat. However, this disposition can be augmented through greater physical addiction.

      Drugs take over your personality, and the same type of personality likely to grow addicted to a drug is also likely to be hijacked by that drug. The person isn't "evil" but they're less willing to call morality into question, less willing to think, and more likely to follow their bodies' impulses, the deeper they fall into their impulsive behavior. I've seen it happen to myself without physically addictive drugs. I've seen myself hunt for roommates' weed stashes and snip off little unnoticeable amounts, never calling the golden rule into question. I disdain thieves, in principle, but that's why when I wanted to get high I'd simply ignore the fact that I had principles. I just wouldn't think about it.
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      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      I haven't read any of this because I'd rather wait to talk than take in the discussion. This is because I am an addict, or at least I have an impulsive personality. With an impulsive personality, when my body desires something I will often rationalize the desire using minimal thinking, thus circumnavigating the possibility that my conscience won't like it. This is disposition, and must be made aware of in order to combat. However, this disposition can be augmented through greater physical addiction.

      Drugs take over your personality, and the same type of personality likely to grow addicted to a drug is also likely to be hijacked by that drug. The person isn't "evil" but they're less willing to call morality into question, less willing to think, and more likely to follow their bodies' impulses, the deeper they fall into their impulsive behavior. I've seen it happen to myself without physically addictive drugs. I've seen myself hunt for roommates' weed stashes and snip off little unnoticeable amounts, never calling the golden rule into question. I disdain thieves, in principle, but that's why when I wanted to get high I'd simply ignore the fact that I had principles. I just wouldn't think about it.
      That makes really good sense. It's like there is a blocking of reality that takes place. I have thought that maybe he is not even aware of the consequences of his actions. It's just so weird to think that about him because his mind is so far down in an abyss but he can be around certain people and come off like everything is normal as ever. I know damn well that things are not normal and not okay, but he can play the role.

      One of my former best friends (who is now a stranger) became a big time pain killer needle addict, and he went the same route. I think he is panhandling in Austin now. He said something really profound soon after his most unfortunate relapse ever, the one he never recovered from. I thought what he said was hilarious, but I think he meant it. He said, "I have morals. I just don't live by any of them."
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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      Maybe I feel I am a conscientious person who cares about other people.

      Maybe I feel I am present in my immediate experience, cruel as nature, free from worries about 'should be' or what other people think.

      Some people tire of one feeling and move on the other one, like a change in fashion.

      Most Americans eat beef without thinking much about what its like to be a cow on a modern feed lot. Why should they disturb themselves by dwelling on this? I don't think this is essentially different from being a psychopath. The lines are just drawn in slightly different places, largely for reasons of expediency.

      I'm almost obsessed with moral responsibility, but I have it in me to be the other way also. Virtue isn't a substance, something that you are, its more like a song you sing out of habit. Why do I choose to pretend to try to do the right thing? Because I believed them when they told me I should, and now I'm too stubborn to give it up? Because my nature is to extrapolate everything to its extreme conclusion, and I'm horrified by what I see? Because I'm bored with vain illusions and wasting time?

      I don't think any of us are very far away from the drug fiend. I think the more you look into who you are, the more the apparent differences begin to fall apart.

      For myself I don't even do caffeine, looked at objectively it just doesn't make any sense.
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      Well, I'm in the process of kicking off of weed. On my third week now and I honestly don't notice a difference actually... well actually I do. I don't feel bad anymore for using weed, and I also have sometimes stolen money from my father which I plan to return and then tell him the whole deal. Was it I who really did that? Of course it was, but weed greatly influenced me, I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to be addicted to coke or heroin. It does alter people's personality and I have witnessed this in myself and others, it's very strange and actually scary as well. I've even lost friends because of how much it changed them, and maybe even myself. They still smoke everyday so I don't want to even be near them anymore for my own good.

      Bottom line, you do lose grip on yourself because of drug abuse. But no matter what you will always be you, and you can change. I have changed from myself to a weed abuser, and now back to... me? I guess. Nothing has really changed, I just laid down a habit and the negative things that come along with it. But I will always be me.
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      To be honest, I don't think there really are any fundamentally evil people in this world. All evil people have reasons for why they do what they do, all of which are legitimate.

      If you are a psychopath you might be missing the part of your brain that gives you empathy. You can't really be faulted for being born missing an aspect of your brain, or suffering from an injury. If we could treat the injury and regrow that area of the brain, you would gain empathy and be like a normal person.

      If you are on drugs, and your physically and mentally addicted to them, then clearly they are influencing your actions. It doesn't matter how good of a person he is, he is being controlled by the drugs. If he was cured of his addiction, he wouldn't do any of those things(unless he was suffering from other issues as well).

      If you suffer from extreme trauma, and you don't know how to deal with it, you just have to try your best. Many people end up doing bad things because they don't know how to react to past trauma in a positive manner. If someone helped them deal with those old traumas, they could probably become a functioning, normal member of society, but without that help how can you blame them for not knowing how to react to the extreme emotional pain they are going through?

      I don't think any of that is an excuse or justification for what they do though. It just means, if we can help people we should help them. If we can't, then we can't. Evil people are just people who are wounded, suffering from traumas, emotional, or physical illnesses or injuries.

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      Just a little comment at the side - "weed" is addictive allright.
      That is hard to deny - there is enough evidence for it - and stealing it, does point in this direction as well.
      So is alcohol, who would have thought that..
      The only drugs from the usual illegal spectrum coming to my mind now, which have been shown to not be addictive are psychedelics.
      British meta-study, which I had to dig out now - but it's off topic anyway.

      That is by no means meant to encourage irresponsible home experiments with them - and also to make it clear - MDMA does have addiction potential, and it's dangers - I do not count it into psychedelics as such.

      Well - what I basically want to say - don't believe that weed is not an addictive drug!
      Oh - and I do not believe in the concept of "evil people" - just in - maybe really badly, but basically - disturbed behaviour.
      And having your reward-system seriously fucked up - well - does it nicely.

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      When did anyone say weed wasn't addictive?

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      ... I've seen it happen to myself without physically addictive drugs. I've seen myself hunt for roommates' weed stashes and snip off little unnoticeable amounts, never calling the golden rule into question. I disdain thieves, in principle, but that's why when I wanted to get high I'd simply ignore the fact that I had principles. I just wouldn't think about it.
      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      When did anyone say weed wasn't addictive?
      Okaay - you didn't say not addictive - but it's a physical addiction just as well - substances influencing the psyche do that physically, in the brain. Even if it's not as bad as with alcohol and opiates for example in that respect - physical anyway.

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      The term physical addiction specifically applies to substances with molecules which have a similar but slightly different shape to another molecule we need naturally so they mutate the receptors and our body craves them. Because we naturally produce THC, it doesn't mutate the cells it bonds with so it's not physically addictive.

      The difference is more profound than you might think. While marijuana caused me to steal more marijuana through self-delusion and ignoring basic principles in order to get high, if my body's cells had been mutated then my entire body would have been reinforcing the impulse to abandon these principles. Heroin hijacks the brain ten-fold compared to marijuana. I was as addicted as you could be to weed and never considered actually stealing money or anything like that to get high, just a little bowl of weed here and there that wouldn't be missed. Junkies can have their psyche so profoundly compromised they'll turn to violence to get high.

      I'm not saying weed should be taken lightly, and frankly I don't think an addiction to Everquest should be taken lightly, either. But there is a big difference.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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