Are People Born Evil?

Hyo Jin Moon April 22, 2007 7:00 am Belvedere, Tarrytown, NY

Here are my notes from Hyo Jin nim’s speech Sunday 22 April 2007. My ability to convey what was actually said is limited. These, at most, convey some sense of what Hyo Jin nim said and are not a verbatim record. Hyo Jin nim’s website is: To see two of the projects that Hyo Jin nim is working on log on to: and Joe Kinney

Rev. Andrew Compton is the MC. All welcome Hyo Jin nim and offer a standing bow. (Hyo Jin nim bows to the audience as he approaches the stage.)

Good morning.

Let me start off by asking you a question.

Are people born evil? (Audience responds "no.")

I have to talk about it because obviously we all know what happened. (The context is the 33 deaths on Virginia Tech Campus last week)

All those innocent lives lost. That’s unthinkable; the degree of shock and the horrendousness is just immeasurable.

We have to talk about it because it happened.

The thing is that it happens not just in America, but in places like Iraq where America is trying to bring democracy. Dozens of people, at times hundreds of people die every day. That’s a tragedy.

If you really try to put it out because taking care of ourselves in it’s self is difficult. You don’t want to think about a problem that exists in the world where truly people are selfish and dying.

But that’s another issue when it comes to you and me, when it comes to "I."

What happens to "I"?

That’s what’s important, right? Because from that "I" something happens, hopefully something for the right. And even that is a hope. It’s not a conclusion. It might be a promise to your self therefore in light of yourself you want to view it as something of hopefulness.

Sometimes you don’t want to pat yourself on the back too often. Because if you do that too often without any results, that matters beyond yourself, right? Beyond "I".

Can we stop this nonsense? Is it possible?

If none of us is born evil then how did these people become so evil?

If that is not the epitome of the definition of evil then I don’t know what is.

You can blame it on psychological stuff. You can say that young man was demented, but how did he get so demented?

How did he get so corrupted; How did he get so fouled that he can do something with no remorse whatsoever, even to the point at the end of taking his own life.

I thought that was easier than shooting 32 innocent people. That is serious stuff.

What happened? What happened?

You developed-nation people understand the importance of diet right?

You have to have a well balanced diet, right? You have to have the right minerals; you have to have vegetables, and dairy products, proteins, and whatever, healthy and balanced to keep your body healthy.

What about the mind? You see children obsessing over certain sugary stuff. You can’t feed them that stuff forever. Somebody has to be looking after children when they’re growing up, even physically.

What about mentally? Whose responsibility is that? Are we supposed to educate children just so they can get a job, and more and more in modern days you need to be specialized so what ever special skill it demands to get a decent job in the workforce and whatever the stuff you need to survive and take care of the business. And it’s there for that and it ends there.