You can't have it both ways. You went out of your way to cite the Stanford prison reference that says evil is a conditioned response as opposed to being an inherent trait, yet you say Hitler's evil was a choice, not a conditioned response to his environment.
Do you think all mentally ill people are evil?
No, nor did I say anything like that. You're going around in circles here. In your first post, you said: "I don't think anyone is born evil. People can be born with mental illness, but that is not the same as evil. Evil is a choice. " which tells me you are excusing evil for mental illness. What other conclusion can be drawn? Why would you tie them together? I didn't..
You're also reading things into what I said that I never implied. I *do* think a lot of people are born evil, "bad seed" if you will, but I never said they had zero control over themselves. People are pre-wired with personality traits, and evil is one of them. But, we have no choice as a society but to enact laws to protect ourselves and if an evil person decides to commit harm, we have to punish him. A person can have evil traits and not act upon them. They are not mutually exclusive concepts.
By your logic, we shouldn't punish child predators either as these nuts are clearly born that way. The difference is that most of them keep their sick fantasies to themselves and live their lives out without acting upon their urges. Those of them that do must be punished. There is no other way to run a civilization.
I said that ANYone is capable of evil. You, me, the pope, everyone. It's not good guys and bad guys. Ordinary people with no previous history of 'evil' can do evil things depending on circumstances. That is what the prison experiment proved.
But, some people also did not go along with the prison experiment. It's not 100% that committed the sadistic acts. Some people made the choice not to keep participating.
Because average people have free will.
I think we should punish child predators because they chose to commit those crimes. It wasn't inevitable, it was a choice, and they know the difference between right and wrong. If someone doesn't know the difference or is so mentally incompetent that they have no control over their actions, they aren't evil. They are just sick. To qualify as truly evil, the person had to freely choose that action and understand right and wrong. An animal killing to survive isn't evil. self defense isn't evil. the concept of evil requires free choice and understanding.