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Is There Good in the Presence of Evil?

An Argumentative Paper About Jeffrey Dahmer

Human nature is a topic that has been argued for centuries. Some say that human nature started out good from the beginning, while others say it was always evil from start to finish. One of the most common arguments when it comes to human nature is the debate of whether good is there in the presence of evil nature or not. When you look at the wide variety of serial killers, how often is there any good in them? How can you look at the victims and their families and believe that the killer was good at all?

A happy little boy, at the age of four, went into surgery for a double hernia and came out as a little boy nobody seemed to recognize. This surgery caused him to be scared. No one explained to him what was happening as strange new people we're poking and prodding him. Dahmer, feeling exposed and helpless, had been marked forever. This only increased as the weeks, months, and years passed by. With his families frequent moves, he became more and more uninvolved, subdued, and friendless. During one of the moves his family made, he was molested by a neighborhood boy and it was unreported at the time. Dahmer expressed later that his desire towards murder and necrophilia peaked at the age of 14 when his parents had a messy divorce and later turned his thoughts into actions. During high school, instead of being with friends or with family, he dissected animals, starting with a pig in biology and growing into dogs and other various animals and harboring a drinking problem. His parents' divorce over the summer of his graduation from high school left him alone in the house and able to commit his first murder.

Three weeks after graduation, he picked up a hitchhiker and invited him to come over and have a beer with him. When he refused, Dahmer hit him over the head and proceeded to murder him in unspeakable ways. He scattered his remains throughout his backyard and later admitted to murdering him simply because he didn't want this man to leave. His next murder happened nine years later after he had dropped out of college because of his drinking problem. Dahmer then was frequently at gay bars and gay bathhouses. In the summer of 1991, he committed a murder every week. He was obsessed with the fact that he could turn his victims into willful, submissive partners. He experimented by drilling holes into his victims' skulls and filling them with boiling water or hydrochloric acid but when his victim awoke after the experiment, he complained of a headache and asked for the time. One of his experiments got out while he was gone at the bar and Dahmer came back to two officers and some distressed women around his naked partner. Dahmer's demeanor was relaxed and he proceeded to convince the officers that his “intoxicated boyfriend” just had a little too much to drink the night before.

One of the most common and best traits of a serial killer is being manipulative. As seen by his skills with the officers and luring seventeen men into his trap, he was very good at convincing people of anything he wanted them to believe. After watching an interview with Dahmer, one can easily believe that he wanted to be normal and that he just had a bad home life and had a lot of issues that could be used as viable excuses to what he had done. During an interview with Stone Phillips, Dahmer talks about how he “wanted” to stop. Phillips proceeded to ask, “Did you ever tell yourself “I have to stop this. I must stop doing this.?” Dahmer responds after a short pause, saying yes he did and that after the second time he felt that he couldn't control himself, then he reached up and scratched his nose. This was his first mistake. It has been proven time and time again that lying is directly indicated with touching the nose. When someone is lying the blood vessels in the nose can dilate. Then the nasal engorgement causes cells to release histamine which causes the nose to itch which may lead to the person itching or touching it. There is an obvious difference between someone who is truly scratching their nose and one who is just trying to cover something up. A normal itch is not satisfied with a light scratch and Dahmer does just this in the interview. He clearly was communicating with body language that no, he did not feel as though he wanted to stop. He only said those things to cause a reaction inside the viewer to give him empathy. To make them feel as though maybe he was the victim in this whole story.

As the interview progressed, he started to stumble over his words a little more than before. The interviewer asked later if he was glad that he was arrested. Dahmer again paused, sucked in his lips and said yes, then said that he was glad that his secret was out. This was his second mistake. When someone rolls in the lips, making the pink part hidden, this can be a sign that the person is not saying what they think they should be saying and it indicates the person is lying. Not only did he roll his lips but also he revealed that he just cared about his own secrets and his own feelings. Even if no one had picked up on his body language, he revealed that no, he didn't really care about the people he murdered ruthlessly. He just cared about his own feeling of relief being able to be open about it.

After that, he says that it was no one's fault for what he did when clearly we can see that he did think that. He felt unwanted during his parents' divorce because he was not a minor and his brother was, so they fought for custody over his brother and not for him and that's when the first murder occurred. Obviously, there is a direct correlation between the murder and his feelings about his parents. But by saying that it was his fault for everything, it makes the viewers feel bad for him and even feel a small sense of comfort because he was taking full responsibility for his actions. With the evidence provided above, you can see that this obviously was just a way to manipulate the viewers' feelings into thinking he was the victim.

One might think that he really was ashamed and that he felt terrible about what he had been doing but if you look at the evidence and do the research, you will see that he was in no form innocent, good, or in any way remorseful. Yes, you can argue that there was good in him in the beginning but you cannot argue that he had good existing within him during the times that evil was outwardly present. 

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Is There Good in the Presence of Evil?
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