People sometimes do bad things. It seems natural to ask what are the fundamental reasons for this.
Here are some possible "sources of evil":
- Human nature - humans innately contain qualities that produce evil actions
- Evil desires - humans are naturally malicious to some degree
- Moral weakness - well-intentioned people sometimes behave selfishly
- Moral ignorance/error - "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"
- Repressed trauma - people commit evil as a result of past trauma suffered at the hands of others, producing a perpetual cycle of evil
- Societal corruption - social structures causes otherwise "good" people to commit evil actions, "power corrupts" and so on
- Moral outliers - a few people have a natural tendency to evil, and these few corrupt those around them
- Vestigial structures - characteristics that are potentially beneficial become harmful in the context of society
- Emergent evil - some situations naturally produce or encourage evil behavior (e.g. the Stanford prison experiment)
- Outside influences - space aliens, the devil, etc.
How do some major philosophies, religions, etc. address this question?
I haven't defined "bad things" or "evil", but that might not be necessary to answer this question, as long as you accept the basic premise ("evil exists").