Are people born good or bad?

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THE MAMMOTH DENTIST

Brisbane, Australia

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#167
Jan 31, 2013
 

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Debra27 wrote:
then there's the good ole 'anti-social personality disoder'
sociopath. The theory is they are born that way, there is no known cause, nor is there a cure
Cognitive behavioral therapy seems to help
Debora, whether human beings are instinctually good or evil in an elementary natural state is a question that has been boggling the minds of even the greatest philosophers. There is a spectrum of theories that support both good and evil within the human race, each with valid points that explains the range of our interests, being either for ourselves or for others. However, my personal stance is the sensible theory of Altruism. Past experiences and observations allow me to take the stance, and support the argument that humans are caring and genuinely good individuals and have the will and desire to help those around them.

Locke says that we are born good with a blank slate. Whatever we learn and how we learn it from society is what fills the slate. However Hobbes believes that we are born bad and because of this we need a ruler to control that attribute with fear of punishment. I believe that Hobbes is right in the sense that we are born sinful. Yet, I do not agree that we need a ruler to control our sin by fear. Rather, we do have a blank slate that society does affect, bringing the idea of good into our perspectives. We are born with a sinful nature because of our natural survival instincts. If left to our own, away from society, we would act upon nothing but the will to survive. Every decision would be based on the idea of how to better us, practicing an extreme form of selfishness. Yet, when brought into society we would start to understand the idea of others and performing selflessly. Society will begin to show us what is accepted as right and what is accepted as wrong. Once understanding what is considered good, I have faith in humanity to at least try to make appropriate decisions.

Using your survival instincts is neither wrong nor sinful. Rather, my point is that in a situation where we are taken away from society our one interest is to survive. Within that interest it is not whether right or wrong, but rather what it will help or hurt us. An example of this would be in the novel "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. In Golding’s novel the children have even already been addressed to the rights and wrongs of society, yet they still forget them when...the chaos surrounding Simon's death calms down, Golding focuses on the horror Piggy and Ralph feel about their involvement in the murder. The two boys attempt to justify their role in Simon's death with the ideas that they did not know that it was Simon until it was too late, they were not among the inner circle of boys beating him to death, and they operated on instinct rather than on malice. Still, the involvement of Piggy and Ralph makes clear that even these two, the paragons of rationality and maturity among the children on the island, are susceptible to the same forces that motivate Jack and his hunters. Golding obscures the once-clear dichotomy between the "good" Ralph and the "evil" Jack,demonstrating that the compulsion towards violence and destruction is present inside all individuals.

The reverse, a "good" Jack, is rarely in evidence. The implication of Ralph's and Piggy's brief but tragic participation in the brutal activities of Jack's tribe is that the natural state of humanity is neither good nor evil but mixed. Social order and rules, with conscience and reason helping out only on occasion, are what constrain and limit the "evil" impulses that exist inside us all.

Cheers
Adrian.

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#168
Feb 1, 2013
 

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Brian_G wrote:
I find people who defame religions and political parties prove people couldn't have been born good.
It's called an opinion.

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#169
Feb 1, 2013
 

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THE MAMMOTH DENTIST wrote:
<quoted text>
Debora, whether human beings are instinctually good or evil in an elementary natural state is a question that has been boggling the minds of even the greatest philosophers. There is a spectrum of theories that support both good and evil within the human race, each with valid points that explains the range of our interests, being either for ourselves or for others. However, my personal stance is the sensible theory of Altruism. Past experiences and observations allow me to take the stance, and support the argument that humans are caring and genuinely good individuals and have the will and desire to help those around them.
Locke says that we are born good with a blank slate. Whatever we learn and how we learn it from society is what fills the slate. However Hobbes believes that we are born bad and because of this we need a ruler to control that attribute with fear of punishment. I believe that Hobbes is right in the sense that we are born sinful. Yet, I do not agree that we need a ruler to control our sin by fear. Rather, we do have a blank slate that society does affect, bringing the idea of good into our perspectives. We are born with a sinful nature because of our natural survival instincts. If left to our own, away from society, we would act upon nothing but the will to survive. Every decision would be based on the idea of how to better us, practicing an extreme form of selfishness. Yet, when brought into society we would start to understand the idea of others and performing selflessly. Society will begin to show us what is accepted as right and what is accepted as wrong. Once understanding what is considered good, I have faith in humanity to at least try to make appropriate decisions.
Using your survival instincts is neither wrong nor sinful. Rather, my point is that in a situation where we are taken away from society our one interest is to survive. Within that interest it is not whether right or wrong, but rather what it will help or hurt us. An example of this would be in the novel "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. In Golding’s novel the children have even already been addressed to the rights and wrongs of society, yet they still forget them when...the chaos surrounding Simon's death calms down, Golding focuses on the horror Piggy and Ralph feel about their involvement in the murder. The two boys attempt to justify their role in Simon's death with the ideas that they did not know that it was Simon until it was too late, they were not among the inner circle of boys beating him to death, and they operated on instinct rather than on malice. Still, the involvement of Piggy and Ralph makes clear that even these two, the paragons of rationality and maturity among the children on the island, are susceptible to the same forces that motivate Jack and his hunters. Golding obscures the once-clear dichotomy between the "good" Ralph and the "evil" Jack,demonstrating that the compulsion towards violence and destruction is present inside all individuals.
The reverse, a "good" Jack, is rarely in evidence. The implication of Ralph's and Piggy's brief but tragic participation in the brutal activities of Jack's tribe is that the natural state of humanity is neither good nor evil but mixed. Social order and rules, with conscience and reason helping out only on occasion, are what constrain and limit the "evil" impulses that exist inside us all.
Cheers
Adrian.
Great post.
Rosa

Opelousas, LA

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#170
Feb 1, 2013
 

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...yes...they are born good or bad...and then they die...LOLz...

“CAPS LOCK CAUSE CLIMATE CHANGE”

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#171
Feb 1, 2013
 

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Wolfganged wrote:
It's called an opinion.
There's two differences between defamation and 'an opinion', defamation is untrue and insults political opponents.

You are responsible for the opinions you post.
Rambler

Boise, ID

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#172
Feb 1, 2013
 

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George Thorogood And The Destroyers - Bad To The Bone...

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

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#173
Feb 16, 2013
 

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Brian_G wrote:
<quoted text>
You are responsible for the opinions you post.
Correct but they are only my opinions.
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#174
Feb 16, 2013
 

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Wolfganged wrote:
<quoted text>
It's called an opinion.
Did I miss something?

What does religion and politics have to do with it?! Lol

You add those to the question and holy hell that changes it completely.

Politics is so far beyond moral comprehension it's not even in the same caliber.. And religion....?!? Well religion is...**cough, cough... Clears throat**

Religion is an entirely different waste of time.

Of course this is.... Just My Opinion!! ;)
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#175
Feb 16, 2013
 

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Brian_G wrote:
<quoted text>There's two differences between defamation and 'an opinion', defamation is untrue and insults political opponents.
You are responsible for the opinions you post.
Politics is roulette with the devil.

Hmmm a little of column A and B!!

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#176
Feb 18, 2013
 
Forgotten faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Did I miss something?

Of course this is.... Just My Opinion!! ;)
Correct.

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#177
Feb 18, 2013
 
Forgotten faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Politics is roulette with the devil.
Hmmm a little of column A and B!!
True.

“Dream A Little Dream,...”

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#178
Feb 18, 2013
 

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Predetermined in thier gene patterns,...

“I See The Good In Everybody!!”

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Its a Princess Thing!!!

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#179
Feb 19, 2013
 

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okay getting no where with this..born bad or good neither..
TheInvisible Man

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#180
Apr 29, 2013
 
definitely born evil.
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#181
Apr 29, 2013
 

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The reverse, a "good" Jack, is rarely in evidence. The implication of Ralph's and Piggy's brief but tragic participation in the brutal activities of Jack's tribe is that the natural state of humanity is neither good nor evil but mixed. Social order and rules, with conscience and reason helping out only on occasion, are what constrain and limit the "evil" impulses that exist inside us all.
Cheers
Adrian.
Adrian, but I thought there was a another thread within this book? I might be wrong, but I feel you're talking explicitly about individuals yet the book, I thought also exposed the power struggle that exists in any community, group of people. Would not Rousseau's view on the nature of man also apply here? That man is inherently good as he first strives for his own survival, amour de soi, then expands that love towards others which broaden to conscience, justice... not to be confused with amour proper, selfish prideful love. What corrupts man is man.
?

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#182
Apr 30, 2013
 

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What about the living dead aka zombies? Are they inherently evil?

“I See The Good In Everybody!!”

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#183
Apr 30, 2013
 

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we are all born good..not evil..sorry..IMOO

“This Isn't A Dress Rehearsal”

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#184
Apr 30, 2013
 

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I personally think that we are born good. But I saw this study once,(if I can find it, I'll add a link) that explained how we are all 50% pre-destined through genetics to be who we are and 50% altered through life experiences. Don't know if it's true or not, but it was interesting. I think that people can choose happiness and choose to make good decisions also, despite the bad things that happen to them.

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#185
Apr 30, 2013
 

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Some births go well... others, not so well.

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#186
Apr 30, 2013
 
We all have the capacity to be good or bad. it's the certain triggers in society that we are exposed to that affect us most strongly that can sway us either way.

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