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> Are We By Nature Good Or Evil?
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kelaorqu 
Posted: 17-Mar-2004, 11:12 PM
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I guess if you really want the answer to whether we are by nature good or evil you just have to look at the century that passed. Marx thought that humans could be perfect and live in harmony if given the proper circumstances... But just look what Communism brought - bloodshed, supression, persecution, and torture. Not very good if you ask me! Human's are sinful from the time they are born. You don't have to teach a child to be selfish or greedy but you do have to teach them to share and be kind.


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maisky 
Posted: 24-Apr-2004, 02:04 PM
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QUOTE (kelaorqu @ Mar 17 2004, 11:12 PM)
bloodshed, supression, persecution, and torture. Not very good if you ask me! 

And that's just in Texas!

Good thoughts, clearly expressed!


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Kamchak 
Posted: 04-Jul-2004, 03:44 PM
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We are by nature evil or bad. What is one of the first things you teach a child? The meaning of the word no! You did not teach them to do wrong, but you will teach them the difference between right and wrong.


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maisky 
Posted: 04-Jul-2004, 05:31 PM
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We are all POTENTIALLY good. It is up to each of us to manifest that. thumbs_up.gif
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Kamchak 
Posted: 04-Jul-2004, 08:48 PM
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The best we can do is filthy rags before him........ angel_not.gif
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maisky 
Posted: 18-Jul-2004, 12:14 PM
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QUOTE (Camchak @ 04-Jul-2004, 08:48 PM)
The best we can do is filthy rags before him........ angel_not.gif

If you are Buddhist, like I am, that simply doesn't fly. It is up to each of us to manifest our potential......or not. biggrin.gif angel_not.gif
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behan 
Posted: 18-Jul-2004, 12:34 PM
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I do NOT belive in good or evil
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freekenny 
Posted: 25-Jul-2004, 12:33 AM
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O'siyo,
I believe that one can be born with a 'genetic disposition'/'lack of something in the brain' that could cause us to develop into an evil person..I also know that a perfectly 'normal' individual could be born and develop into something 'evil'~ I believe that the main factor, environment, will play a key role in what we become as we develop into adults~ Some believe that we are born innocent and pure of heart..I believe with the first breath we take once we enter 'the world' we are already being conditioned to evil..after all we are 'fighting' to take that first breath, 'fighting' for life~ I believe it is up to the individual and their 'views' on the world what it is they will become..evil or good~
~~Sty-U red_bandana.gif


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sorbus 
  Posted: 09-Aug-2005, 03:43 AM
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CelticCoalition 
Posted: 09-Aug-2005, 10:51 AM
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I do not believe that people are inherintly either good or evil. Good and evil, IMO, are not real. They are made up ideas that humans use to categorize things. For example, stealing is usually considered more evil then good. But what if the theif is stealing food for his starving family? Who is evil then? The thief, or the society that forced him into poverty, or the man for allowing himself to become poor?

Good or evil is a subjective thing. It depends on your point of view on who is good or evil, and what actions are good or evil.

People are naturally neither good nor evil, just as animals are neither. We are born neutral. Then, based on our environment, or biology, and our psyche we are molded into one or the other, based on what our society deems as good or evil.

I mean, to many a canibal would be evil, but there are some cultures where canibalism was common practice. There is no black and white set definition of good and evil, it's all grey.


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 09-Aug-2005, 01:27 PM
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Oh, I love this conversation. smile.gif This takes me way back to college and the incense and the Santana Abraxas and the big jug of Yago Sangria going around. I don't feel quite the same way about it now, though, if you were to ask me point blank.

When it comes to humans, the name of the game is "dirty data," meaning potentially infinite variation from the innermost circle of brain, outward to individual personality (which can't even be formed without contact outside itself), and outward again to family, then community, then society. Every factor can confound every other factor, when you try to single out any particular thing to impute behavioural causation to.

If you have no truck with either evolution or the fact that it is for the most part other people that make people into what they are, stop reading here, pass GO immediately and collect your $200, with my blessings. tongue.gif

I think I agree with CC most, on principle, except for one thing. People are not born completely neutral, although we certainly do have to socialize them for years and years away from just gratifying their body-driven impulses like any other healthy animal. But we have also evolved, in the curly gray stuff up front in the brain, apparent rudiments of right and wrong as well, that don't seem to have to be taught. It actually appears to run on empathy, which begins as the ability to recognize the pain or pleasure of others and react to it in a whole range of different ways, that even teeny teeny kids show toward each other, never having been taught. This is so natural and spontaneous that a kid who truly has no wiring for it is thought to be somewhere in the autistic range.

This is immensely complicated by the social patterns of the people the child was born to. The brain in an infant is literally being built, circuit by circuit, by contact with people and the environment. The brain checks in at birth READY for wiring; certain very basic things things like sucking, grasping, and preferring to look at faces are hard-wired, and others are just dedicated areas ready to be wired.

So we continue to wire each other interactionally all our lives. To the extent we are aware of what we are doing or not, and our intentions are internally (self or in-group) or externally (other or out-group) oriented, and then preservative or destructive (for whatever jillion complex internal and environmental reaons), I think we ourselves are all the potential good or evil we need to worry about. And if we forget or deny that, that's when we get into the really destructive quagmires and impasses, not to mention spurious self-justification of atrocious behaviour.

Do we want to get it off ourselves and project it onto some personified external Shadow of some kind? Hell yeah. From that we create everything from our childhood rival to our personal enemy to Satan (which means "enemy" anyway).

"We" is of course a function of the group we belong to, and we inherit our values and attitudes socially. I think the majority of people never get to the point where they can buck the system that made them, or even see the need to. That cohesive inertia can be the source of either "good" or "evil", or complicated mixes of preservative, constructive, and destructive behaviours all at the same time.

I think believing humans to be motivated to act (never mind intrinsically BE) simply good or evil is wishful thinking, seeking for a simplicity which is just not there in our species. We are a glorious mess, with all our own potential for anything in the range of what we think of as good or evil, without any help from outside.
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sorbus 
  Posted: 10-Aug-2005, 09:19 AM
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Raven 
Posted: 30-Oct-2005, 09:52 AM
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QUOTE (CelticCoalition @ 09-Aug-2005, 10:51 AM)
I do not believe that people are inherintly either good or evil. Good and evil, IMO, are not real. They are made up ideas that humans use to categorize things. For example, stealing is usually considered more evil then good. But what if the theif is stealing food for his starving family? Who is evil then? The thief, or the society that forced him into poverty, or the man for allowing himself to become poor?

Good or evil is a subjective thing. It depends on your point of view on who is good or evil, and what actions are good or evil.of good and evil, it's all grey.

I have been watching this thread for sometime now and finally decided to weigh in.

Just using this particular post as an example.(nothing personal CC) With this kind of reasoning, sure there is no good and evil. ( i.e. It depends upon your point of view)

Circumstances can often dictate what is good or what is evil (i.e. the example of the starving man stealing to feed his family)
What about the man who is not starving but would rather steal than get a job.
What about the man who breaks into a familys home (who had been paying him to work arround their house) while they are sleeping then beats the husband to death with a brick leaving the wife without her major income provider and him without his source of employment, so that he can rob them.
What about the man that robs the convenience store then shoots the cashier to leave no witnesses(robbing this family of their provider as well) over a few dollars in the drawer that he could have had without killing the man. (these examples happened in my neighborhood this last week) I'm sure that both of these people rationalized to them selves that this was ok, but that doesn't change anything.

What about Joeseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, I'm sure that from their point of view they were not evil but it was instead anyone who opposed them that was evil.

If Genocide is part of your culture is it therefor not evil?

Sure some things will fall into a gray area and depending upon the situation some actions become necessary.

And depending on your culture some things may be acceptable that would not be acceptable elsewhere. But at some point you must draw a line and say, this is good or this is evil. (I think that is what the UN is supposed to be doing unsure.gif )

So to say that there is no good or evil or to say it depends on your perspective is obvious and begs the question.

The topic of this thread: ARe we by nature good or evil

Evil is such a harsh word wink.gif

As children we had to be taught to do good, no one ever had to teach us to do bad we just do it. Part of this is learning the difference and what has been so aptly stated that some are predisposed to do evil would come into play here.

Peace, Goodwill and nice thoughts to all you non-evil people on this board tongue.gif and to you that do not believe there is such a thing as well wink.gif

Mikel


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le pwner 
  Posted: 08-Apr-2006, 05:59 PM
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wink.gif You said something of circumstance. I say perception of circumstance. However your mind is wired causes you to perceive something as good or evil. Not that anything is wholly good or evil, because you don't know the thoughts, purposes or intentions behind it. Maybe people never believe that they actually are or are doing good or evil, because they can justify it to themselves. Without that justification, I think one could not live. One who does to someone something that the victim or onlooker may consider evil, the perpetrator may not consider it good, but they also may not consider it evil, rather it is both. How can you consider something wholly evil or likewise wholly good? If someone committed a crime, say killing someone, then you might consider it evil, but what about the side-effects? By killing that person someone else may later not be sued (mind you this is just an example), so that had one positive effect. Conversely, if one gives money to charity, this is normally considered good, the money may have been better spent elsewhere. Just something to think on; perceptions and the like. wink.gif


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John Clements 
Posted: 16-Dec-2007, 03:23 PM
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Wow, great stuff. My thinking is that we all come into this world with a clean slate, (all healthy I hope) and what we become depends on the values of who raised us, and the social environment that we are raised in.
Donít you just love the expression? We did it for there own good. Its sort like saying, were going to have piece, even if I have to kill you to get it! Some things just canít be justified.

Peace and love,
JC


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