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> Are We By Nature Good Or Evil?
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maryellen 
  Posted: 21-Oct-2003, 06:57 PM
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Star to oldraven for "good" definition of good and evil. sweet, simple and to the point. most cultures can agree with them. I might add that good is pursuit of peace and happiness for others and yourself. People can get very corrupt pursuing happiness for themselves.
I think everyone is pretty optimistic here with on average we all become good. 200 years ago, everyone was taught that children are born evil and they had to be molded. It was called something.... I forget what. Perhaps it is reflection of our times. Or we do believe that most people are good, or else the world would be a big mess.
I know not people like Dr. Laura, but she had a good analogy she mentioned once. She said that if we had no traffic signals, then it would be chaotic. Bad things would happen. Same as rules and morals. We only have the freedom to live when everyone abides rules.


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oldraven 
Posted: 21-Oct-2003, 07:07 PM
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QUOTE (maryellen @ Oct 21 2003, 07:57 PM)
if we had no traffic signals, then it would be chaotic. Bad things would happen.

thumbs_up.gif yes.gif

Automotive analogies always make more sense to me. wink.gif


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MDF3530 
  Posted: 21-Oct-2003, 08:09 PM
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QUOTE (oldraven @ Oct 21 2003, 06:11 PM)
Nice.

Way to quote Harry Potter. tongue.gif

Hey, if the shoe fits...


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McHaggis 
Posted: 22-Oct-2003, 11:44 PM
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If the shoe fits.....you're name is Cinderella?

You're a woman who puts comfort above style?

Your farrier does a good job?

Your mechanic got the right parts for that brake job: meaning the parts for your International finally got here from Ft. Wayne, Indiana (IHC and Scout owners everywhere are nodding their heads in agreement....)?

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oldraven 
Posted: 23-Oct-2003, 10:27 AM
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QUOTE (MDF3530 @ Oct 21 2003, 09:09 PM)
QUOTE (oldraven @ Oct 21 2003, 06:11 PM)
Nice.

Way to quote Harry Potter.  tongue.gif

Hey, if the shoe fits...

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McHaggis, doesn't it feel odd to be driving a vehicle named Harvester? tongue.gif I know your story well. Try finding PRC (Programmed Ride Control) shocks for an '87 T-bird Turbocoupe. sad.gif Let alone a damned replacement tailight. It's like my parts guy lives on e-bay.
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McHaggis 
Posted: 30-Oct-2003, 12:29 PM
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The Scouts and IHCs are all in the past now......and yes, driving a 4 cyl Scout across the country was like driving a tractor.....very noisy!! Had to put a big amp on the stereo just to drown out the sound the engine! Used to tell passengers "Don't EVEN try to converse, just buckle up and shut up 'till we get there!" After a 3-day grind the operative word was SHELL SHOCK..if you could hear anything at all!!

Back on topic: The Scout was GOOD!!! (Not EVIL.) It saved my bacon many times in the Upper Midwest and The Rockies!!

RON
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Swanny 
Posted: 30-Oct-2003, 11:57 PM
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I believe that the vast majority of people are by nature good-hearted and well-intentioned, but I have met a few who are evil through and through. Not just criminal (I've met many of them, too but don't necessarily equate 'criminal' with 'evil'). In this context I'm referring to people who are seriously and soul-deep intent upon upon doing as much harm as possible to as many as possible. I won't go into detail as it's much too depressing.

I can think of a couple of people I've encountered during my career who I honestly believe were born without a "soul", just as some children are born without a limb, or without sight or some other sense. That indescribable something that some call the 'spark of humanity' wasn't there. I do sincerely hope and pray to never encounter such a person again.

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bhalilama 
Posted: 31-Oct-2003, 12:56 AM
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McHaggis,I don't know 'nuthin 'bout good or evil automobiles,but I did see "Christine".And it's always good when my jaloppy gets me where I'm going.


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bhalilama 
Posted: 31-Oct-2003, 01:08 AM
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On a serious note, it seems to me that society dictates the body of what is considered "evil",so it must by default dictate what is "good". I personally would like to believe that if mankind had no type of "law" we would be loving and kind. We all know that would not be the case.That's a utopic dream.There is a cut of the population that will be the ones to torture animals when they are kids,then grow up to be serial killers. This is regardless of environmental influence.So in closing,like religion and if you like to eat cabbage,good and evil has to come down to personal decisions. Blessed BE
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maryellen 
Posted: 01-Nov-2003, 08:23 AM
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So I guess your answer is yes and no? I do agree though- some would not hurt others by some innate "instinct?" and others would go killing. I hear this a lot from the boys at our school. Not to put the male sex down or anything. I think perhaps since males no longer hunt and kill for their food, then the aggression gets channeled in other ways.
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Swanny 
Posted: 01-Nov-2003, 12:36 PM
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QUOTE
I think perhaps since males no longer hunt and kill for their food, then the aggression gets channeled in other ways.


That's an astute observation, Marryellen, but I'm not convinced that it's entirely accurate. It may be applicable in urbanized areas to some extent. It is documented that boys who hunt are less likely to commit violent crimes than those who do not. I wonder if that might not be because boys who hunt have more exposure to, and experience with, potentially lethal weapons and probably a more realistic understanding of the finality of death.

In Alaska's bush regions, where subsistence hunting is an absolute necessity (not just a life-style choice) the per-capita homicide rate is rather astounding. In the vast majority of homicides committed in bush villages alcohol abuse is cited by LEOs (law enforcement officers, sorry) as a major contributing factor.

When vexed by human behavior I often find that the explanations that finally make sense in my brain are based on a biological model. I'm willing to accept as fact that we humans are large, hairless, omnivorous, gregarious primates and at some level much of our behavior is based on primal instinct. Sometimes comparing human behavior to that of other species helps me sort things out.

In most gregarious species males aggressively defend territory and compete for dominance within the "troop" (tribe, pack, pod, group, whatever term you wish to use). When a bunch of boys get caught wrestling around in the schoolyard and the teacher asks "What are you boys doing?", don't they often reply that they are "just monkeying around?" (sorry, couldn't resist injecting a bit of humor here). I've read that sociologists think that like immature apes, wolves, puppies and any other young gregarious creatures, the boys are subconciously competing for dominence which in nature is determined by physical size, strength and coordination. Through play most dominence issues in animals are resolved prior to adulthood, so that when fully mature males face off in dominence disputes the fight can end with a show of submission, rather than the death of a combatant.

Using the biological model of human behavior, it seems to me that most physical altercations are disputes over territory (wars, gang-fights over turf, &c) or dominence (especially domestic violence).

Where we humans vary somewhat from other gregarious species is that it seems as though a larger proportion of our altercations result in fatalities. This is not unheard of in nature. Territorial disputes between packs of wolves or prides of lions often end with a fatality, but it's rare in nature for disputes among members of the same group (pack, &c) to have a fatal result.

I believe that the reason more human intra-tribal disputes have fatal results is due to a disfunction within the assailant's brain. Most commonly due to alcohol or other mind/judgement altering substances, but sometimes due to other mental disorders. (bi-polar disease and sometimes schizophrenia)

I can appreciate someone killing another in order to survive, hunting for food or in self defense. I can even understand how someone might kill another in a fit of rage. We have all been angry enough to harm another had we not exercised a great deal of discipline.

Those I can not understand, and who I most closely associate with 'evil' are the true sociopaths, who have no apparent conscience at all. There is nothing in nature that explains people like Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy or other sociopaths. I believe that may be why they are so facinating to physchiatrists and physchologists. Thankfully, they are rare but if you are at all spiritually sensitive and you encounter one you will feel their 'evil' as a palpable force.

Hmmm. I wonder if mental illness exists in animals? I s'pose it must. I'll have to call up my wildlife biologist buddy as ask him.

Swanny

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barddas 
Posted: 03-Nov-2003, 04:29 PM
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Nice points made Swanny!

I think many people are of the mindet that we humans are seperate from nature. Instead of being part of nature. And with our technology have lost some of our rituals that came with growing up closer to/with nature. Your example of young people hunting.... good example....
There are no real milestones in a childs life that they are growing towards adulthood... yeah, i guess highschool graduation could be considered... but I mean in the family unit....

But I also believe, everyone has that "rage" inside of them. But have the disapline to control it.... I guess I have heard it referd to as "inner demons" I personally like the theory of the Hulk. LOL! It's in *everyone*......potentially ... it just depends on the amount of psyhcological trauma one endures .....before it comes to the surface... or if it ever surfaces....
And then there are just the wackos ( technical term wink.gif ) like Daulmer, Charlie manson...and so on.... Could be just an overload of certain chemicals in the brain.....


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McHaggis 
Posted: 04-Nov-2003, 11:24 PM
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I agree with the biochemical construct theory. Just a buncha chemicals that can get out of whack and cause problems. Also agree that humans are not much different than the other "natural" critters....just larger prefrontal cortex than most.

Heck, even dolphins aren't all "Flipper-esque!" I've surfed with enough of them so see some pretty rowdy behavior out there. Juvenile dolphins that act like human teenagers terrorizing me just because they can! Like little school yard bullies.....dropping in on me, forcing me off the peak, racing away down the line and then turning on a dime to race back at me and button hook me just cause they can.....leaping out of the water close enough to splash me. Older ones are usually pretty mellow and just cruise on by but sometimes they surf with us or "rainbow" the top of us. Nothing cooler than looking up and seeing 300+ lbs. of dolphin soaring over head......and nothing scarier than hoping their timing is good and they don't land on you.

...and those boyz have pretty big brains! So they know what's up!

So, yeah, back on topic, humans are both good and evil, but the largest percentage of us keep the rage to a minimum because we know that's the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, some don't.

Like Swanny, I've lived in the rurals and the outdoors and have seen nature at its most raw on occasion. so I can relate completely to what he's talking about. Inner city is the same, mostly turf wars and competitive behaviors that aren't channeled in a direction that's beneficial to society at large. Seen the same thing in the surf line-up. Localism in surfing exists and is well documented even in relatively uncrowded conditions, like where I surf now. The cage doesn't have to be completely crowded before one rat bites another rat for infringing on territory.

RON
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Angel Whitefang (Rider) 
Posted: 18-Nov-2003, 07:35 PM
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QUOTE
Maryellen
The title explains most of it: are humans by nature good or evil. if we don't have laws that make us conduct ourselves nicely, then what would happen. Or if religion never existed or found out to be a big sham, what would happen?


Better Yet Maryellen.....what would YOU do if it turned out to be a sham???

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maryellen 
Posted: 18-Nov-2003, 08:38 PM
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