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  1. Nature of Man: Good or Evil?


    #76432012-01-19 14:13:20 *Mykxiii said:
    Have you ever wondered about the true nature of man? I mean, originally? As a whole? Since the beginning? Without any influence by outwardly factors, would mankind be good or evil?

    Which do you believe?

    : That humans are naturally good, struggling to turn away from the evil tempting them?

    : Or that humans are naturally evil from within, struggling to find good within themselves to repress it?

    Morals astound me, really, in how they affect humanity as a whole and how they dictate the way a person must live and think in order to coexist acceptably in society.

    I had a conversation about this matter with a friend of mine some time ago. Also, someone from before noted that this question is similar to the "egg or the chicken" argument about which came first. I didn't see the similarity much, to be honest, but he said that he believed it depends on the person: how they lived their life and what kinds of pain and struggles they had to go through. Fair enough, I think. For certain situations, perhaps. However, this doesn't just ask about mere chronology, but about the nature of man in its most basic form--the nature of mankind, humans, I meant, as a whole. I'm interested in discussing whether humanity is naturally good or naturally evil, merely struggling to fight against their true nature.

    Which one of the two do you think rings true?
    Does it apply to you? Would it apply to the people you know?

    For the record, though, I personally don't believe all humans are naturally good, and that we're just very good at pretending because we find the necessity in it within society.
  2. #76442012-01-19 14:17:52squareof3 said:

    Well if there was no outside influence then there really wouldn't be a standard for humanity to go by in which to call good and evil. I think though that humanity is good but very very miss guided. I mean the decisions we make as a race a poor and only hurt each other we dominate echother to our injury

  3. #76482012-01-19 15:13:07eterno said:

    Humans weren't good or evil at first. They were just like animals, neutral. Then they became pragmatic. Over time, pragmaticism became good and evil as we know it now. Which goes to say, what's beyond good and evil?

  4. #76512012-01-19 15:21:30Mykxiii said:

    @squareof3 I see. It is true that thoughts can't be formed without outside influence, but I guess I meant to ask about the dominating factor in human nature--whether they're good or bad. Then again, that would lead us back to influences.

    @eterno I understand your argument, and I, too wonder what is beyond the two.

    I suppose my wonder lies in what cruelty mankind is capable of, be it in thought or action. To me, it personally comes more naturally than otherwise and so I've developed a personal interest in the matter.

  5. #76532012-01-19 15:28:46squareof3 said:

    @eterno thts a good point if we were able to get passed the two what would lie beyond? The human race as whole in my opinion needs guidenece and the world leaders now just arent cutting it I mean sure they do some good but they are far from solving things. And I guess u could call it good and evil because they all have their on agendas

  6. #76572012-01-19 15:42:29CloudVariasKira said:

    squareof3 that leaning to world peace right,... i think when humans were young on earth all we had were behaveoir patterns to live on to survive its when we discovered the ability to think and reason we started to lean thats the starting point

  7. #76652012-01-19 16:14:30eterno said:

    @Noodle No, that's just a marketing strategy

    Try Nietzsche's book. Here's a passage from wikipedia

    In the "pre-moral period of mankind", actions were judged by their consequences. Over the past 10,000 years, however, a morality has developed where actions are judged by their origins (their motivations) not their consequences. This morality of intentions is, according to Nietzsche, a "prejudice" and "something provisional [...] that must be overcome" (ยง32).

    P.S. : Holy hell! I just wrote what he wrote before reading what he wrote!

  8. #76722012-01-19 16:33:54Noodle said:

    @eterno and you think I would get any money whatsoever for doing that? x3

    I don't understand why moral needs to be overcome? Isn't it good that it's morally wrong to kill, steal and rape? But there is other morals that should disappear like moral against homosexuality or stuff like that.

    Also, does he say the consequences from crime is provoking people to commit them? Did I understand you completely wrong?

  9. #76732012-01-19 16:36:02lolikitsune said:

    @Noodle: yeah I think you completely misunderstood the Nietzsche quote. The point is morality based on people's intentions makes less sense than morality based on the consequences of their actions.

  10. #76792012-01-19 16:51:08loploplopl said:

    human are creatures that fear death and will go great lengths to avoid it, even if that means killing another. The nature of man being good or evil depends on your point of view. If a human feels threatened they will do 1 of 2 things, either they will run or they will retaliate.

  11. #76902012-01-19 18:12:16TokoyamiSenshi said:

    There is no good and evil in nature. There are only justified actions(the ones that ensure one's survival) and the unjustified ones.

    Unjustified ones are mostly products of irrational fears or desires, and are mostly what we define as bad. There are some surprising exceptions, however.

    For example, when one steals because work seems like too much pain in the ass, that's an unjustified action and we deem it bad.

    But, when one founds a company worth billions and keeps earning more and more(and this means less money for others, since the amount of money doesn't really change that much), he is celebrated by the society as very successful even though such action has no natural justification and is in fact making it harder for others to make a living.

    There is nothing natural in concept of good and evil.

  12. #76942012-01-19 18:24:45 *Gargron said:

    A human (or any creature) cannot be per se "good" or "evil". Those are labels we can use towards actions, and actions only. And these labels are subjective, because "good" and "evil" actions always have a target towards which they are "good" or "evil", while remaining neutral or even the opposite to everyone else.

    All your understanding of "good" and "evil" comes from values and norms your society has transmitted to you until now. These values and norms have developed from the common consensus (or the "unwritten pact") of the society, which is what makes the society equally profitable to all its members. Imagine it like this: If I don't steal your car, I can count on that my car won't be stolen by you either. That makes "not stealing your car" equally profitable for both of us.

    As such, "not stealing your car" is "good", while "killing you" is evil.

  13. #77002012-01-19 19:06:38hellstorm901 said:

    Sociology taught us that society greatly affects who we are and who we become. People are good if they have good parents, family lives, wealth and stability. People are evil if they are neglected or raised incorrectly, broken families, poverty and instability.

    The idea we are born Good or Evil is too vague to be accepted as an answer but if you want to follow that route I would advise you look up Genetic Determinism, that study looks at natural good and Evil along with the idea we could use drugs to create the perfect people (kinda sounds like fascism though)