General Question

btko's avatar

Do you think humans are inherently good, evil, or something else?

Asked by btko (2811points) July 30th, 2008

The third option would be a clean slate of some-kind.

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19 Answers

Lovelocke's avatar

Humans are only human. Myth: Busted.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I would say humans would be inherently good….but it all depends on society. That can change things quite a bit. Assuming someone grew up in a place that had no knowledge of evil in the world, and lived a basic life, but had everything they would ever need to live comfortably, I’m sure those people would for the most part be inherently good people.

flameboi's avatar

Human are inherently selfish… that’s a fact!

RandomMrdan's avatar

I would agree to being selfish…but I would have to say not all people are that selfish. I know a lot of people who share their belongings.

To go back to that place where people could live that don’t know of the evils in the world, and lived basic lives, there wouldn’t be much to be selfish of, if everyone could obtain and own the same things.

marinelife's avatar

Humans are not inherently one single thing. They have the capacity for good, for selfishness, for evil, for violence.

aaronou's avatar

I’d agree with Marina. Our own nature seems to pull us in opposite directions at times. Although probably most of our ambitions are self-centered, which might make it hard not to lean more on the side of evil. But then, I guess we would have to define what evil is, and if there are varying degrees. Perhaps many selfish decisions are not at all evil. Though having our foremost desire be to serve ourselves would present more of a potentiality for evil. In the end, it seems we are all both sinners and saints.

drhat77's avatar

can i vote for inherently stupid? “here’s your sign”

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, good and evil are matters of perspective, not absolutes. Nietzsche believed we are inherently predatory, destructive creatures, and culture helps to corral our “animal instincts”. Rosseau thought humans inherently creative and good, with culture being the corrupting factor. I agree with marina; humans have an inherent capacity for any action, no matter how it is perceived.

tekn0lust's avatar

Humans and many animals are inherently selfish. It’s a survival trait. He who gathers the most gives himself a better chance at being the most fit. The fittest survive.

AstroChuck's avatar

I would agree with tekn0lust. Also, i find that evil people are far more interesting than the “good” ones.

tinyfaery's avatar

But cooperation and altruism also allow animals to survive. All animals would be solitary creatures if this were the case.

Indy318's avatar

As did John Locke, I believe that humans are born with a blank slate, tabula rasa. However, I do believe that humans are born with certain atributes and traits implanted in their genes from their parents. How one utilizes these traits is dependent on your atmosphere, nurture. You may be given an athtletic body, good hand- eye coordination, and a competitve personality but that doesnt necessarily forecast you being a star athlete, it all depends on how you utilize those qualities in your life. You may also be given a creative mind, deceptive personality and articulate speech but that doesnt mean your going to be a politican or a CEO. Let’s say you have a neglected and abusive childhood coupled with tramatic events, want stops you from becoming a pychotic serial muderer. One’s childhood is key in predicting one’s future. Everyone is born with negative atributes; however, one may mask the negatives and amplifly the postive (who knows the son of the Zodiac may one day become the next brillant physicist of our time)

loser's avatar

I think we’re all a little bit of everything and our personalities bring out certain parts better than others.

scars2b's avatar

i think humans are inherently good and evil. but balancing those two is the tricky thing.

augustlan's avatar

In my experience, and from observing other people, it would seem that being evil (though mildly-like lying, or cheating) is much easier that being good. Often times the “right thing to do” requires sacrifice of some kind, whereas the “evil” choice brings a kind of instant gratification. I agree with Marina, we all have the capacity for both, with childhood environment tipping the scales in many cases. For myself, I find that being honorable, and striving to make good choices (not that I always succeed) brings a much deeper and longer lasting type of gratification.

augustlan's avatar

@btko…thanks for continuing last nights “morality” debate in another vein!

wildflower's avatar

Where’s the ‘All of the above’ tick-box??

btko's avatar

Thanks for the answers – I think I follow a lot of lines of thinking already stated above. We have the capacity for both and our traits and environment can push people more in one direction than the other.

Ritak1's avatar

No one is inherently evil… unfortunately, some people just become it! It’s the old nature verses nurture question.

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