Is human nature inherently good or evil?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kestrel, Jan 8, 2016.


Is human nature inherently good or evil?

  1. Good

  2. Evil

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  1. As it says on the tin. Is human nature inherently good or evil? Pick an answer and if you're so generous, please tell us why.

    IB4: This is not a debate-thread. While you're welcome to ask people to elaborate their answers if you're curious about them, this topic is not the place to challenge views and such behaviours will be met by me calling you a cunt and a summoning of the grumpiest of mods. If you must debate, please take it to PM's or make your own topic.

    Topic, commence.
  2. Blegh, I guess there's no neutral option >.<
  3. Neutral is a desirable answer, which people pick even if they have slight leanings towards the one or the other. This would dilute the result of the poll.
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  4. Now, what I'm about to say I know for a fact is going to be controversial, and get me a number of replies from people who get defensive and are trying to argue on behalf of everyone being good, me being cynical etc.
    So let me state this right now, I have zero intention for debate. If you respond, your points will be read and noted, but I will not be engaging in further discussion.


    I hate assigning it black and white like this, but if I absolutely had to pick one I'd say evil.
    Simply because people (myself included) are motivated by self interest and benefit.

    Even when it comes to the good deeds.
    Why do people jump to friends and family faster? Because they personally care more.
    Why are people more likely to be vicious to those they disagree or are annoyed with? Because they don't care as much.
    Why do most people perform good acts period? Usually because once it's done they walk away feeling happy and proud with themselves, which is their incentive/reward.

    How many people, if that feel good incentive was taken away would still strive for good acts?

    Even if the reward isn't tangible/material, there's still a benefit to themselves that gives them the motivation to do it. That is ultimately, self-interest.


    Now, if we're defining Good and Evil as something more trivial like "Do their actions benefit/approved by the community?".

    Then my answer would change to yes, most people are good people because they contribute to society allowing it to grow and flourish.
    However, when I personally tackle the question like this I tend not to look at the "What do they do" but rather "Why do they do it?".
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  5. inb4 Original Sin
  6. Neither, because to pick either option would imply that there is such thing as objective morality, and that is simply just not so. The way we humans behave is derived for millions and millions of years of evolution as well as centuries of social progression, it has absolutely nothing to do with the concept of right and wrong. I suppose you could argue that human nature stems from what is called natural morality (i.e. morality based on how we evolved) and therefore it has some sense of right and wrong. In which case human nature would always by inherently good in our eyes because we evolved to see it that way, but in the eyes of another intelligent civilization it could be viewed in a different light due to the way that their sense of morality would have evolved differently and independent from ours.

    tl;dr: Human nature is inherently good, but only if you happen to be human.
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  7. That is sooooo odd to wrap my mind around O.O I get it, and it's very simple. But so many factors and outside things once you get to thinking about it.

    As for me,
    I say inherently evil. When we're born, we're all pretty selfish and evil, not a care in the world. But most of all, we quite literally need to be raised/influenced to be a good person and even then, sometimes be screwed and be forced to be bad, even if you don't want to. That's because the very world it's self benefits evil.
  8. While I want to say good, I can't and must say evil. An example is If someone came up to you, a total stranger by the way, and wanted a ride to this place. Your first instinct is to probably say no right? Why would you say no? Most likely because you don't know if they are going to hurt you.

    While I want to say we are good people. We clearly aren't as Gwazi even stated we are driven by self interest for the most part
  9. Ooh, fun, morality and nature~

    Yes, I voted evil because if my pet position about humanity.

    I would not trust humankind, not for a second, but I will trust a person.

    And to explain in-depth:
    Survival in nature relies on competition and cooperation and not one species is above harsh cruelty is it means progression of their kind. The concept of good relies on community, cooperation and peaceful actions. Those are only sustainable in a community, and not even within any possible community is there pure good, selflessness or compassion beyond some points. So, the existence of morality 'good' needs a community to be sustained and what is considered good is dependent on the best survival of that community

    Humans are pretty good at killing each other, a lot and very, very creatively I might add. Selfishness is inherent in everyone, they just take different forms. This doesn't even graze the subject of what people do to each other if it's not ending with death and murder. This doesn't mean I deny the existence of kindhearted people whose form of selfishness is universally contributing, I just recognize them as the rarity they are.
  10. I'm just going to go watch that one Community episode.
  11. *Trustfall*
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  12. "I’ve met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, 'Why?'

    Why did I cause so much pain?

    Didn’t I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness?

    Can’t I see how we’re all manifestations of love?

    I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God’s got this all wrong.

    We are not special.

    We are not crap or trash, either.

    We just are.

    We just are, and what happens just happens."
    - Chuck Palahniuk, 'Fight Club'
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  13. Another small way of humans being evil, if we are good, why do we have a term called hate? Hate is well not very good or nice.
  14. But literally all life is driven by self interest, so I fail to see how that's inherently bad. It can be bad, sure, but anything can be bad given the right situation.

    Again, if you want to look at it from outside humanity's perspective, human nature is neither good or bad due to that fact that there simply is no such thing as an objective morality. All morality is subjective, humanity will always view human nature as inherently good because it's how we evolved. And the thing is, human nature changes all the time. When we look back at the way society used to function centuries ago, it's a lot different than it is now, and often times we're appalled by it, we find it to be barbaric and inhumane. But if you look at it from the perspective of the people living during that time they thought what they were doing was good, they wouldn't have even considered the possibility of it being immoral. Ah, but, just like everything else, human nature evolves and it will continue to evolve. I guarantee you centuries from now people are gonna look back at our society and think the same things that we do about most ancient civilizations.

    Honestly, asking whether human nature is good or bad is like asking whether nature itself is good or bad; it's just not applicable.
  15. Humans are natural Siths.
  16. It shouldn't surprise me that 'fight club' is your go to for determining man kinds morality.

  18. If it helps, you may also interpret the question as whether humanity is good or bad according to your personal standards.

    Also may want to reread the OP there.
  19. Good and evil are entirely human constructs, we don't matter that much. Humans are insignificant, there is no god, the universe is random and doesn't care about you or me!
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  20. Oh, well in that case humanity is both; some of it is bad, some of it is good.

    But, like, I'm just trying to start a discussion with someone, isn't that the whole point or did I miss something here? You're making me feel like I did something wrong even though I'm fairly sure I didn't.
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