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Is humanity inherently good or inherently evil?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by zerorelations, Mar 28, 2007.

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Is humanity inherently good or inherently evil?

  1. EVIL!

    11 vote(s)
    30.6%
  2. Good!

    7 vote(s)
    19.4%
  3. Neither

    18 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. zerorelations

    zerorelations New Member

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    As a deeply cynic, I tend to believe that people are basically evil. What do you think?
     
  2. Eternal

    Eternal New Member

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    I think it depends on the person. But as they say, it is easy to make a good girl go bad.
     
  3. Lilly Marlene

    Lilly Marlene New Member

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    Is it now ?
    :)

    In any event, my feeling is that humans are distinguished from other creatures by their potential to discern between the two and make the choice; this is the dignity of being a human being ...

    I agree with the Catholic teaching that humans are basically good because they are made in the image of God, but that all nature is in a wounded state

    Natura vulnera non deleta

    There are additional considerations which relate to neurology of course, such as psychopathy from birth, and so forth.
     
  4. saggyjones

    saggyjones New Member

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    They are neither. Our nature is made up of certain characteristics and instincts that can't be defined as good or evil. It's society and its norms that creates this.

    But taking into consideration our society today, I would say that humans are "evil" because we fend for ourselves first, but we have many "good" qualities also. I think it mostly depends on the person and how they were raised.
     
  5. Friendindeed

    Friendindeed New Member

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    That is the liberal position that society, upbringing, "nurture" accounts for almost everything.
    That has been found to be false.
    A whole lot of it is inborn.
     
  6. saggyjones

    saggyjones New Member

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    No, I'm saying that good and evil are simply perspectives created by society. I know that most of our characteristics are natural.
     
  7. Friendindeed

    Friendindeed New Member

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    So you don't think there is any real thing such as evil ?
    If I burn my child with cigarettes taht is not evil ?
     
  8. saggyjones

    saggyjones New Member

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    In our society, yes, that would be considered evil. However in a system with completely different morals and norms that might be a good thing. All I'm saying is that humans aren't naturally good or evil; they have certain characteristics that our society perceives as either good or evil.

    Like I said, in our society today, I think humans are "evil" because they always fend for themselves first. But we also have many "good" qualities, like compassion.
     
  9. Friendindeed

    Friendindeed New Member

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    What society would consider it good to burn children with cigarettes.
    I have to reject your relativism here wholesale.
    And you are also incorrect about fending for themselves first, most people fend for their children first which is hardwired.
     
  10. God

    God New Member

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    My intention was to make you guys good but then politicians happened.
     
  11. Grounded

    Grounded New Member

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    LOL that's a good one.
     
  12. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Friendindeed, you need to pick up some Sociology. In particular the works of Max Weber and Emile Durkheim are quite insightful on the subject of social norms.

    Other societies have had what we consider some wacky ideas about what's right and wrong. Look at the Aztecs, who ate the flesh of opposing warriors and performed enormous amounts of human sacrifice. In turn, if the Aztecs got a good look at us today they'd probably think we were pretty wacky, too. Judging other societies by your own norms really doesn't get you much of anywhere.
     
  13. Dave

    Dave New Member

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    I don't really believe in good and evil. There is only motivation. I've heard Hitler viewed as the stereotype of what can be considered evil, but the way I look at it, he simply had a different view of what the world should be, and took actions that he thought would make the world a better place. Unfortunately, his view of a better world included the murder of millions. By using this logic, America's founding fathers were evil for waging war against Britain. I just don't think that it all boils down to something as simple as good v evil.
     
  14. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Humanity is neither evil nor good - moral nor immoral. As a group it is ammoral. It's what we do as individuals through out our lives that adds good or evil. It's nothing inherent.
     
  15. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    It is so clearly upbringing that overpowers everything else in determining who is good and who is evil. A child who is born into one set of circumstances is going to come out a completely different person if put through another set of circumstances instead.

    However, if a man has a son who is very aggressive, has high levels of testosterone etc. this is likely to lead to an agressive child. It just depends how his upbringing channels that anger. Most of it is not genetic.
     
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