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Forum LockedAre human good or bad in nature

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    Posted: 17-Feb-2008 at 23:02

There has been intense discussion among theorists and sociologists, and this discussion is still going on.

Theorists such as Thomas Hobbes held that human are bad in nature, while Locke and Rousseau supported that they were good in nature.
 
Those guys based the foundation of social contract theories in different ways coming out from these opinions.
 
What do you think?
 
I believe, because of the selfishness and carelessness about the rest in the core of human, human are bad in nature. That is actually why I believe communist or anarchist regimes may not prosper or live long, too.
 
Though Locke saw this selfishness as a right of the human...Interesting point of view Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 00:41
Your question presumes people have nature?
 
And that it's a simple one if they do have it.
 
And that there's such a thing as good.
 
And that there's such a thing as bad.
 
And that if there was such a thing as good we would be able to know it.
 
And that if there was such a thing as bad we would be able to know it.
 
And that good and bad are opposites
 
And that good and bad are mutually exclusive to one another
 
And that human nature is consistant enough to stay one or the other for more than a dew seconds before swapping.
 
 
 
............... Well you did ask a philosophy question.Wink


Edited by Paul - 18-Feb-2008 at 01:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 01:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 02:13
I don't believe all men have the same potential for good and evil.
Although everybody can do a good or a crime, there are some that are more violent than others.
 
So, I don't generilize saying human kind is violent and cruel, but some humans are, indeed.
 
Our jails plenty of prissoners are a testimony that keep peace and harmony among humans is a hard job.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian J Checco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 04:22
Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

Your question presumes people have nature?
 
And that it's a simple one if they do have it.
 
And that there's such a thing as good.
 
And that there's such a thing as bad.
 
And that if there was such a thing as good we would be able to know it.
 
And that if there was such a thing as bad we would be able to know it.
 
And that good and bad are opposites
 
And that good and bad are mutually exclusive to one another
 
And that human nature is consistant enough to stay one or the other for more than a dew seconds before swapping.
 
 
 
............... Well you did ask a philosophy question.Wink


Paul, my friend, you are always a breath of skeptical fresh air on these absolutists, objectivist topics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2008 at 17:03
Well, unfortunately in social sciences, the method is absolutist, theoretical, determinist, objectivist, certain etc. :D
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sun Tzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2008 at 19:24
I think Humans in general try to do the right thing (as most of know what's wrong and right) but certain influneces can force people to make bad decisions.... some of the worst mistakes in history were made by the greatest intentions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2008 at 20:24
According to some new research babies have the capablity to assess social situations. Almost all babies were altruistic.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Feb-2008 at 22:49
It all depends on a persons early experiences; I've always believed that anyone is capable of being a hitler or mother theresa, its all simply a matter of probabilities.  People with a disasterous upbringing will be much more likely to fall off the deep end than one with a blissful upbringing.  Some people are conditioned by traumatic experiences to be "evil" others are not.  Whether people are bad or good in nature, I would have to go with Paul's response on that one. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2008 at 16:55
I agree with you Justinian. Traumatic experiences in the developmental stages do play a key role, but I have observed people who grew up in horrible and traumatic environments that turn out just fine too. So there must be other triggers as well...
 
As far as good and evil are concerned, many of the definitions we may have are, for the most part, social consrtucts that are subject to many different aspects of a collective cultural cognition. Now that the world is getting smaller, we do see more and more consistency but major differences still exist.
 
If we just look at the success of our species, I'd wager we did just fine...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2008 at 17:09
Aside from xi_tujue has anyone answered the basic question of this title? Yes "nurture" does have an impactful role in human developement. Still, are humans innately good or bad was the question.

Edited by Seko - 22-Feb-2008 at 17:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2008 at 17:36
"If we just look at the success of our species, I'd wager we did just fine..." equals good. Smile
 
Humans are innately good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2008 at 17:57
We are good and bad, with some people leaning more towards one side than the other. That is what the evidence suggests :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2008 at 18:17
I have evidence for what is better then bad is good.

Edited by Seko - 22-Feb-2008 at 18:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2008 at 18:35
Originally posted by hugoestr hugoestr wrote:

We are good and bad, with some people leaning more towards one side than the other. That is what the evidence suggests :)
 
The continuum of eeevil. Muah ha ha.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 18:34
Paul summed up pretty well.
Can people be 'good' or 'bad'?
How do you define good and bad?

I ask one question: are animals good or bad? Use the same answer for humans.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2008 at 19:55

Paul certainly has a point in that these concepts are arbitrary and relative. However, humans are not born as a "tabula rasa". All humans have a similar range of emotions and primal needs. There are very distinct stages in childhood development, independent of the culture in which they grow up (though factors such as the presence of other humans do play a significant role). Just watch 1 and 2 year olds at play and tell me how much you think upbringing matters.

I think that in general good and evil in people are subjective social constructs which have a lot to do with the ability of a person for empathy, and whether that person thinks of herself foremost or of a larger group (family, society, church, planet, etc).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2008 at 18:02
humans are HUMAN. That's all you can say. Is a lion bad or good? does a dog have a good or bad nature?

A lion is a lion. a dog is a dog. a human is a human.

Whether they turn "bad" or "good" depends on so many factors it would be impossible to name them. Environmental pressures, peer pressures, individual thoughts, personal experiences, luck, law, government...

If I had made one decision slightly different, I might have ended up as a serial killer. If a murder thought one thought differently, he might have ended up as the most benevolent and kind human being on earth.

I might still end up a horrible human being. Unlikely, but it's true. I think a lot of "evil" stems from people who never recognize how easily they could be wrong, not from people who go out and want to hurt someone.
Who is the great dragon whom the spirit will no longer call lord and god? "Thou shalt" is the name of the great dragon. But the spirit of the lion says, "I will." - Nietzsche

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Julius Augustus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 00:11
damn perception, its a perception a matter of perception. 
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