Human Nature

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Zurkhardo, Apr 17, 2009.


Human Nature

  1. Inherently Good

    6 vote(s)
  2. Inherently Bad

    2 vote(s)
  3. It depends on the circumstances or other factors (society, how one was raised, etc)

    13 vote(s)
  4. Both: humans are at once 'Good' and 'Evil' naturally

    9 vote(s)
  5. Not Sure/Ambigious

    1 vote(s)
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  1. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    My personal opinion is that it is dependent upon the circumstances and that people otherwise would act 'good' (in the broad, universal sense of the word, such as not killing or stealing) when instilled with the right state of mind, societal values, etc. However I am admittedly still unsure of the final verdict.

    Also, I understand the ultimate complexity of this argument, given that 'Good' and 'Evil' are subjective, different societies have different values, etc. Let us just speak in the broad, universal aspect of it (i.e. hypothetically).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2009
  2. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I think humans are inherently good. We cannot look to the past for proof. The past is the past. I think the future will show that we really are loving.

    I think something disastrous has to happen first, and I think it will. And then we will not care about race, sexuality, political party, religious preference. We will all just help each other because our natural instinct is to help each other. You can suppress this natural instinct, and inflate the ego, so caught up in yourself, but that's why I think something disastrous will snap us out of ourselves and bring out our true humanity and love for one another.

  3. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I would say "both".

    In some respects, we're wonderful, but in others, we're scum, and we switch between them often.
  4. Remedy

    Remedy Chat & Forum Buddy

    I voted depends on the circumstance ... because it does. If you're nice to me and show I can trust you, I'm great. Otherwise not so much... Does it make me a bad person? Hell no. When things get too much, people break down and do stupid things. We're only human.
  5. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    In the absense of being a psycopath all humans are fundamentally good.
    Every last one, each person contributes in their own way to a group, a culture and society. Without this ability, if we were fundamentally "evil" we would all have been to busy fucking each other over to accomplish even the simplest of things.
    Why build a bigger house when you can just club someones head in and take theirs?
  6. anonymous51

    anonymous51 Staff Alumni

    I believe that humans are inherently good, as in it is instinctive to help and care for our fellow human beings, because these good acts are the glue that keeps humanity together. Humanities only hope of survival lies in the cooperation of its members so, much like sexual reproduction, we are rewarded for doing good things with feelings of pleasure and gratification. I know it may seem like noone cares about each other any more but in reality, if every single person in the world did nothing to help one another, civilisation would crumble. Although I do believe nowadays we are slowly seeking the reward of materialistic pleasure instead of spiritual and moral gratification.

    We are good people by nature, and are molded into greedy bad people by nurture.
  7. sleepycloud

    sleepycloud Member

    Perhaps there is no fixed dichotomy as circumstances provoke contradictions in us. Our intentions however try to reconcile those contradictions. It would be a more compassionate world to believe we're all inherently good, the rest is ignorance of our interdependent needs. In order to appreciate the good we must have experienced suffering- the source of empathy.
  8. I kind of agree with all those options.
    From birth, I think we are naturally good and loving for the most part, but conflicts can still arise. Also, I think circumstances and events in our lives play a big role in shaping what kind of person we become.
  9. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Excellent input everyone. I'm amazed to see the emergence of a general consensus among all these opinions.
  10. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    the human nature relies on many things, ranging from your genes, your diet, also your imprinting, timothy o'leary developed this idea with regards to crime, believeing that it was an imprinted behaviour people thought of themselves as criminals, as opposed to civilians who commited acts of crime, so using LSD in specially guided trips to remove the imprints he gave them all an epiphany. the result of the test was the recidivism rate was only 20% yet the average recidivism rate was 80%. if only the government would listen and fund these projects instead of locking scientists up we wouldnt be building so god damn many prisons!
    another good example of imprinting is animals, a falcon imprints on its parents, in doing this it accepts itself as the parent species and will look to breed with similar looking birds, hence why when we put a gyr falcon (falco rusticolus) under a peregrine falcon (falco peregrinus) the gyr will grow up thinking itself as a peregrine and when 4 years old (sexually mature) it will seek out to breed with peregrines. even sexual preferences can be imprinted, i have worked with birds that will only donate semen on the shoe (for AI) and others who will only donate on the hat if you crouch. some females will readily stand and others will only stand (for insemination) if you provide a freshly killed quail, a freshly killed chicken wouldnt work it HAS to be quail.
  11. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I see no one checked inherently bad! I see we've got some faith in the human race hah
  12. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    You're assuming a certain society/time in your hypothesis aren't ya?

    When people are encouraged from birth, not to examine themselves, not enjoy very simple things like their bodies without shame- but to pursue a value of success taught from birth to achieve some kind of unquestioned ideal, there will be blindness, competition, being trampled down, death, a lack of being able to communicate and listen to themselves and others . This is what I see as 'consciousness', it's something fabricated to keep the world going as it is. I call it unconsciousness and death. Is this good or evil? Any realisation, or struggle to deal with, work, play or question this accepted 'consciousness' is good. Anything else is a stagnant death. Good to me means change. I think the type of change that involves a lot of self questioning which can be frightening because it means struggling with the basic truth that there are many controls over our lives and we are dependent on certain controls, even if they are harmful and cause death, we are dependent on them for one level of survival.

    As for the person who said the source of empathy is suffering, I disagree. Suffering can cause more suffering, an internal shut down where people abuse others to deal with the conflicts inside and because their behaviour is socially validated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2009
  13. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Interesting. Would you say that living a philosophical life--a life of questioning and truth seeking and self-asessment--is the key to good and thus salvation?
  14. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    I have a bleak outlook on the future for our species, but that doesn't necessitate anything about our inherent traits given their malleability.
  15. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    Most people haven't done anything really good, they haven't done anything really bad either. Most people aren't wise but most people aren't foolish either. I've lived 40 years, what have I done? I'm like my cat, I ate, I slept, I stretched and yawned (though I haven't got into fights and slept around so I guess her life is more interesting than mine). Good or bad? Hey my life just ain't that interesting, and I hate to say this, but I ain't the only one.
  16. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    I think it's probably a nurture issue. If the Neanderthal's raised their kids to help other clans find food, I assume they would. If they were raised as 'everyone for themselves' (kill or be killed), I doubt they would ponder the issue very long, should they come across someone who was from another cave, and just bop them on the head. I look at a smiling child bouncing on a parent's knee and say to myself "that kid is going to grow up and help people". Then, I think about the abused kids and say "those kids might just grow up and abuse other kids". I'm sure there are some exceptions for both circumstances, but it probably has more to do with the value system instilled in us as children.
  17. Alexpt2

    Alexpt2 Well-Known Member

    Holy fuck...i actually agree with you on something..never thought that was possible. lol

    Humans aren't born inherintly good nor bad, they are born neutral. Environment dictates what they ultimately become.
  18. The_8th_Wonder

    The_8th_Wonder senior Member

    oh great I feel left out. I only think of human nature in negative aspects. Human nature is the reason why the world is so f***ed up right now. The crave for power, sex, and money has put the human race in a bad position.
  19. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    It can kill you too.
  20. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Cue me. Few things say 'go kill yourself!' better than existentialism, nihilism and absurdism.
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