I think Thomas' response was excellent -- and made some points I had not considered before -- or at least, had not considered in the way he framed them.
I suspect your response to his points might be tainted by that (I don't mean this in a charged way) belief system that you advocate so often.
I'm not sure if Thomas is aware of what I'm referring to here -- so you might want to do a compact lay-out of your position vis-a-vis existence in general. It might help him understand where you are coming from -- and why you are responding as you are.
Frank Apisa wrote:
I'm not sure if Thomas is aware of what I'm referring to here --
Frank Apisa wrote:
so you might want to do a compact lay-out of your position vis-a-vis existence in general. It might help him understand where you are coming from -- and why you are responding as you are.
That would be nice. Thanks, Frank, for alerting me that there's some background I need to understand here!
I voted for evil, not because I think people are necessarily evil coming from the womb, but because I think they are born self serving and self centered by nature, and are more likely to possess traits considered "evil" than noble or "good".
Let's face it, at the end of the day it's about us and ours.
If your family or mine lives or dies by the last chicken leg on the table then it's **** you it's mine no matter what.
Is that evil? Probably not....however the people that TRULY transcend love of self over others, the REALLY "good" people...well we generally crucify or assassinate them......
I think people are born bullies, born prejudiced and narrow minded, born self serving, and born cruel to those weaker than themselves. Some struggle to transcend it, some embrace it, some are indifferent to it.
I believe that most people try to lead lives of sacrifice and principle until the exact moment these principles come to cross hairs with their self interest. Some, like the people currently running the world, never even try, and they are the truly evil ones. They succeed because no one cares enough to exit their comfort zone and do something.
I don't dislike people, but I don't have any expectations of them.
So anyway I voted for evil , but I think what you really need are a couple more options in your poll.
Some of us just had a discussion of altruism, which didn't result in any conclusions and or even general agreement by most, but some points were brought out. Namely,
- How altruism is defined determines it's application
- If altruism is defined in a less extreme, general so of way, we could probably agree that altruism exists, where individuals help others with little regard for themselves, though it involves self motivated interests, and as such some people might not call it altruism.
This question is irrelevant to us today. What we have no cotrol over is not something to be ascribed to someone. If i had to choose, I would choose good. If one goes through there day and nothing negative occurs to them, they would say they had agood day.
The question of evil or good being innate is a simple thing to understand i would think. Everything is learned, nothing is innate. A priori knowledge does not exist, instinct does not exist. Saying that someone would be attracted to "bad" things is naive. We have the faculty of reason. Our ability to reason is to blame for our acts of "evil". These acts are driven by self-interest. Self-interest exists in everyone inherently, as Shopenhauer would say, "The Will to Survive."
Every person has the innate capacity for a conscience. We are born with the capacity to know right from wrong. However conscience, by itself is not enough.It depends on what we've been taught to be right or wrong. If we've been misinformed, (bad role models etc.) we will act in "GOOD CONSCIENCE" and be wrong. That's why we need an objective moral lawgiver, a higher authority to reveal the practical difference between the MORES and ETHOS of our society.
Remember, existence precedes essence. We are born into a world that has INVENTED moral systems, and we learn some of them. But we are born (that is to say intrinsically) neutral, with moral potential. Just watch very young children competing for toys and attention; they are virtual
socio-psychopaths--eventually, with the proper socialization they develop into superego-regulated adult "moral beings".