3
   

Do you think humans are inherently "evil"?

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 12:12 pm
@manfred,
manfred;98749 wrote:
That's the 4th time you muzzled me kennethamy,now will you kindly answer the above question? A simple yes or no will work just fine


Muzzled you? What question?
manfred
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 02:00 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;98812 wrote:
Muzzled you? What question?


Im not a smart man Jenny,but i do know what love is..

Do you think humans are inherently "evil"?(yes or no?)
Please,im about to have a nervous breakdown due to all the enlightened people on this website...so just humor me and i'll go away,it's that simple.
0 Replies
 
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 03:41 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;98616 wrote:
There are some pretty strong evidence-based counterarguments to this. It's been shown under controlled circumstances that humans have an inherent aversion to being responsible for harm to others, and that this is a characteristic seen in animals as well.

In other words, it seems that humans default to commensal to humanity and symbiotic with those they care about, but both opportunism and violence require some threshold to be overcome.

You'd find this article interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/magazine/13Psychology-t.html


I did read that, but i didn't find any evidence to support a natural tendency to care for external beings. In the case of humans, our world and society rejects those that are purely selfish, therefore i guess you could say, in civilization we couldn't survive being completely selfish. If this is true i would tend to believe we are caring and working with others for the purposes of survival benefits.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 08:34 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;98859 wrote:
i didn't find any evidence to support a natural tendency to care for external beings
Did you actually read it?? Here are just three anecdotes from the article...

Quote:
Toddlers spontaneously offer toys and help to others and try to comfort people they see in distress.


Quote:
Four-year-olds say that it is not O.K. to wear pajamas to school (a convention) and also not O.K. to hit a little girl for no reason (a moral principle). But when asked whether these actions would be O.K. if the teacher allowed them, most of the children said that wearing pajamas would now be fine but that hitting a little girl would still not be.


Quote:
When anthropologists like Richard Shweder and Alan Fiske survey moral concerns across the globe, they find that a few themes keep popping up from amid the diversity. People everywhere, at least in some circumstances and with certain other folks in mind, think it's bad to harm others and good to help them.


Would you say that mothers and fathers have a natural tendency to care for their babies? Why do people do it if it's not natural? Even if it's not a natural tendency would that define us as inherently evil or just neutral? (natural tendency to harm others could be seen as evil)
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 06:32 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;98505 wrote:
Pulling a trigger is a physically trivial act. Anyone can do it. But most people in this world do not choose to make such a decision. We all have the physical capacity to commit acts we'd judge evil. But most humans never do such things


generally speaking yes

but then there are the numerous other acts of lesser dickishness that are routinely carried out

and they kind of add up

plus even the majority of people can become monsters under the right circumstances

these circumstances just have to wait to present themselves: e.g., "but they're not like us" and "that man in the uniform told me to do it"

in fact I think this happens very frequently. of course I wouldn't make the claim that individuals are impulsively violent. that's ridiculous. human violence is typically organized, pretty subtle, with a big old smiley face sticker on it to mislead you

http://i35.tinypic.com/eta647.jpg

if Stanley Milgram's authority experiment is at all representative, then only a minority of people are really moral

don't forget the Stanford prison experiment either ... Jhee-zus H. Christ!

---------- Post added 10-22-2009 at 08:34 PM ----------

Aedes;98896 wrote:
Would you say that mothers and fathers have a natural tendency to care for their babies?


how do you account for cultural practices such as demanding Ehrfurcht from children

don't you think that, even in the West, children are reared in environments where they learn to be uncritical, unquestioning conformists

cuz I do
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:02 pm
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare;99337 wrote:
don't you think that, even in the West, children are reared in environments where they learn to be uncritical, unquestioning conformists

cuz I do
Children up until age 8 or 9 are very concrete, so much so that they really gravitate towards and perseverate on rules and norms. Or they disobey them, but it's for the same concrete reason. It's a cognitive stage and nothing you can do will change that.

If you want your child, when they become an abstract-thinking adolescent, to be critical and questioning, the way to do it is to expose them to lots of different ideas, inspire them with wonder, prompt them to investigate and explore, indulge their curiosity, and avoid moralizing dogmatism.
odenskrigare
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:24 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;99354 wrote:
Children up until age 8 or 9 are very concrete, so much so that they really gravitate towards and perseverate on rules and norms. Or they disobey them, but it's for the same concrete reason. It's a cognitive stage and nothing you can do will change that.


I'm talking about when they ask questions like "why is the sky blue?"

these are incisive questions!

typically adults give them condescending HURR DURR answers (as if they understand refraction themselves)

as your article pointed out, people may well be "born good". I would add that they are born inquisitive, too. but the whole world does its damnedest to turn people into mental cripples. it usually succeeds, too

Aedes;99354 wrote:
If you want your child, when they become an abstract-thinking adolescent, to be critical and questioning, the way to do it is to expose them to lots of different ideas, inspire them with wonder, prompt them to investigate and explore, indulge their curiosity, and avoid moralizing dogmatism.


yeah I know all that; I've already got plans

but being a good parent on Planet Dumbass could be irrational

so I have decided I'll be a libertarian: if my kid wants to fit in and be a dumbass, I can only counsel, not order

I would add that I am explaining early on that "Santa Claus is a synthesis of Odin and Saint Nicholas used for mind control and selling ****. now use this example to think about what a rotten world you live in."
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:28 pm
@Yogi DMT,
There's nothing wrong with fitting in and conforming, especially as it opens doors and you need to "play the game" to some degree. There are lots of ways in which you can be individualistic and unique. To excel but be socially normal is a more productive type of nonconformity than getting your scrotum pierced and worshiping Baal, but hey to each his own.
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:33 pm
@Yogi DMT,
I'm a libertarian

normal people, viz., those living near the disappointing tippy-top of the bell curve, can take out my trash and bag my groceries
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:40 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Being a libertarian isn't inherently nonconformist except insofar as it's a minority view. Productive libertarianism to me is the idea that everyone can self-actualize, it's existential. Real world libertarianism to me is screw you don't tax me or force me to wear a seatbelt and don't use tax money unless I have a traumatic brain injury from not wearing a seatbelt and I need food stamps.

Don't condescend to normal people. They make the world go round. After spending a lot of time as trainee and now faculty at the medical schools at UConn, Harvard, and Duke, my job still comes down to talking to those normal people and making their lives better. The most self-secure people I know are the ones who have the best relationships with such 'disappointing' people.
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 09:05 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;99370 wrote:
Being a libertarian isn't inherently nonconformist except insofar as it's a minority view. Productive libertarianism to me is the idea that everyone can self-actualize, it's existential. Real world libertarianism to me is screw you don't tax me or force me to wear a seatbelt and don't use tax money unless I have a traumatic brain injury from not wearing a seatbelt and I need food stamps.


I'm actually not opposed to food stamps in general

people who are awesome but don't have economically viable skills (like writers who aren't hacks) may fall on hard times

I'm kind of a moderate libertarian not the vote with your dollars Randroid kind

Aedes;99370 wrote:
Don't condescend to normal people. They make the world go round. After spending a lot of time as trainee and now faculty at the medical schools at UConn, Harvard, and Duke, my job still comes down to talking to those normal people and making their lives better. The most self-secure people I know are the ones who have the best relationships with such 'disappointing' people.


how can I force myself not to find them painfully boring

when people talk about uninteresting **** I automatically tune it out. it's beyond my conscious control

I just can't communicate with these kinds of people. nor do I want to
0 Replies
 
Baltar
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 03:29 am
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;98407 wrote:
I do think humans are inherently "evil". But first let me say that good and evil are terms that depend upon the society and reality we live in. In truth, both good and evil are based on perception and what we define each as.

In my opinion i believe society has come to define good and evil as mainly two ideas...

Evil: One is selfish and puts his/her needs above that of others. In all cases of "Evil" i believe a certain level if selfishness is involved. What we think of evil as is when someone puts others at sacrifice for their own personal gain and benefit. To give some examples, lying cheating and stealing are intolerant and "evil" acts that involve one putting his/her own desires (survival needs to trivial wants) above anyone else's desires.

Good: One is selfless and puts others above him/her. Giving, honesty, and fairness are opposites of what was listed above. These are the traits and quality of someone that is commonly deemed as "good" by society.

Why are humans inherently evil? Because humans are biologically programmed to meet our survival needs. Our desires naturally come before others. Unfortunately this of course is at the sacrifice of others' needs and wants. Human's are born with the idea of putting others' before themselves. In the most basic situation, we will desire to survive and meet our needs. Our wants naturally come before others'.

Again, evil and good are based on perception. One person's view of another person's "evil" may be different from that person's view. So for the purpose of proving the idea of humans being inherently "evil" we will assume that all "evil" acts are directly or indirectly related to someone being selfish in some way.

I believe we do have the ability to break free of this inherent selfishness and become a "good" person who may sacrifice for others and that may give care to others before themselves. This argument states that people are created selfish not that humans may not overcome this natural inheritance.

Selfishness is a biological survival trait purposefully designed to promote the well being of one's self without any sort of care for others. Naturally we focus on ourselves before anyone else. Because we as humans are aware of the others we must coexist with, we can understand the needs and wants of others and therefore have the choice to compromise of or possibly be a selfless person, one who is conscious and shows caring for those other than his/herself.

A neutral mindset is impossible to achieve because people will always have conflicting desires. One cannot be neither selfish nor selfless. Everyone has their wants and needs and how they prioritize those in relation to the wants and needs of others determines the type of person society will consider them.

Good and evil are again dependent on your whether your desires benefit yourself or if they benefit other people and possibly humanity as a whole. To survive we must have this inherent and natural selfishness to benefit ourselves above other or else our race would die off due to not being able to survive on our own.

The origin of conflict comes from many having similar if not the same wants or needs. Therefore, someone will get the get the short end of the stick. This will deem the victor, "evil".

So to conclude, all commonly considered "evil" acts will be traced back to one being selfish. We are naturally selfish because that is how we fight to survive. Evil is based on perception and i believe evil is how are race has come to survive.


While people can commit acts against each other that would qualify as evil (I'm not of the opinion there is a force in the universe that encourages or represents good or evil, nor someone who thinks there's no such thing as good and evil), we have elements of good and evil in our civilization and in ourselves, not just evil.

We won't have perfect government, but we have government which provides greater security and stability than life under tyrants and warlords. We build cities, explore space, and often help each other for little personal gain. We also kill each other.

Evolution, and the drive to achieve dominance, both as an individual and as a species, is not inherently evil. A bird doesn't dive to catch and eat a fish because the bird is evil, the bird does it for survival. When I eat a nicely-cooked slab of steak, I don't eat it because I bear malice against the cow I am eating. The process of evolution, of the universe, isn't evil, and it isn't good in the sense of "good and evil". Those are terms we create, and for these reasons, I completely disagree with you on that.

So, humans are both good and evil. There's the potential for both, and both exist in our world. In many ways, the bad things in our world that are caused by us tend to outweigh the good, but you can't ignore the good.
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2009 02:45 pm
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare;99337 wrote:
plus even the majority of people can become monsters under the right circumstances

these circumstances just have to wait to present themselves: e.g., "but they're not like us" and "that man in the uniform told me to do it"

in fact I think this happens very frequently. of course I wouldn't make the claim that individuals are impulsively violent. that's ridiculous. human violence is typically organized, pretty subtle, with a big old smiley face sticker on it to mislead you

http://i35.tinypic.com/eta647.jpg

if Stanley Milgram's authority experiment is at all representative, then only a minority of people are really moral


quoted for truth
0 Replies
 
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 03:17 pm
@Yogi DMT,
People are originally imperfect. They can either surrender to evil and become even worse, or overcome evil and become better and even perfect (reaching true love). The very essence of being human is not being something inherent.
IntoTheLight
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 07:57 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;98407 wrote:
I do think humans are inherently "evil". But first let me say that good and evil are terms that depend upon the society and reality we live in. In truth, both good and evil are based on perception and what we define each as.


Good distinction. However, I disagree with you. - More below...

Quote:

In my opinion i believe society has come to define good and evil as mainly two ideas...

Evil: One is selfish and puts his/her needs above that of others. In all cases of "Evil" i believe a certain level if selfishness is involved. What we think of evil as is when someone puts others at sacrifice for their own personal gain and benefit. To give some examples, lying cheating and stealing are intolerant and "evil" acts that involve one putting his/her own desires (survival needs to trivial wants) above anyone else's desires.


I believe that "evil" as you define it is a learned behavior. Thus, humans are NOT inherently evil - they learn to be selfish due to circumstance of their childhood and teen years.

Quote:

Good: One is selfless and puts others above him/her. Giving, honesty, and fairness are opposites of what was listed above. These are the traits and quality of someone that is commonly deemed as "good" by society.


I believe that humans are born neutral - a tabula rossa as it were. It is only by experiences that they learn to employ evil or good.

Quote:

Why are humans inherently evil? Because humans are biologically programmed to meet our survival needs. Our desires naturally come before others. Unfortunately this of course is at the sacrifice of others' needs and wants.


I disagree. I do not believe that humans inherently put survival needs above all else. Even one lesson of compassion can have a profound effect on a developing child.

Quote:

Human's are born with the idea of putting others' before themselves.


No offense: but you just contradicted yourself. Putting the need of others before the self violates the 'survival need'.

-ITL-
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 08:04 pm
@Yogi DMT,
I am with jewish theology.
There is the good inclination and the evil inclination.
and with Professor Dumbledorf
It is not our abilites, but our choices that determine who we are., Harry.
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 08:26 pm
@prothero,
prothero;107462 wrote:
I am with jewish theology.
There is the good inclination and the evil inclination.
and with Professor Dumbledorf
It is not our abilites, but our choices that determine who we are., Harry.


Our choices, without any external influence will be for the betterment of ourselves rather than others. Our mind feels immediate needs and concerns not those of a bigger picture, everyone around us. Without a doubt, selfishness is a biological survival trait that is embedded in our coding. Think about an animal, if you give the animal a piece of meat, will it share it with the other hungry animals? Or will it keep it all for itself. The only difference is we have a certain level of intelligence that brings us to a realization that effects of our selfishness have an effect on others. Whether we decide to be generous or selfishness is a decision but inherently we are evil in the sense of being concerned with the well being of our being not that of others. So in our own sense we are good within our personal boundries but in a more holistic perception we are evil.
manfred
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 11:29 am
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;114725 wrote:
Our choices, without any external influence will be for the betterment of ourselves rather than others. Our mind feels immediate needs and concerns not those of a bigger picture, everyone around us.(i tend to look both ways before i cross the road,and you?) Without a doubt, selfishness is a biological survival trait that is embedded in our coding. Think about an animal, if you give the animal a piece of meat, will it share it with the other hungry animals?(Happens all the time in nature,and not just for copulation or security measures*great-apes*) Or will it keep it all for itself. The only difference is we have a certain level of intelligence that brings us to a realization that effects of our selfishness have an effect on others. Whether we decide to be generous or selfishness is a decision but inherently we are evil in the sense of being concerned with the well being of our being not that of others.(scratch my back and i'll scratch yours?..or if i scratch your back will you scratch mine?) So in our own sense we are good within our personal boundaries but in a more holistic perception we are evil.

Holistic perception=evil?:poke-eye:
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 03:39 am
@Yogi DMT,
Most humans are what you raise them to be, if you hit them they will hit others ..that's the nature of the beast. Only if the child is psycotic, it will deviate from the rule.
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Feb, 2010 03:46 am
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;114725 wrote:
Our choices, without any external influence will be for the betterment of ourselves rather than others.


Why, my friend? Isn't it others we want to be better than? If it weren't for others, there would be no notion of being worse, would there? We would have no choices, we would acclimate to our surroundings and do what came natural.

Yogi DMT;114725 wrote:
Our mind feels immediate needs and concerns not those of a bigger picture, everyone around us. Without a doubt, selfishness is a biological survival trait that is embedded in our coding.


Contrary to popular belief, we are not animal. We are human and there is a big difference of which I will not reiterate again. Yet survival was, it can be concluded, a survival trait but we are beyond that now. We are no longer in such "unfamiliar territory" yet there are those who implant fear that does affect the mind that stifles clarity creating confusion and chaos that doesn't even exist in the animal world. They acclimate easily and perfectly with their surroundings or they become extinct. There is complementary action involved in our existence and animal is a part of what we need to survive and we will learn what that is until we need the animal no longer and then we will evolve to..........better. The assumption that we are animal is what is holding us back.



Yogi DMT;114725 wrote:
Think about an animal,


When it comes to rationalizing human behavior, I rather not. That's what got us in the fix we are in.

Yogi DMT;114725 wrote:
......if you give the animal a piece of meat, will it share it with the other hungry animals? Or will it keep it all for itself. The only difference is we have a certain level of intelligence that brings us to a realization that effects of our selfishness have an effect on others. Whether we decide to be generous or selfishness is a decision but inherently we are evil in the sense of being concerned with the well being of our being not that of others.


And the above statement is why I don't. When we believe the notion we are animal, we justify those animalistic traits we observe in humans and "call" them inherent when in fact they are not. They are instilled and imposed by those who call themselves scholars who think themselves gods. As I said it is reasonable to conclude in our beginning we were more survivalistic in that much was unfamiliar to us and the unknown made us fear that unknown when we ventured beyond our familiar territory. Understandable We would not share for fear of being without. When now we know what we need and no more. To be generous is when one has more than they need and know it. There is a balance that we can conceive: the animal knows of no such balance; we do. That is what true equilibrium is all about. We must understand the true nature of that balance and strive to achieve it or chaos will only get worse. The animal is already there and on it's way out in it's evolution. We aren't even close to eliminating inequity yet and why iniquity will continue as long as we don't at least strive to reach it and adhere to it's universal nature.

Yogi DMT;114725 wrote:
So in our own sense we are good within our personal boundries but in a more holistic perception we are evil.


Holistic yes, perhaps; but "wholistic" I think is a better word and in that context we are not that, yet. Fear is that which is the result of observing death and the universe knows no such thing. At least like we assume it to be. If it has utility, it will continue; if not, it won't.

The universe is "wholly holy" or perfect. We are "holey holy", ha! Which means we have a good days and bad days. When we fear we leak out that eternal "holiness" that we are simply because we are not all the universe is, yet some think they are or at least think there is nothing "holier" than themselves or smarter, knowledgeable and so on. They only view from their own personal perspective.

God does not order, God is order and man in his beginning was god but his sentience was "new" and subsequently he got lost in his sense of things. Life is a bit overwhelming even if we have no memory of what was before. A new experience. We aren't bad we just make bad mistakes in our journey to understanding. Like I have said "trial and error", truth or consequences".

In all notions of what life is, death is a part of life; and is the result of misunderstanding and a respite in that life to renew and continue. Evil is misunderstanding resulting in consequences. We think in our "holeyness" because we don't understand all, evil is equal and opposite of what is good? Therefore.........necessary. That's really sad when one seriously thinks about it. So we condone it, rationalize it, excuse it and make laws protecting us from it as if it has a nature of it's own relieving our ignorance and culpability. We created evil, we can eliminate it.

Esoterically speaking evil is nothing more than friction of what was the wisdom of the earth prior to our being here and being here. We are in part a part of the earth; we just don't know how integral our part is........yet. We are wholly/holy just not whole yet. In the degree we are separate we find evil lurking in the heat of that friction. That's the hell of it.

William
 

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