3
   

Do you think humans are inherently "evil"?

 
 
Wisdom Seeker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 10:00 am
@Yogi DMT,
i think humans are naturally neutral between good and evil
we do good things like loving our families, helping them, feeding them,
but we become evil to protect our goodness against the nature itself
that is what the nature itself intended for us, to do both good and evil
to gain benefit on both things, to attain our greatest good.

but that's only in the past. we improve greatly now, there is no longer sense on doing evil.
0 Replies
 
Yogi DMT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 09:10 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Here's my theory. Being selfish is a necessary survival trait. While being aware of others' needs is great, our mind is focused on the survival of ourself. We are conscious of the other beings around us and we are smart enough to know that we need to work together and let go that sense of selfishness. Like i said before, being greedy or only thinking about your own wants and needs, is the root of all evil (try and prove me otherwise). And we are all born with that little bit of desire to keep for ourselves for the betterment of ourselves. Not to say this isn't wrong but its a mental function thats embedded in our survival mechanics. Giving to others and helping others is great but we need to keep for ourselves sometimes.

I believe being too generous and too kind can unfortunately be your downfall because there are others out there that will be greedy and take advantage of that. I wish it weren't that way but in the world we live in it's important to have a balance between you and the others around you. In a perfect world, if we all were self-sufficient and didn't rely on others, we wouldn't be able to accomplish much but there would be no conflicts, or at least very little. See i wish i could say that we should share and then hopefully have the favor returned but our world is full of greed so i say, be cautious about giving out your generosity and expect the same in return.
0 Replies
 
stevecook172001
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 01:54 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.

"Good" and "evil" are psychological constructs used to assign responsibility to actions. In turn, this requires an underlying assumption of the existence of free will. Since I do not consider free will to exist, I cannot consider "good" or "evil" to exist.
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 03:16 am
@Yogi DMT,
I thinks humans are weak, some give into greed, others hurt people for their own selfish reasons because they are weak.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 04:23 pm
I think humans are inherently human. That's all I can say.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 06:00 pm
@Caroline,
Quote:
I thinks humans are weak, some give into greed, others hurt people for their own selfish reasons because they are weak.


Yes, but some people don't.

The inherent "evil" or weakness of humans doesn't exclude the inherent "good" or strength.

Besides, the "evil" we commit is perhaps more related to what we know, and what we think we know, than what we are. So I cast my vote with what JL said.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 06:01 pm
No, I don't think people are inherently evil. What a question. Just think about families who've lost their homes or had a tragedy and the outpouring that goes out to them. Think of the charities people give their time and money to.

Cheer up!
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2010 12:34 pm
There is no such thing as "Evil", other than the notion invented by humans. But we also invented its complement, "Good." Indeed, we have in large part invented our world, that is to say the meaningfulness of our world. We do not see Good and Evil, the way we see mountains and clouds. Like all polar contrasts Good and Evil exist because they are useful to think with, not because they exist ontologically. Ergo, Hitler was Evil because of my value system, but he was shorter than six feet independent of my values. Therefore, when I tell you that Hitler was Evil I am telling you as much about myself as I am about him.
0 Replies
 
existential potential
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2010 02:30 pm
@Yogi DMT,
but there are some deeds that we do that appear good or selfless, but ultimately originate from self-interest-

"We exaggerate the good qualities of other people less because we prize their merits than because we prize our own feelings; and we want to attract praise ourselves, when we seem to be bestowing it on them"- La Rochefoucauld

"We do not like bestowing praise, and we never praise anyone without some motive of self-interest. Praise is a clever, hidden, subtle form of flattery, which gratifies the giver and the recipient in different ways. The latter accepts it as a reward for his merit; the former bestows it to draw attention to his fair-mindedness and perceptiveness"- La Rochefoucauld
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Dec, 2010 08:40 pm
@existential potential,
I hesitate now to praise the wisdom of La Rochefoucauld. He deserves it nevertheless.
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Dec, 2010 09:37 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT 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.


why is GOOD put in the same context as evil

for me being a good person has nothing to do about polar opposites

evil and god are polar opposites , niether are good to my mind , towards Humanity

being good person , is just being good to another Human Being , devoid of any religious connotations
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Dec, 2010 12:00 am
@north,
north wrote:
why is GOOD put in the same context as evil

for me being a good person has nothing to do about polar opposites

evil and god are polar opposites , niether are good to my mind , towards Humanity

being good person , is just being good to another Human Being , devoid of any religious connotations


I also think it would be good (pun intended) for you to actually define what you mean when you say, "being good to another Human Being" means. What exactly constitutes being "good" to another person? Because from what I can tell of the world, that is a very subjective thing and that there seems to be pretty much no objective good thing or good way of interaction between people that is universal. If such an objective goodness does exist, then I have never met any person who is actually a good person. But perhaps you need to clarify if you don't mind what it is you mean.

On an additi0nal note, I do not like the use of the word evil because it too is so subjective and usually misused by another personal motivation. From my perspective it is incredibly difficult to actually determine who the evil person is when I hear another call another evil and they must be dealt with. Typically the person calling the other evil, is just as deserving of the title themselves.
g day
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Dec, 2010 05:53 am

Original question - No. Studies show people put needs of their children, or indeed any child, before their own. Parents certainly do. Society functions on the unwritten moral code do better for your children then you got yourself.
0 Replies
 
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 03:25 am
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare wrote:

Planet Dumbass


LOVE IT
0 Replies
 
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 03:37 am
@Shlomo,
Shlomo wrote:

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.

how are you using "true love" here? can you elaborate?
0 Replies
 
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 03:43 am
@IntoTheLight,
IntoTheLight wrote:

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.
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.

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


where have you heard this? as in, is there a online document which I can read up on this topic you shared with us?

Quote:

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


regarding this single quote, out of context, Russ and Wilson have addressed this in evolutionary ethics as "Reciprocal altruism" where individuals are inclined to do good things for others because their genes tell them/ inherently know, that by doing good to others, their own live's chance of survival increases, thus any altruistic act is a selfish act to increase one's own chance of survival. So if we cater this idea, it wouldn't be contradicting.
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 04:13 am
@stevecook172001,
stevecook172001 wrote:

I do not consider free will to exist...

would you mind elaborating on how you came to this conclusion?
0 Replies
 
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 05:55 am
@Yogi DMT,
seems to me like you're trying to connect selfish acts synonymously with survival acts.

Have you read on evolutionary ethics, particularly by ?
What do you think about that?
(if you haven't I will be more than happy to explain to the best of my abilities).
(note if you have, and you mention Defense of Evolutionary Ethics,I have not read that yet so it would be kind if you explain that to me and why you take it to believe this theory).
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 06:03 am
@55hikky,
55hikky wrote:

IntoTheLight wrote:

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.
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.

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


where have you heard this? as in, is there a online document which I can read up on this topic you shared with us?

Some people are actually intelligent and can make up conclusions on their own, not all knowledge and wisdom are learned from books or others.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 07:49 am
@HexHammer,
Are you advocating the tabula rasa thing???oh man...you are 100 years late...not to mention utterly plain wrong...
0 Replies
 
 

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