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Human Nature vs Human Behavior

 
 
rayban1
 
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 10:33 am
I have had a longtime interest in the never ending search for understanding of what is called human nature. Can a case be made that certain elements of human BEHAVIOR within different societies evolve and modify due to forces within society while the biological innateness of human nature remains fixed and unchanging?

An example of this ........... the common practice of beheading by Guillotine(or other instrument) or the slitting of throats in public for intimidation and deterrence was acceptable even in western society. While it is still common in Islamic society, it is no longer acceptable in western society. I would classify the changes as elements of human hehavior while the basic innate evil of human nature has not changed.
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Nietzsche
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 01:45 pm
Your concern is essentially the concentration of the study of morality in general.

Naturally, I'd recommend Nietzsche's On the Geneology of Morals as an interesting place to start.
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Ray
 
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Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 06:21 pm
I think it's a mistake to think that "human nature is evil". That statement is psychologically devastating. It's almost implying that we are inevitably evil. The thing is though, that we are not. Are you disgusted by cruelties? I think you are, and I think most people in this world do hate cruelties; heck, even criminals often hate themselves for what they did.
Our nature is among the most sympathetic of all creatures, and I think that as people develop, we develop an objective view of morality (at least most of us do).
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 10:23 pm
Ray wrote:
I think it's a mistake to think that "human nature is evil". That statement is psychologically devastating. It's almost implying that we are inevitably evil. The thing is though, that we are not. Are you disgusted by cruelties? I think you are, and I think most people in this world do hate cruelties; heck, even criminals often hate themselves for what they did.
Our nature is among the most sympathetic of all creatures, and I think that as people develop, we develop an objective view of morality (at least most of us do).


I agree with you on this Ray.

To me, the assumption that we are evil says more about the assumer, than it does about the assumee.
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rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 11:01 pm
Ray wrote:
I think it's a mistake to think that "human nature is evil". That statement is psychologically devastating. It's almost implying that we are inevitably evil. The thing is though, that we are not. Are you disgusted by cruelties? I think you are, and I think most people in this world do hate cruelties; heck, even criminals often hate themselves for what they did.
Our nature is among the most sympathetic of all creatures, and I think that as people develop, we develop an objective view of morality (at least most of us do).


Ray
You caught me in an error.......I did not mean exactly what I said and I apologize for the mistake. What I meant to say was this: I believe there to be a tendency toward both good and evil in each of us with the evil being kept in check by the code of conduct within each society. When any particular individual finds power in his grasp, the observer will be able to determine what percentage of evil that individual possesses. The power will release it. An example of a rare exception in the opposite direction would that of the benevolent dictator who rules with firmness but also with compassion and fairness. On the other hand there are hundreds of examples of those who executed their enemies with ruthless abandon and laughed as threw away a life on a whim. The ugly aspects of human nature are responsible for all wars IMO. There is an old saying: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. If human nature could be changed by society we would eventually do away with war and this saying would not be valid.

These are my beliefs and I'm asking someone to change my mind because I don't want it to be true.
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