Philosophy: People born good or evil?

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h0ck3yh0rr0r
John Locke said people were born good. Thomas Hobbes was against that idea and said that people were born evil. They were not always disagreeing. They both agree on the idea of a Social Contract. ill add more info later...maybe. smile

h0ck3yh0rr0r
i say evil, because if their was no obedience, people would be wild animals.

royal_jester
There is good and evil.

I have to say neither because someone has to have the sense of being evil or good.

h0ck3yh0rr0r
well people change throughout their lives. im talking about when they are born.

GambitsRogue
some people are just born evil and good thats just how it is

113
Well first you have to define "good" and "evil"

DemonicGambit
Someone is born pure, the factors around them help to decide if a person can be considered evil or good. Such as environment, family, friends and morals. Then the initial decision is finally made by the individual themselves

That's my theory at least

N.Tonks
I agree with Hobbes; people are born evil.

LindsIsTightK
I second the above statement.

I was gonna type out the exact same thing almost word for word but I decided it was easier to just quote someone.

h0ck3yh0rr0r
evil as in not doing good.
good as in not doing evil.
lol

LindsIsTightK
Ummmm...............yeah, and???? confused

h0ck3yh0rr0r
113 asked "Well first you have to define "good" and "evil"" and i did. lol

LindsIsTightK
laughing out loud

I thought you were referring to me and I was like ummmmm I already know that.............

h0ck3yh0rr0r
lol that would be strange

113
Well what is "good" and what is "evil"?

DemonicGambit
Good is what is done for the benefit of the whole or another single person. And bad is what is the exact oppposite of that

mechmoggy
Kids are born evil...they can be horrible, selfish, jealous etc. Its not their fault, they just don't know any better.

Grown ups can still feel these things, they know its wrong. But alas grown ups lose the innocence that kids have and become cynical and lose faith in mankind.

Man, its a bit early for this kinda thing... wink

nemo
i don't think we can really say what a person is born with.
babies are born with a whole set of instincts that is designed to get them through the early yrs, like crying for what you want, and being jealous and selfish and spoiled is actually a way for them to get the attention and whatever things that will increase their chance of survival. and being an only child or being born into a crowd of siblings could really influence your bahaviour from childhood onward. i saw a documentary that studies these beahviour.
and now there is studies that might prove that there are genes for violence or anger or criminal behaviour, so it's like we could be evil because we have inherit these genes.
but whatever we are born with, i think nurture plays a more important role in our development. nature could only do so much, but the enviroment that you are born into, and the things that you experienced, will really mold you into who you will become.

must_kill_Santa
i think people arent born either good or evil and your life expereances decide how you are

Fire
as far as I know, there has never been conclusive evidence that shows ppl are born good or evil, so i say neither

yerssot
oh, you saw me, FM, I'm pure evil wink

lil bitchiness
Is this gonna be the real philosophical topic or not....cos...i have smart things to say..confused

ragesRemorse
i believe people are born niegther. Good and evil are traits that are eigther influenced or chosen.

happy kine
maybe we have higher emotions and with that come rage and love so... maybe because of the higher emotion we have to learn to control them. humans will kill for some lame reasons... other animals kill for food only. so humans can be considered with a heightened sense of good and evil and therefore need to be taught the difference between right and wrong. hence we are born with the ability to be either good or evil...

personally i don't think there is a true evil out there or a true good... i believe that everything is inherently both. it just depends on how you look at it. my pc is evil because we are becoming so dependant on computers that the west would fall into chaos if all the pc of the world just stoped running... but its good for the information (or misinforamtion as the case may be) at your fingertips. the abilty to share ideas with people of other cultures and whatnot.....

besides with out evil how would you even know what good was... therefore even evil itself is good.

lil bitchiness
We as people, unlike most other animals, we do not have set patterns when we are born, and we depend longer on our parent more than any other spicies on the planet...we are not by nature evil or good...by nature we are indifferent, its society that makes us act good or evil!

113
says who?

LindsIsTightK
You know what 113? This is not the place for those kinds of remarks, people have tried many times to explain it to you. If you don't get what the thread means then don't answer it wink

h0ck3yh0rr0r
lol

total metalhead
everyone has some good and some evil inside them, and it can only take one event to tip the scale either way. a new born person is neither good nor evil, they are a blank slate, as there mind isn't developed enough to understand such powerful traits. also, their surroundings dont necessarily effect whether they are good or evil, as some people are a lot more willful and stronger than others, and can see what is right and wrong, and are not effected by bad or good situations or up bringing. and finally, true evil is very rare and so is pure good, most people are in between, so people cannot be BORN good or evil, and most people never grow to be good or evil anyway.

see im not just a pretty face...

blakangel
when we say people are born evil; are we talking about the whole human race or just say someone who 'does evil things' do they develop it through life or are they just born that way...

I think to see that you perhaps have to look at genetics or the brain. Hmmm but I think its more likely people develop it through life and their environment.

nemo
i wonder who started that saying. sometime animals kill for reasons other than food too. eg. competition, establishing dominance etc.

Storm
The difference between good and evil can only be weighed in your mind. Things that seem good to you may completely be unacceptable from my point of view. As being the individual that you are and capable of making your own decisions, only you can distinguish the difference.

To every living thing, there is one primary choice, and that is to live or not. Choosing life as your standard of value is a pre-moral choice. It cannot be judged as right or wrong, but once chosen, it is the role of morality to help man to live the best life possible.

DracotheDragon
evil face I AM EVIL!!!! and how do i get to post more than one of my welcome messages? evil face

Corlindel
People born...
A few of us born with genetic tendence to evil wich is carried from their ancestries adn.
The most of us born naturally and our moral is dictated by external causes, like our education (family) and social life until dead. It is a permanent growing.

So, I believe we born good and pure, with a few of us who born"bad". But these ones have a psico-pathological diagnosis.

h0ck3yh0rr0r
no i still think we are all born evil. we become good from obedience or just from out traits....

Complicated
Well, Hobbes, Locke, Plato, Rousseau, Rawls, Grotius, Pufendorf, et al actually all said that people are of one nature, and powerless (or perhaps, unwilling) to deny it. Their arguments were not in accordance with Social Contract theory, but specifically for it. Also, the natures assigned to mankind are better described as just and unjust, as put forth in Book II of The Republic.

With governed humanity being unjust, it stands to reason that there should be a set of rules established which, through adherence, would facilitate betterment of society as a whole, with threat of discipline (aside from capital gain) as motivation. Glaucon and Socrates agreed that the unjust are indeed the ones to prosper, and reparation is injury caused by others - but then since "injury" is purposeful and carried out by the administrators of the established rules, and injury is as much retribution as it is penance, those administrators are thus unjust as well. The world would be wholly unjust.

Hobbes' views on the government of the unjust was about the same - that mankind, being generally greedy, will design a set of social contracts in order to aid in the attainment of personal wealth. They would do so in realization that free trade cannot be carried out without assurance of what actions their business partner would carry out - and it is because of this same reason that they would accept the enforcement of such contracts.

John Locke had a typically Protestant view of humanity, feeling that we are all, by nature, good, and when our morals are combined with our similarly good common sense, we create a society of betterment and good out of common interest. He felt that we should concede some of our rights to a - umm - non-matriarchal (thinking that democratic may, at this point, be too finite of a term) government so that they may, in turn, protect our life, liberty, and property.

Personally, I feel that the majority is a healthy mix of the two, with the lower extremities being mostly nihilists born of necessity but without the socioeconomic (and perhaps intellectual) means of reaching the levels they are otherwise capable of, and the upper extremities being mostly some sort of materialistic ubermensche. For this majority, the real issue isn't the nature of their souls but the number of neurons between their ears. Human beings are lemmings (or cockroaches, for you Matrix people roll eyes (sarcastic) ) and a good materialistic ubermensche, regardless of his or her moral character or those of the lemmings, can convince them to do anything.

There is no absolution, though - no black and white. I really don't believe that even Locke and Hobbes believed their arguments completely - believing instead that a noncommital thesis such as mine wouldn't sell. stick out tongue

thorncrawler
i completly agree everyone has and can be good and evil, and we all have to do both. for example in south park bl+u satan says, well sing "without evil there can be no good, so it must be good to be evil sometimes, ooh ooooh", so you see we all have to be bot, just in moderation!

ando
People are born good, we are not born with predjudice, we are taught to be prejudice, in our schools, by our parents, and without prejudice there would be no evil,

Ps I don't know!

lil bitchiness
People being ''evil'' happens through socialisation..in fact, i dont think there are ''evil'' people, just people with ambitions and their own interests....one mans food is other mans poison...

BackFire
Well, it's been proven that people who are "evil" (commit murder or other horrible acts without remorse) were born with a neutron missing in their brain or something. Basically they are missing a chromosome that acts as a conciounce that allows them to differentiate good from bad. So it just depends on how you look at it.

Fire
I still believe that we become good or evil, by society, we are born neutral the way we end up to be, depends on what happens to us in life.
also there is almost no way of knowing.

If I may take some freedom on this, don't attack nor quote me on this.

Man is still an animal, ofcourse we are more intelligent and things like that. But in fact when it really counts, our adrenaline takes over and we behave not very different from animals, as in when it is killed or be killed everyone will kill, EXCEPT FOR A FEW EXCEPTIONS, BUT NOT MANY. When it is kill or die, we will kill, Every mother would go crazy in order to protect her child, as a group humans display a very big FLOCK(sp) mentality (like a bunch of sheep).

So if humans behave like animals when adrenaline kick's in
you might say that humans who weren't influenced by civilization or even other humans (which would know the difference between good and evil) would be very much like animals

and have you ever met a truly evil or truly good animal?

if anyone gets this, Cool, if not don't bother reading it twice, it aint totaly correct since I just came up with this and this english aint that good either

wicker_man
So we are evaluating are people born good or evil, what about both? but to use the word evil in this context may be a 'tad bit' OTT, prime example look at young children, children just grasping on to the basics of life and im not just referring to talking and walking but also learning to grasp their emotions, children particuarly of a young age can be rather nasty but at the same time they can be good, i don't think people are born good or evil rather they gain these emotions as they journey through life, everyone has both positive and negative emotions to express some people carry these emotions further then others be it for postive or negative reasons.

SilverFighter
Philosophical enquiry huh? Human evil or good hmmmm... according to Socialism and Communism theory the explotation of Capitalism over the proletariat is evil!! Therefore I think humanity is doing a fine job at doing evil.

Fire
lol

who said it was evil to exploit someone

SilverFighter
>Fire

The philosophers did.

Fire
I dont consider that evil

SilverFighter
Well, you gotta see it this way...when you put on your brand new Nike shoes or buy a new boom box just remenber that some poor workers manufacture it somewhere in a sweat shop someplace. wink

shadow link
every one is born little babarians, its called sin, says so in the bible, that why as a child we are giuded diciplined and corrected, we wouldnt have groundings if we were born good

no question about it

Fire
shadow,

A) just cause it says so in the bible doesn't make it true
B) when we are a child we are influenced by society, so you never know wether or not a child is born good or bad.

again as defence that ppl are born neutral, look at babies from a few weeks old, ever met an evil baby? prolly not, ever met a good baby, prolly not-good does NOT equal cute

Complicated
laughing out loud laughing out loud laughing out loud laughing out loud

Indeed, there is a good deal of questioning to this argument!

Let's start off by pretending that Christianity is valid, shall we? You've just argued that God is unjust - that He would punish the entirety of mankind for the sins of another, dead for several millenia. Oddly, this validates Christianity, supporting the claim that humanity was created in His image - that of an unjust man.

Now then, the specific statement is Romans 5:12, which in the King James Version states, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men." This says not that all men are by nature evil or unjust, but simply that we are all born with this single sin on our record. Are we to believe that every man is wholly unjust because of Adam? Was the apostle Paul evil when he wrote that? The Pope? Jesus?

With all of that being said, of course, the Bible wouldn't have any less truth to it if it were written by Jim Jones.

Complicated
Oops. That should have "for that all have sinned" on the end of it. I omitted the part that actually made sense, and now I'm not allowed to edit it. laughing out loud

Metroplex
It depends. What is good and what is evil. In modern society, we deem some actions as evil such as killing others. What if in another society, killing was part of their culture. Would killing be considered evil in that case?

Complicated
That's the question - do our social doctrines supercede theirs? Well, I think it's a situational decision, to be sure.

Lord Soth
We are all born morally neutral, and our upbringing/friends/family/etc, etc. influence us to swing from side to another. I myself have remained neutral big grin

h0ck3yh0rr0r
Disagree^
all evil. born evil, live evil, die evil....but somehow this leads to heaven or hell....eh?

i stick with my old posts ^^

Lord Soth
~shrug~ To each his own.....

FallingBlue
I believe we are all born good, no child is born with hate, is the ways of their parents, peers, and all influences that turns them into hateful, spiteful people, if you are too young to comprehend anything how cna you comprehend hate or anyother act?

Lord Soth
That's true, but when we're born, we don't know of compassion either. So therefore, we are born neutral

Complicated
So... Good is now a default quality? The lack of hatred or evil is not goodness but apathy - a quality which, at best, could be described as not bad. Much as the child would not be born with the desire to kill his or her mother, the child would not wish to make her happy, or take a bullet. Those, too, are notions formed through conditioning.

FallingBlue
hmm, then i suppose my statement contredicts itself..well, then I suppose i would side with Either now, well done both of you

Complicated
stick out tongue Thanks. It's a lot easier to question things than to give your own theories.

Lord Soth
true on that

blueangel
Evil...because we were all born into a life of evil things...and you dont know what good is until 3 or 4...you dont know in the womb...SO DEFINATLY EVIL!

Circe
I believe that all people are born with the same amount of evil and good in them; it's all what they decide to be like or how they are raised. But I think that all good people have at least a drop of evil in them big grin

Gravity Kills
There has to be a balance of Good and Evil

Complicated
Again, there is no default side of it. Just as you don't know what good is until - I'd say 1 1/2 to 2, you don't know evil. By its very nature, you cannot be evil without being able to differentiate between the two sides - which would necessitate the knowledge of good. "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." (Romans 5:12)



Why? Forgive my saying so, but that doesn't make any sense.

That is, if I'm right in imagining that you're speaking on the global scale instead of an individual one.

beaujay1
i think the world in the most part is a good place, we all think its evil coz we only hear of bad or evil stuff on the news.It's true.................

Complicated
Absolutely - the media folks like to sell what sells. That's why I hate most tv - they're always looking for the most shocking, offensive stuff, since that's all the average public seems to care about anymore...

silver_tears
I think people are just born, a completely clean slate.

They are not good, because they have done nothing to achieve goodness, and they are not evil, because they again have done nothing wrong.

However, there is always the idea of the original sin, the sin of Adam and Eve, but I personally don't think the blame lies on the new born, so the person is neither good nor evil.

Their life shapes them, their actions, thoughts, and way of life defines whether they are "good" or "evil"

Gregory
People are born naturally unpleasant. They're selfish, and they lack empathy (ever seen a child pull the wings from a fly?). I would say that "evil" is rather a strong word for it, however.

silver_tears
I have never, and never want to messed

Fire
ppl are born neutral, a child does lack moral values gregory.

lil bitchiness
Why dont you read 'The Wild Boy of Aveyron' and get back to us thumb up

Darth Revan
People are born... People. They are neither good nor evil. They have a will to survive, and reproduce, just like every other animal on the planet. They will do whatever it takes to survive when they are born, it is only with a lot of "conditioning" that they gain a sense of morality.

Dexx
errr...the genetic code of every human begin pretty much sets you with a few personality traits. But..certain factors, after you're born..traumas, childhood, experience, etc...can guide you to new personality developments.

actually..i did see kids pull wings from flies, gregory.....if i'm not mistaken...i....err..nothing big grin

Darth Revan
I've never pulled the wings off a fly no

I think personality traits are really more due to atmosphere than genetics...

Dexx
well..genetics set the predispositions to certain personality traits.
atmosphere sets how much they come true..

Jackie Malfoy
People can't be born good or evil is a choice they make when they get older.Exsample being gay is a choice and is something that they choose themselfs.JM

Napalm
Humans are born evil

Napalm
Flys dont have rights

eleveninches
WHwn they are born, they are BORN innocent, not good or evil

Cipher
A person's choices and experiences make them who they are
and that can be positive or negative in someone else's view.

debbiejo
Babies are born innocent, but are very selfish. give me give me, and mine mine mine....I think their enviroment will shape them ie..things they are exposed to like parents, relationships and such.

If you took twins and put them into different environments they would be quite different people on who they react with the world.

debbie264
The world makes people evil and conniving,but they're natually good I believe.

meiwaku
According to Dictionary.com Good and Evil are defined as:

Evil - Morally bad or wrong; wicked
Good: Of moral excellence; upright, Goodness; virtue

If those be the definitions of good and evil when referring to humanity, then how can you define someone as being born good or evil? Babies are incapable of showing any of that, the only traits they show are due to the need for survival. As a child grows older you begin to see how their personality develops. Some children might develop psychopathic traits which means they essentially have no conscious. Our conscious allows us to distinguish between moral and unmoral actions feel empathy. With out one, killing someone would mean nothing as they don't feel sympathy or empathy. As far as I know psychopaths are born like that which would mean a child is born evil.

But you then have to wonder though if the conscious comes from nature or nurture. To an extent what we know to be morally wrong or right is through what we're taught and what has been passed down over the years, obviously with out too much question since the same ideas have been around for 1000's of years. But you have to wonder, why do some people choose to kill and others do not? I believe one of the main reasons is fear. If we're religious we fear the wrath of our god if we do something morally wrong. If we're not religious or terribly hardcore we fear the law, or we fear both. If you had a chance to kill someone you disliked a great deal, and you'd still go to heaven and/or you wouldn't go to jail or even get arrested would you do it? Think about it and see if you'd still choose not to. With out that overpowering fear some people might be apt to go through with it. While others still wouldn't, but does that make the person who did go through with it evil? By our definitions yes, yet while there is the fear of god and the law they would just go through their lives with out committing such acts and could be construed as good people. With that in mind it's hard to define someone as being born good or evil. It would be easier to say we're all born with the choice to do what we want. Because everyone, even psychopaths are capable of being good or evil.

I think in order to really know you'd have to figure out if certain things we do are because of Nature or Nurture. If we're born evil then nothing we encounter in life, no situation or way we were brought up would be a defining factor in what evil act we committed. Which means the morals we preach, "don't kill", "Respect your parents", "It's unmoral to cause another person pain against their will"..etc all that, we'd have to be born knowing that, they would have to be our natural instincts. Evil and good has to be the way of all life, not a man made definition.

Capt_Fantastic
this is my response to that:





Not particularly true. There are many instances of twins that were seperated at birth, raised by totally different people, in totally different parts of the world...and when they finally met, thier simmilarities were overwhelming. From speech to the way acted to the way they thought. It can only be explained by knowing there is more than environment that controls who we are.

meiwaku
I agree with most of the stuff you wrote. Our personality is somewhat biological and somewhat socialized. The example of the twins you used is a really good example. Another example is that people who kill or abuse other people, some claim that they were abused as children, sexually, physically and so on. I'm not going to argue that it's not true that abuse can drive people to do such acts in the future, but in saying that just because all that happened doesn't make you more apt to, murder or abuse. I have known people who have been through unspeakable things in their childhood and yet as adults they are learning to deal with it. You wonder how some people can make it through that and be ok and some cannot. But does the end result determine how they were born? I don't know the answer to that.

All that said, personality, speech, and thinking maybe biological, but do they drive us to act and react the way we do in certain situations? Those Twins, if put in a certain situation do you think they would react the exact same way?

--------------------------------------
Psychologically we may not all be born essentially good. But in comparison to John Locke and Thomas Hobbes ideas on being born good or evil, they didn't take psychology into account. Probably because the study of psychology didn't exist in their times. Though I am not 100% sure on that so anyone can beg to differ. So if you're arguing based on their prospectives psychology probably shouldn't come into account. Locke believed that all humans were born good, and this was based on his very Christian views. Hobbes on the other hand believed that evilness was inside us all, and that with out society to guide us we'd slip. He didn't believe that nature would set us on the right path only that it would cause chaos and destruction.

If you were to go in favour of Hobbes you could argue that if all humans are born good then why does evil exist. Of course there is an answer in the bible as to why evil exists. But if there were no such thing as god, why would evil exist? Because we're all born evil, and the only reason why most of us are good is because we have a structured government that keeps us in order. And all the good we do is because the government and religion keep us in line. I mean there are always going to be some people who rebel and step out of line but that is what the government is for. This of course is a very european (British even) view on state and government.

Locke on the other hand believed that God created us all to be good. Though we become evil though our need to survive. It's our right to liberty, property, and health but though achieving these rights we may become clouded. That is why he believed government is effective, to regulate. Even though God created us good, free will and survival may cause some people to make poor judgements.

It's hard to agree with either point since there is no factual proof. With their ideas in mind I would have to say we're not born good or evil.

Sicky666
Evil: because ye first parents were Apsu & Tiamat, and Marduk slayed the ancient ones and locked them up and made of Kingu's blood humanity.
As Kingu's blood is in your veins, and as Kingu is seen as evil, it must be evil.
But gods are not good nor evil, they are beyond that...

Capt_Fantastic
I don't know what this is from, but it has a lot of truth to it. Like I said earlier, it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that some of our personality traits are inherited through genetics. I mean, look at my dog. She is a beagle, one that has never been used to hurt...but she has always known how to fetch...she hunts smaller animals and she is forever bringing home dead animals that she finds out in the world. ( I know that's a strech, but it's something I've always marveled at)

Reborn Again
Society and environment play a major role in the development of a child, and there is no sure fire way to determine the nature of a person. The ideal of good & evil is subjective because there is a mindset of what each words mean to an individual. For example is religion good or bad? Which religion? Wars have been fought over religion for thousands of years. Who believes in the "right" regligion? Is there one? The ability to determine the nature of good and bad is way of perspective. But there are many different meanings of good & bad. So dispelling an answer to what is good or bad is unattainable.

Capt_Fantastic
In a lot of ways, you are agreeing with me. You do realize that. Not much of what I am saying isn;t true in what you say. Maybe I just own different DVD'S. Cheers.

Capt_Fantastic
Pay attention, some agree with you...at least in one fashion.

Reborn Again
I never said I didn't disagree. smokin'

debbiejo
People are born like a blank slate. it's passed upon many people and written on..it's parents also have written on it. I believe people are not born evil...They do not have the tendiseis to do evil unless their selves were hurt. this is truly a subject where much history needs to be dealt with.

According to scripture, we are all born in sin.

Reborn Again
Ah...

But if genetics is correct, and the parents genes are mapped onto the child, and the parents have these tendencies, could the child get them too? I still say it's environment.

Capt_Fantastic
Speaking from experience, I can assure you there are some things that are "placed" on the child soley from genetics.

debbiejo
I'm sure you can have tendencies passed down through your genes, like personality traits, diseases etc...BUT you don't have to act on those tendencies like I'm going to be an alcoholic because it runs in my family, or I'm going to be a criminal because it runs in my family. Though with genes and disease you can take extra steps to prevent some of those conditions. I think environment plays a bigger part in how a person turns out.

Reborn Again
Whoo hoo! Someone with some sense. Happy Dance

Adam_PoE
Do you understand the difference between "genetic" and "hereditary"?

debbiejo
You can have inherited faulty genes.

Reborn Again
And filthy jeans. laughing

debbiejo
thumb up

peterKSL
I believe that it is choice that makes a person evil... Environment affects one's choice of turning either sides... That's why it's the role of parents to teach their kids to make the right choice...

liam k
Hi i believe that we are born neither good or bad. It is how we are raised that defines who we are.

ms_erupt
Originally posted by hh?
John Locke said people were born good. Thomas Hobbes was against that idea and said that people were born evil. They were not always disagreeing. They both agree on the idea of a Social Contract. ill add more info later...maybe. smile

I really can't answer that question. I mean, first of all good and evil are both concepts entirely exclusive to humans. Second, that would all depend on your own definition of each. I mean, everyone is born with natural human instincts that could be seen as evil. People are violent etc. But, is it necessarily evil or all in the interest of self-preservation?

Wow, reading back over that it doesn't make sense even to me. Ah well. I'm posting it anyway. Who said I was a philosopher?

SnakeEyes
People are not born good or evil. We are born sort of neutral, with equal opportunities, (unless you are physically or mentally disabled). Whatever happens to us after birth affects who we are and who we become. We are not born an exact way.

FeceMan
Evil, evil, evil.

Lord of the Rings. Err...Flies. Now, if only that had happened...

LLG
In my opinion, I think people are born good, but when they're older, they make their decision, and what paths to take.

Loving_Daniel11
People, in my opinion, can be born either way. Good Or Evil.

Tassie
Originally posted by h0ck3yh0rr0r
John Locke said people were born good. Thomas Hobbes was against that idea and said that people were born evil. They were not always disagreeing. They both agree on the idea of a Social Contract. ill add more info later...maybe. smile

People aren't 'born' anything. Neither good nor evil. 'Good' and 'evil' are terms of opinion. Can you honestly define any human as good? No one is clear of, hmm.. wrong-doings, for lack of a better word.
We develop habits and traits in time, through experience of life itself. No one is automatically born with a certain mindframe you can narrowly label 'good' or 'evil'. We are all born with the power of choice, to choose each step we take in life, and these can't be defined at birth. It plainly contradicts our power of choice.

lil bitchiness
Good and evil coexist with each other - you cannot have one without the other, and both are subjective.

A cruel murderer could have an immense love for his wife, children, mother and family - an unconditional love a strong bond, so can this person be considered evil?

Like Tassie said, we are not born 'good' or 'evil' - we acquire those as we live.

The Omega
People are neither born good nor evil. What a peculiar idea. A newborn is all instincts and needs, and is neither planning to take over the world nor become the next saint.

The idea that people are born good/evil is just a bad excuse from bad parents, who failed to raise their kids properly “Ah, but she/he was ALWAYS a bad apple.”
Some people are born with mental defects or chemical imbalances but that’s another story. Like a psychologist said the other day on national TV, no normal sane person is capable of committing cold-blooded murder.
So I suppose “pure” evil is simply a mental defect. Makes you wonder what “pure” good is, hm? smile

peterKSL
Originally posted by The Omega
Like a psychologist said the other day on national TV, no normal sane person is capable of committing cold-blooded murder.
So I suppose “pure” evil is simply a mental defect. Makes you wonder what “pure” good is, hm? smile

So are you suggesting that our ancient ancestors have mental defect? Or are we just evolved?

To be good or evil, all goes down to principles... Nonetherless, a beserk man would do almost anything to ease his anger in certain circumstances...

kevdude
People are inherently born self depraved of knowing God. It was sin that creep into our hearts that pushed us away. It is because of this is why we feel alone and will someday die, this is why Christ was sent.

Shakyamunison
Originally posted by kevdude
People are inherently born self depraved of knowing God. It was sin that creep into our hearts that pushed us away. It is because of this is why we feel alone and will someday die, this is why Christ was sent.

There are thousands of gods that man had imagined, which one are you talking about?

People die because if we didn't die there would not be enough resources for future generations. This would lead to all life dieing.

We feel alone because of attachments.

Enyalus
With respect to the poll, I think it was probably Socrates/Plato who first put forth the idea that humans were inherently good. Or at the very least geared towards it. Happens in the Meno, IIRC.

I'm inclined to think that humans aren't born good or evil, but our natures are geared towards seeking out the good. How we go about doing that, and what we define as good, leads some people down what society might call 'evil' paths.

Shakyamunison
Originally posted by Enyalus
With respect to the poll, I think it was probably Socrates/Plato who first put forth the idea that humans were inherently good. Or at the very least geared towards it. Happens in the Meno, IIRC.

I'm inclined to think that humans aren't born good or evil, but our natures are geared towards seeking out the good. How we go about doing that, and what we define as good, leads some people down what society might call 'evil' paths.

thumb up

People are not good or evil, but follow paths that are good or evil. However, good and evil are not absolutes, so one man's good maybe another man's evil.

Enyalus
Originally posted by Shakyamunison
However, good and evil are not absolutes, so one man's good maybe another man's evil.

Well, on the first part I disagree. For instance, I don't give a damn if your culture says its okay to throw battery acid in your wife's face or have your sister raped in the street because she isn't wearing a veil. That's wrong.

And if your culture says its wrong to help the weak and the poor because only the strong must survive or they don't have blue eyes and blond hair, yet someone decides to help them out anyway. That's right.


In my opinion there are absolutes of good and bad. How we interpret/get at them in this world is another matter, seeing as how there is no empirical example of 'Good' or 'Evil' in reality which we can point to, look at, and know conclusively.

Shakyamunison
Originally posted by Enyalus
Well, on the first part I disagree. For instance, I don't give a damn if your culture says its okay to throw battery acid in your wife's face or have your sister raped in the street because she isn't wearing a veil. That's wrong.

And if your culture says its wrong to help the weak and the poor because only the strong must survive or they don't have blue eyes and blond hair, yet someone decides to help them out anyway. That's right.


In my opinion there are absolutes of good and bad. How we interpret/get at them in this world is another matter, seeing as how there is no empirical example of 'Good' or 'Evil' in reality which we can point to, look at, and know conclusively.

You are proving my point. What is evil to you is good to other people. People go to war because of being locked into a view of what good and evil is to them.

Wild Shadow
ppl are neither born good or evil...

their is no such distinction between good or evil for a child until it is imposed by: society, religious morality and ethical ruling.

Enyalus
Originally posted by Shakyamunison
You are proving my point. What is evil to you is good to other people. People go to war because of being locked into a view of what good and evil is to them.
Maybe I misunderstood you. I took your 'good and evil are not absolutes' to mean 'there's no such thing as good an evil, its a moral construct and subject to perspective/relativity.' If so, I disagree. Because I do there is clearly something that is unequivocally good, and something that is unequivocally evil.

If you simply meant that in society, good and evil are all relative...then yup, I agree.

Shakyamunison
Originally posted by Enyalus
Maybe I misunderstood you. I took your 'good and evil are not absolutes' to mean 'there's no such thing as good an evil, its a moral construct and subject to perspective/relativity.' If so, I disagree. Because I do there is clearly something that is unequivocally good, and something that is unequivocally evil.

If you simply meant that in society, good and evil are all relative...then yup, I agree.

I say both. If humans did not exist, then good and evil, from a humans point of view, would not exist. As far as I know, humans invented the concept, but if an alien race had such a concept, then that would support your claim. We will have to wait until first contact.

Magee
Originally posted by Enyalus
Maybe I misunderstood you. I took your 'good and evil are not absolutes' to mean 'there's no such thing as good an evil, its a moral construct and subject to perspective/relativity.' If so, I disagree. Because I do there is clearly something that is unequivocally good, and something that is unequivocally evil.Good and evil are just two sides of the same coin and that coin is covered in shit. You believe certain things to be inherently evil because the society you live in views these things as such.

You only know certain things are wrong / evil because your parents / society taught you directly and indirectly (consciously and subconsciously) that they are.

Red Nemesis
Really? What is unequivocally good? What is good, for that matter? What is unequivocally evil (an example would suffice). What makes that action evil?

Symmetric Chaos
Originally posted by Shakyamunison
You are proving my point. What is evil to you is good to other people. People go to war because of being locked into a view of what good and evil is to them.

Nah, it's typically because they want something.

Originally posted by Enyalus
there is clearly something that is unequivocally good, and something that is unequivocally evil.

Such as?

LDHZenkai
You can be born with mental defects that cause excess anger and short tempered behavior. You can overcome that with medicine and therapy. So you can be born "evil" or "good".

Red Nemesis
So people with 'mental defects' are evil? That doesn't seem fair- what about all the great people that just happen to be high functioning autistic? Or the bipolar teacher who touches a child's life and instills a lifelong love of learning? That statement is terribly offensive: Didn't you see the uproar when 'never go full retard' was put into Tropic Thunder?

Symmetric Chaos
Originally posted by Red Nemesis
So people with 'mental defects' are evil? That doesn't seem fair- what about all the great people that just happen to be high functioning autistic? Or the bipolar teacher who touches a child's life and instills a lifelong love of learning? That statement is terribly offensive: Didn't you see the uproar when 'never go full retard' was put into Tropic Thunder?

I think he's refering to specific mental defects, albeit the ones he seems to be singling out would certainly don't provide the qualities I look for in someone who's "evil".

inimalist
Originally posted by LDHZenkai
You can be born with mental defects that cause excess anger and short tempered behavior. You can overcome that with medicine and therapy. So you can be born "evil" or "good".

a "temper" nor "anger" are not "mental defects"

someone's temper would only become psychologically "abnormal" if it caused persistent problems in a person's life, as in they were not able to participate in society or take care of themselves independently because of their anger, which is silly.

temper is more of a personality characteristic. I can't think of any non-recreational drugs that I would say lower ones overall "anger" levels, and temperament has strong genetic associations. While you might be able to take "happy pills" or develop some sort of personal strategy for not being angry with people, I don't think one ever "overcomes" their temper.

Also, "overcomes" is not the proper term when dealing with mental health. A bulimic rarely "overcomes" their disorder. People with major depression don't ever "overcome" depression. Surviving major mental health issues is a day by day thing, with persistent problems for life. "Struggling with", "surviving", "enduring" are all better terms, as mental health problems, unlike pathogens like viruses or bacteria, cannot be beaten in that sense.

Enyalus
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
Such as?
Unequivocally evil: Raping a child.

Unequivocally good: helping an old lady cross the street.



You can't justify or apply relativity to either thing. Sure, you could say 'if you were born into a culture that thought having forced sex with a child was good thing, you'd think you were doing good.' True. But anyone who was detached from the situation and looking at it purely rationally would know that it certainly isn't. The same way that someone completely detached from a situation and sees you helping an elderly woman across a busy street is going to go, "Oh, well, that's nice."

You just know it is. Rationally. Assuming you're a neutral observer. And those are just two examples. There are more, of course.

Symmetric Chaos
Originally posted by Enyalus
Unequivocally evil: Raping a child.

Unequivocally good: helping an old lady cross the street.



You can't justify or apply relativity to either thing. Sure, you could say 'if you were born into a culture that thought having forced sex with a child was good thing, you'd think you were doing good.' True. But anyone who was detached from the situation and looking at it purely rationally would know that it certainly isn't. The same way that someone completely detached from a situation and sees you helping an elderly woman across a busy street is going to go, "Oh, well, that's nice."

You just know it is. Rationally. Assuming you're a neutral observer. And those are just two examples. There are more, of course.

If I were a truly neutral observer I wouldn't care about either action in the remotest sense. Neither the child nor the old lady has any intrinsic value.

Enyalus
Originally posted by Symmetric Chaos
If I were a truly neutral observer I wouldn't care about either action in the remotest sense. Neither the child nor the old lady has any intrinsic value.
You're talking about apathy. That doesn't equal neutrality in my book, but...I haven't thought out an argument for that yet. stick out tongue

allofyousuckkk
There is no good or evil, it is all merely perspective.

LDHZenkai
Originally posted by inimalist
a "temper" nor "anger" are not "mental defects"

someone's temper would only become psychologically "abnormal" if it caused persistent problems in a person's life, as in they were not able to participate in society or take care of themselves independently because of their anger, which is silly.

temper is more of a personality characteristic. I can't think of any non-recreational drugs that I would say lower ones overall "anger" levels, and temperament has strong genetic associations. While you might be able to take "happy pills" or develop some sort of personal strategy for not being angry with people, I don't think one ever "overcomes" their temper.

Also, "overcomes" is not the proper term when dealing with mental health. A bulimic rarely "overcomes" their disorder. People with major depression don't ever "overcome" depression. Surviving major mental health issues is a day by day thing, with persistent problems for life. "Struggling with", "surviving", "enduring" are all better terms, as mental health problems, unlike pathogens like viruses or bacteria, cannot be beaten in that sense.
You can overcome mental problem caused by brain defects with medicine. I wasn't talking about just overcoming psychological things. Although you can overcome anorexia, OCD, and other similar mental problems. And you can learn to overcome your anger. Unless you're suggesting that people can't change?

inimalist
Originally posted by LDHZenkai
You can overcome mental problem caused by brain defects with medicine. I wasn't talking about just overcoming psychological things.

no you can't. mental (psychological, they mean the same thing) problems do not have similar pathologies to normal medical conditions. They are based on how the brain organizes itself and the response to stimuli, not on viruses or bacteria.

The only type of psychological problem you would be describing would be like a brain tumor, where the abnormal processing can return after the physical ailment is removed. Or, looking to the future, someone who can have a lesion in their brain repaired.

The use of medicine to treat a psychological problem is indicitive of their nature. Anti-depressents are not prescribed as if there will be a time they have "cured" depression. While each person is going to require a unique medication regiment, these regiments are not designed with an end point where the patient is said to be cured of their depression.

Originally posted by LDHZenkai
Although you can overcome anorexia, OCD, and other similar mental problems.

Both anorexia and OCD patients, when speaking with long time sufferers and people who have been on any medication you can imagine, will tell you that there is no "cure" to their condition.

This is especially true of anorexia and other eating disorders. It really surprises me that you would use them as an example here, as it is pretty much consistently documented that people with these conditions have body and self worth issues underlying their approach to eating that, even when they feel better about themselves, is a constant struggle for their entire lives.

Originally posted by LDHZenkai
And you can learn to overcome your anger.

you can learn ways of not behaving in socially unacceptable ways.

you cannot "overcome" anger. That statement makes little to no sense the more specifically it is applied to information processing in the brain.

Originally posted by LDHZenkai
Unless you're suggesting that people can't change?

I'm not suggesting anything. I'd like you to prove that there are medical CURES to depression.

However, just as the caveat, something is not "cured" if you must take a regiment of medication for the rest of your life.

FistOfThe North
Originally posted by Dr. Leg Kick
John Locke said people were born good. Thomas Hobbes was against that idea and said that people were born evil. They were not always disagreeing. They both agree on the idea of a Social Contract. ill add more info later...maybe. smile

Goodness is in the eye of the beholder. It's a point of view. What's "good" in our eyes here in the U.S can be offensive or even evil in the mid-east and vise versa.

But to answer your threads' question, it's no. Humans are not born either way. They're born ignorant and then become either good or evil (or a little of both) afterwards (later in life, way after birth), at least I believe.

lord xyz
People are born simple.

Rogue Jedi
We arent born evil or good. We become evil or good, based on what path we decide to take in life.

Or maybe I am full of shit.

LDHZenkai
Originally posted by inimalist
no you can't. mental (psychological, they mean the same thing) problems do not have similar pathologies to normal medical conditions. They are based on how the brain organizes itself and the response to stimuli, not on viruses or bacteria.

The only type of psychological problem you would be describing would be like a brain tumor, where the abnormal processing can return after the physical ailment is removed. Or, looking to the future, someone who can have a lesion in their brain repaired.

The use of medicine to treat a psychological problem is indicitive of their nature. Anti-depressents are not prescribed as if there will be a time they have "cured" depression. While each person is going to require a unique medication regiment, these regiments are not designed with an end point where the patient is said to be cured of their depression.



Both anorexia and OCD patients, when speaking with long time sufferers and people who have been on any medication you can imagine, will tell you that there is no "cure" to their condition.

This is especially true of anorexia and other eating disorders. It really surprises me that you would use them as an example here, as it is pretty much consistently documented that people with these conditions have body and self worth issues underlying their approach to eating that, even when they feel better about themselves, is a constant struggle for their entire lives.



you can learn ways of not behaving in socially unacceptable ways.

you cannot "overcome" anger. That statement makes little to no sense the more specifically it is applied to information processing in the brain.



I'm not suggesting anything. I'd like you to prove that there are medical CURES to depression.

However, just as the caveat, something is not "cured" if you must take a regiment of medication for the rest of your life.
So you're saying there's no cure for depression? So if someone is depressed they will always be depressed? Even though theres people who have had bouts of depression, took medicine, went to therapy, and now live lives free of depression, you're saying that doesn't happen? If you honestly think that then there's no reasoning with you because you must live in your own imaginary world.

inimalist
Originally posted by LDHZenkai
So you're saying there's no cure for depression? So if someone is depressed they will always be depressed? Even though theres people who have had bouts of depression, took medicine, went to therapy, and now live lives free of depression, you're saying that doesn't happen?

could you show me a case of what you are talking about so that I can explain it in a different way

clearly I'm failing to convey this to you

to quickly address what you are talking about above, there are differences between clinical depression and being depressed. On is a psychological condition, the other is a natural part of human life. If a person suffers "bouts" of depression and is able to use therapy and medicine (I'd almost have to assume behavioural modification as well) so that they no longer suffer, it is more likely the latter than the former. Especially if you are talking about a circumstance where the person no longer is on a medication regiment.

Originally posted by LDHZenkai
If you honestly think that then there's no reasoning with you because you must live in your own imaginary world.

considering the terrible quality of your contributions to this site, I'd be very careful about who you accuse of living in an imaginary world or being unreasonable. Your above post is certainly not informed enough to give the impression you might know more than me about this, nor is your position very nuanced in its conception of mental disability.

Why not speak nicely? Acting like a condescending teenager does not make you look as smart as you think you are.

FistOfThe North
"The darkest souls are not those which choose to exist within the hell of the abyss, but those which choose to break free from the abyss and move silently amoung us."

-- Dr. Samuel Loomis

Cost Mic.
Could they be born both?

Placidity
Evil. People are always trying to be good. You don't need to try to do bad.

deej
People are born into a society that is riddled with the public deeds of both good and evil. I believe that every little experience in a persons life alters the outcome of the future, no matter how small or insignificant. People are born innocent and clean and are neutral to their surroundings. However, they are a sponge and depending on what they are fated to be exposed to will determine the nature of their persona. Having said this, I also believe there is a balance in the world and for every good deed done, a negative one must happen. Without this balance we could not exist as a society. Human nature is to strive for the better, to gain control and to archive through suffering and perseverance. How would this be possible in a world of only good? Lastly I would like to ask the definition of an evil person. How many wrong doings puts a person into this category and how can we justify judging them. Only when we know their motives and life experiences can we know what they chose to be evil...

Ace of Knaves
The definition of evil, as I have most commonly seen it exercised by pundants, politicians and the media, is when a person thinks, believes or acts contrary to the beliefs of the person making the assesment. Being an American I'll proceed from the typical views expressed by many Americans. Politicians and religious leaders make haste in using the term evil to describe many people who operate without considering how it will effect American interests. Many Americans call "the terrorists" evil because they "want to destroy America and our way of life". However, in justifying our own actions in response to their actions, we bomb a village and kill 130 innocent civilians. To the families of those people, America has just commited an act of evil. This leads many of them to become "terrorists" because they see our action as evil. To us, they are "terrorists" because they're evil and want to take our freedom, with little consideration of how our actions motivated them. Evil as it is used by most people is often the end result of an entire series of wrongs inflicted on both sides by the other. Evil as it's used in common language is a term to describe anyone that doesn't believe exactly the same as the person pointing the finger. Jesus got this when he talked about casting the first stone. (Although he had a religious overtone to the point he was making) Ghandi too, with his eye for an eye comments.

If I had to personally define evil, the only term I could use to describe it would be total apathy; not caring how our actions effect others or how our lack of action allows others to be harmed.

deej
Originally posted by Ace of Knaves
The definition of evil, as I have most commonly seen it exercised by pundants, politicians and the media, is when a person thinks, believes or acts contrary to the beliefs of the person making the assesment. Being an American I'll proceed from the typical views expressed by many Americans. Politicians and religious leaders make haste in using the term evil to describe many people who operate without considering how it will effect American interests. Many Americans call "the terrorists" evil because they "want to destroy America and our way of life". However, in justifying our own actions in response to their actions, we bomb a village and kill 130 innocent civilians. To the families of those people, America has just commited an act of evil. This leads many of them to become "terrorists" because they see our action as evil. To us, they are "terrorists" because they're evil and want to take our freedom, with little consideration of how our actions motivated them. Evil as it is used by most people is often the end result of an entire series of wrongs inflicted on both sides by the other. Evil as it's used in common language is a term to describe anyone that doesn't believe exactly the same as the person pointing the finger. Jesus got this when he talked about casting the first stone. (Although he had a religious overtone to the point he was making) Ghandi too, with his eye for an eye comments.

If I had to personally define evil, the only term I could use to describe it would be total apathy; not caring how our actions effect others or how our lack of action allows others to be harmed.



Nicely put wink

CATMANEXE
ez. by the textbook definition, yes. we are "born" evil. how many 1-3 year olds do you see practicing control and strong moral fiber? none of course. but we dont mind so its not a bad thing. then they grow and screw up alot but everyone tries to fit into some form of what they perceive as right, even self-proclaimed even if unaware. the adulthood version of evil however. very lost. people say others are evil out of fear and their own weakness when theyre older.
but born, yeah. or as a differant perspective might put it being natural, because lets face it, trying to become something is only fleeing from who you are to who you are not.

Laura Palmer
Um, neither? People do not born good or evil, it's the society and life experiences which form their personality.

The Dark Cloud
Good? Evil? i don't know. I do think people are born greedy, meaning they want far more from the world than they...ok we, actually need.

ADarksideJedi
I believe that everyone is born good it is later in life when we choose to be good or evil by what we do or plan.

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