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> *Originally posted by **[Terence22205](/forums/9/topics/313676?page=1#posts-6617547):***
> Each defined by its characteristics.
> The clear definition of what you believe is ‘good’ or ‘evil’ is solely your own.
Then I’ll define “good” as “owning a puppy” and “evil” as “enjoying sleep.” Therefore, human nature is primarily evil, though some people are good in addition to being evil.
> *Originally posted by **[Terence22205](/forums/9/topics/313676?page=1#posts-6618948):***
> This is going nowhere.
So give us better definitions to work with.
well your asking us to skip a step. definitions of good and evil is a seperate question from human nature. this is a discussion forum, not a listing forum, but in order to have a discussion we need better parameters.
this is too vague and our responses would have too little common ground to form a discussion.
also it’s not good form to beg us to start a discussion on your prefered topic. why don’t you start?
I have to put a lot of effort into being an optimist. In the wild, animals fight, animals steal, animals deceive, and the list goes on. But every once in a while I see an evil in humanity that shakes my upward looking perspective. There are some crimes committed by humans against each other and themselves that seem to go beyond natural human instinctive behavior.
I don’t know if we are innately good or evil, but I do believe that there are forces at work among and within us that enable us to be more noble, or more vicious, than what comes naturally to our species.
I’d say by nature we’re relatively evil. Think about it, did you take candy/toys/snacks/whatever from your peers when you were a small child? You wanted it, you took it (or tried to, anyway), you didn’t think anything of the other kid’s “feelings” about losing their candy. Gradually, as you grew older, you hopefully learned to share with others, most likely through punishment/praise.
> *Originally posted by **[onlineidiot1994](/forums/9/topics/313676?page=1#posts-6621981):***
> I’d say by nature we’re relatively evil. Think about it, did you take candy/toys/snacks/whatever from your peers when you were a small child? You wanted it, you took it (or tried to, anyway), you didn’t think anything of the other kid’s “feelings” about losing their candy. Gradually, as you grew older, you hopefully learned to share with others, most likely through punishment/praise.
Egocentrism is a psychological tenet that holds that children have not developed cognitively to be aware that others have their own perceptions.
Thus, they can not comprehend that the other child has their own perception and feelings about the toy; they can only understand that they want the toy.
Furthermore, a child lacks abstract reasoning. Just because we’re capable of reasoning does’t mean that the children are.
So how would they intentionally be good or evil if they don’t even know what they are.
What rights do we have to decide how others live?
What rights do we have to judge others?
What rights do we have to force our belief onto others?
By saying these, I’m being a hypocrite, and so is the millions of others who have thought this. And by doing the above, you are being hard on others.
I’ve just described humanity.
If you feel that being hypocritical is evil, then everybody is evil. Otherwise, a large portion are evil.
Personal- Most of us are just racist, judge others, and force our belief into others (good point zAstonish)
In nature, I agree we are slowly destroying it, and people don’t even know it.
Define good and evil. I got confused back there
**Mostly Good** -people hold on to morale values passed on by their prior generations. You cannot imply that everybody is evil because mankind has a tendency to uphold morale values before undergoing wicked or evil deeds.
Well, both. But the evil lies primarily in conditioning that occurs to the mind (although the mind’s inherent “ability to be conditioned” is what allows this), whereas I believe the good is more inherent (i.e. get rid of conditioning and you are left with goodness).
There’s rarely a actual caring, generous or giving person out there.
If it doesn’t benefit them, or make them feel good(benefiting them), almost no one cares.
Rights are based on general views.
Even if we should logically give someone rights if we give these people rights, we don’t.
Rights are only fighted for if they’re your rights.
If they don’t help or benefit you in a way, you won’t fight for me.
This is related to the first example.
We will kill anything or destroy anything for our gain.
Even if we like it, if it gives us a small temporary non-needed gain, we’ll destroy/kill it for it.
Even advocates or “organizations” follow these almost completely.
I can’t think of a single “Good” feature we have as a species. We’re the flu that this planet was unfortunate enough to catch.
* * *
We are basically the species that they describe in alien movies.
Everything that they usually show in those videos, we do or would do.
If there was an earthquake, and this old man who has been kind to you at least once had a really cool 2013 car was injured, would you help the old man or steal his car?
Providing the fact that you could get away with anything at that moment.
In the end, its just a _car_
We’re really neither, if you consider the facts. We are essentially preprogrammed quasi-automatons who act and react on impulses of instinctual mechanisms. We don’t choose what we want or don’t want; we do not possess authority over the prioritization of our apprehension. reality has always been a naturalistic broil of coincidental variables and our evolutionary integration is the result of our survival. our circuitry has been so routed and wired that what we do is not something of our choice, but occurs owing to external influences. just my 2 cents.
disclaimer: horrible grammar is due to lack of time; will rectify if necessary
I personally feel that while an individual can be conditioned to perform both evil and good, a person is naturally neutral.
I feel that a person’s action is mainly to satisfy their needs. While being self serving and selfish is portrayed as a negative trait, I find that it is more of a neutral one. How an individuals nature will satisfy their neutral needs determines the individuals nature as either good or evil. I feel it is unlikely for a human to perform actions solely to be evil, nor is it reasonable to believe that an individual is truly altruistic and demands nothing. Whether it’s robbing a person or helping an old lady cross the street, we’re expecting some form of reward whether it’s material or to better our reputation in order to benefit our own position.
> *Originally posted by **[simeng](/forums/9/topics/313676?page=1#posts-6639148):***
> We’re really neither, if you consider the facts. We are essentially preprogrammed quasi-automatons who act and react on impulses of instinctual mechanisms. We don’t choose what we want or don’t want; we do not possess authority over the prioritization of our apprehension. reality has always been a naturalistic broil of coincidental variables and our evolutionary integration is the result of our survival. our circuitry has been so routed and wired that what we do is not something of our choice, but occurs owing to external influences. just my 2 cents.
> disclaimer: horrible grammar is due to lack of time; will rectify if necessary
This reminds me of Sam Harris’ book “Free Will” where he attempts to prove that free will is self-deception and an illusion, and that people and their actions are nothing but DNA, chemical reactions, and colliding atoms within us. He makes a brutal bifurcation (pg 42 if memory serves right) that we are ether not responsible for our actions, or we are not responsible for our actions (highly logical right?), my huge issue with this view\ your view is that it absolves all responsibility for actions.
If you openly accept that there really is no absolute moral law and that our actions are just chemical reactions inside of us that are unchangeable, then you must openly accept that the Holocaust, Inquisition, and child molestation are all not the least bit evil. After all the responsible forces of the latter are not really responsible since they were doing what their DNA told them too.
And if a man came to your house and killed your family, you have no right to be mad because maybe he thought that it was a good thing for him to do, and it would be mighty intolerant of you to say that he is wrong because ultimately, he did what he thought was right and he had no choice because it’s what the chemicals in his body made him do.
This whole, “you can’t define good or bad” stems from postmodernist relativism, which fails to even meet the most basic logical laws of philosophy (the most serious offense being that disregard of the law of non-contraction).
For example to state that there is no absolute truth is an absolute statement.
To state that that good and evil are completely subjective and cannot be objectively defined is self defeating. Because your assertion is objective in nature. But what if I say that your statement is a lie and that there is an absolute morality caused by a transcendent cause?
Can both conflicting statements be be true at the same time in the same sense?
Some could respond “what’s true for me is true for me, and what’s true for you is true for you”
But what if my truth says your truth is a lie?
If logical integrity is to be preserved then 2 conflicting statements cannot be both true at the same time and in the same sense.
> *Originally posted by **[jjuanksta](/forums/9/topics/313676?page=1#posts-6646873):***
> He makes a brutal bifurcation (pg 42 if memory serves right) that we are ether not responsible for our actions, or we are not responsible for our actions (highly logical right?), my huge issue with this view\ your view is that it absolves all responsibility for actions.
This happens to be true, but its rather more complex than that. Rather our conscious minds are not responsible for the vast majority of our actions. However, our subconscious ones are. They precede the conscious brain in making decisions we then ‘decide’ to make, by as much as [ten seconds](http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080411/full/news.2008.751.html).
However, we can still be punished for these actions, as they are outside of what the society we exist in, deems acceptable. Whether we are punished or not, depends on the action, and the set of morals that particular society follows. There’s no such thing as ‘evil’, but there is such a thing as ‘undesirable to society’.
Regardless of whether or not you made the decision, your _brain_ still did, and it is that brain which has to be reconditioned if you are to fit into society properly.