people: Good or Evil?

so……..more philosophy from me, myself and I………..olGs

basically all the crap I end up writing about philosophically comes from my philosophy class as it is highly amusing and educational, therefore I would like to thank my awesome teacher …..Mr. B……. cuz he’s AWeSome!

alright, back to the point. As the title suggests, the topic of discussion as of right now is of the origin of human beings. All religious beliefs aside, and judging just from experiences with people, and the very complex human nature , the question remains…

 Are people born good and become evil or BAD through corruption of our messed up society, or are we born BAD or EEEVIIILLL, and must learn and be taught to be good by manners and society?

Maybe the answer is obvious to you when you first read the question, as it was to me, but after a while of researching the different points of views of the equally important yet opposite philosophers, you tend to become more and more confused because both sides have extremely amazing points. Someone like Thomas Hobbes (http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/hobbes.html) who is a true materialist and believes that humans live by animal instincts, and cannot help being EVIL and selfish can be found to be extremely logical by many materialists who think we depend on our raw, dog-like instincts. Then there’s Joseph Butler who opposes this by saying that self-interest and self-love is normal to our nature, and human nature includes benevolence (the desire to do good). Wheras someone like Plato has a bit of both in him and HE reallly seems to make sense as well. He said that there’s two separate parts to our nature, reason and desire. Desire is our impulses and can evoke aggressiveness which may in turn lead to evil. However, through reason we have the power to control those apetites and impulses because our ability to reason and make choices sets us apart from all other beings (animals). One of his more wellknown spiritual beliefs however is that the purpose or destiny of the soul is to be free from our body and eventually ascend to heaven. He’s awesome because in his mind, he somehow incorporated the MAKING DECISIONS part which is NOT a part of religion at all (God controls us), and mixed it up with soul and heaven which is just a nice little melange! 

               

Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) disputing human nature (heaven vs knowledge and experience)….painting by Raphael

So…..what do we believe? In order to attempt to answer this question, each in our own way, we have watched  the movie City of God which demonstrates the principles of good and evil in humans quite effectively and really makes you think. Is human nature really only depended on nature vs nurture, or is there so much more to it than that? It’s really an incredible movie with intense cinematography. Check it out http://www.miramax.com/cityofgod/

                

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5 Responses to “people: Good or Evil?”


  1. 1 happyatom November 7, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    This kinda sounds like nature vs. nurture debate, and let me tell you, people have some surprisingly strong opinions.. I usually vote nurture. Some people are assholes just because they weren’t raised right.

  2. 2 olgaolgaolga November 7, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    lol umm..i dont think they two are at oppsite ends, nor are they the only two possibilities…

    choice is something completely irrelevant to nurture or nature

  3. 3 sosiska November 7, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    meh honestly i think its nature,
    my mom raised me very well, never taught me to yell or nething, but my dad whos an idiot and doesnt even live with me, like i can see the same traits within us both, like i fully have half his personality, so i think its more nature,

  4. 4 happyatom November 7, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    In that case, do you think that you can’t change? That you’ll always have half of his personality?

  5. 5 olgaolgaolga November 7, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    why is it then that brothers and sisters of the same family raised the same way may turn out to be completely different individuals, one in jail, the other a harvard law student? anything is possible


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