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Are people essentially good or are they evil?

  1. Ancient Wisdom profile image60
    Ancient Wisdomposted 7 years ago

    Are people essentially good but turned bad by the world around them or are they essentially evil and wild, kept in check by law and social norms?

    1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image60
      SomewayOuttaHereposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      hopefully good and wild and very few are truly evil.  don't believe good people are good because of laws and social norms - just naturally good.  wouldn't want to think i'm a good person because someone put a law in place to ensure that. smile

    2. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      good and evil merely projections of levels of knowing.

      Knowing consequences, knowing effects, future effects, seeing deeply, seeing positive outcome--good.

      Not understanding, not knowing negative effects on self, on others, shallowness of understanding--
      evil.

      good and evil are two extreme states of awareness.

    3. prettydarkhorse profile image64
      prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      people are essentially good specially if they are raised nicely in a loving environment

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        people who are raised in a nice loving environment are happy.

        but they can still choose to act evil if they don't understand things and consequences. A man born and raised in a loving family shot all his children when he lost his job. He did not know what to do, so he killed himself and his family. Evil.

        1. mrpopo profile image88
          mrpopoposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Are you saying that man will go to Hell for not knowing what to do in a situation? Or did you change the traditional definition of evil?

    4. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Humans are born with the potential for either good or evil.
      Yes, they're kept in check by law and social norms.
      What they SHOULD be kept in check by is----their consciences;  but many don't wanna abide by that little ol' thing......

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        what conscience says is...this will have a bad outcome in the future. and people, acting on fear and distrust of that knowledge ignore it for immediate relief.

        they don't know that conscience knows what's best.

    5. Sab Oh profile image60
      Sab Ohposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      "Are people essentially good but turned bad by the world around them or are they essentially evil and wild, kept in check by law and social norms?"


      Yes

    6. profile image68
      paarsurreyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      One should not have a Sketpic approach; and hence one should think everybody to be good unless one proves to be bad. People are essentially good.

      Thanks

      I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

    7. Ben Evans profile image75
      Ben Evansposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      This is unfortunately getting very philosophical and opinionated.  Morality is defined by society yet there are many acts that would be considered inherently evil or good.  Unfortunately the question, "Are people good or evil" creates an  argument where two sides will diverge and the argument will go on forever.

      Lets rephrase the question.........Do we have free will or are we socialized?

      This is a discussion that goes on in the student union building at every college and university.  Psychology 101 and Philosophy 101 spark this amazing discussion.

      It is an age old argument and no one wins.  The more you ponder it the more you will torture your mind.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        well, forums are there to discuss age old questions. and look at the amount of attention it inspired.

        I agree with you though in what it is really asking.

        1. Ben Evans profile image75
          Ben Evansposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Okay, that is fair.

          All the threads are getting interesting.  I will just observe.

    8. goldenpath profile image82
      goldenpathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Good!  We are born into this world because of our valiance proven in the presence of the Father.  We are born pure and not with "original sin."  We come here to gain a body and work out our eternal life.  Part of that, though, is to endure the temptations and darts of the adversary while in mortality.

    9. tony0724 profile image60
      tony0724posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I still believe people are basically good. Except for politicians. Because whenever calamity hits people , it seems everyone rallies around one another with common purpose of taking care of each other. That is goodness in action.

    10. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      neither - people continually become - an 'evil' person can love another person just as a person who is not 'evil' can hate someone... we move between degrees of good and wrong depending on the world around us and how we perceive the terms of the question...

  2. leeberttea profile image62
    leebertteaposted 7 years ago

    I think people are like all the rest of the animals that share our planet. We are programed to survive. Sometimes that drive is at the expense of another, perhaps in a weakened state or position, but for the most part people are essentially good.

    1. pisean282311 profile image57
      pisean282311posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      i agree with lee..

    2. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with leeberttea

  3. Cagsil profile image60
    Cagsilposted 7 years ago

    People are good, many who lack much knowledge and understanding of life, therefore the influences of what the world brings to the table, is in some cases, too much for them to handle.

    If you want the best example- a baby is good, innocent and pure.

    It isn't till it learns of it's own existence, is able to understand it's awareness and make willful/knowing decision, for which, they are judged by others for their actions.

    Baby, child, teenager are all learning stages, detrimental to the goodness of a person. Everything learned from those stages are brought forth into adulthood, which comes with complete self control and self responsibility.

    Therefore, I must conclude that human beings are born good.

    1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image60
      SomewayOuttaHereposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      good answer...

      1. Cagsil profile image60
        Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Thank you. smile

      2. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        people are not born good or evil. good and evil necessitates deliberate choice of action. when a child chooses to hit a sister, she/he is not evil. she does not know what she's doing. she's frustrated but does not know what to do about it.  when she is 15 and she hits her sister again, she is behaving badly to vent her frustration. When she is 24 and she hits her sister again, that choice is evil. Because by now, she should know how to handle her own anger and frustration.

        This 15 year old who sold her 8 year old sister to 5 men who raped her sister is considered evil. She also prostitutes herself years before that. But is she evil? Why is she in charge of her 8 year old sister? Where is the mother? Where is the father?  Good and Evil are intimately linked to awareness.   Children, much less babies are neither born good nor evil. They are just born.

  4. Pandoras Box profile image82
    Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago

    Define good. I think you'll find that most people qualify.

  5. profile image61
    khopkins75posted 7 years ago

    I like to think of myself as a good person. I couldn't hurt a person or animal. I do every thing I can to help others but it has nothing to do with laws. I don't always agree with the laws. I am one that I don't like to be told what to do, but I don't get violent over it, I just don't do it. But even though I am a mild manner person I think everyone has a breaking point. If someone hurt one of my children, then yeah I would act quickly and irrationally, but most mothers would. That doesn't make me evil. I have read and watched things on television and they say that some people are born different and it automatically determines if they are going to be serial killers. I think if I polluted my mind with evil things then I could possibly turn evil, just like certain games can influence children. We have a choice. I choose to be surrounded by good.

    1. Sab Oh profile image60
      Sab Ohposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      " I couldn't hurt a person or animal."

      Yes you could

  6. Robert A. Harris profile image61
    Robert A. Harrisposted 7 years ago

    I believe everyone is good, but someone's perception and desire can drive them into doing things that are honest and noble or downright dishonest and evil.

  7. Greek One profile image79
    Greek Oneposted 7 years ago

    It really all depends on whether they agree with my forum posts or not

  8. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    A person who is raised in an evil environment can begin to understand what's going on and choose to be do good.

  9. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    To be good, one must choose to be good each day. It is not an inheritance but a task to be done.
    People are the venues for this choice. We are good and evil through the power of our choice.

    I guess what I'm saying is, by virtue or our ability to choose to do good, we CAN have the ability to be good.

    Good is an ability to act on awareness.

  10. Ancient Wisdom profile image60
    Ancient Wisdomposted 7 years ago

    this conversation is getting really interesting. i didnt expect so many good ideas in response. pandora's box asked 'define good'. hehe. its a really elusive term and hard to define. but as she mentioned, i also believe that most people would qualify for good. however, its a shame that the world today is being run by 'not good' people who thrive on other's misery and promote war.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      not many people know how to solve that scale of human problems.

      1. Ancient Wisdom profile image60
        Ancient Wisdomposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        you are right and the usefulness of discussing high ideals and reforms is debatable in public forums. but where i live, the world around me has been changing in such ways that i was forced to think again about the inherent nature of man.

        1. profile image0
          Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Where do you live?

          The world around me isn't changing, really;  it's mostly reverting back to uncivilized ways! (and all under the guise OF civilization).
          There is nothing new under the sun...

          1. Ancient Wisdom profile image60
            Ancient Wisdomposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            you've rightly mentioned 'conscience'. if only people would abide by that lil ol thing. people will avoid what's conscientious thinking its difficult but if only they would try and see how easy things would start to be once they start on that path.

        2. ceciliabeltran profile image84
          ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          people are afraid of change, and so when fear takes over, they cannot think. They just act in ways that they perceive will drive away the change, creating deeper and deeper chaos and ignorance.

          In moments of change, it only takes one to perceive the direction it is going and to find the possibilities of new harmonies to take place. It only takes one who can see past the change and the way forward can lead others to organize action for a deliberate movement towards good.  ONE WHO KNOWS and who speaks his mind in the language of others can lead the way forward towards good.

  11. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    awareness creates good.

    ignorance creates evil.

    1. Sab Oh profile image60
      Sab Ohposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      That's liberal bull-poop

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        judging something you don't understand produces evil.

        evil is caused by ignorance.

        1. Sab Oh profile image60
          Sab Ohposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Wrong. Evil can only be caused by choice

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
            ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            and the ignorant choice produces evil.

            1. Sab Oh profile image60
              Sab Ohposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              That makes no sense

              1. profile image0
                pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                Sab on,

                Perhaps what Cecilia Beltran says makes no sense to you...

                I find a deal of good sense in what she says...

      2. profile image0
        pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Sab on

        Rather than liberal bull-poop, do you prefer illiberal rhetoric?

    2. rebekahELLE profile image90
      rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      not necessarily.

      awareness doesn't create. someone with good or evil intentions can be extremely aware and act accordingly.

      ignorance is not a curse. it's lack of instruction. an ignorant person can certainly be good. sometimes more instruction and knowledge makes way for evil ideas to be born.

    3. Pandoras Box profile image82
      Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Not true, so much.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        lol love it! lol But gotta go Pandora, maybe next time. lol

  12. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    I think people are born good.  Some are turned evil if they aren't raised with the right kind of loving environment.  (Even some who are raised in bad environments end up being good, probably because most people's natural, good, nature often can/does overcome bad upbringing.)  People are good by Nature don't need to be kept in check by anything, because they don't have the wish/urge to do anything evil.

    Good people mess up sometimes, and sometimes they hurt someone without intending to; but messing up isn't evil (as far as having an evil nature goes).

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      i see now that most people think people are born anything. good is choice regardless of how you're raised.

  13. Cagsil profile image60
    Cagsilposted 7 years ago

    Is the birth of child seen as a good thing? And, if so, then why cannot a baby/infant/child be considered good? hmm



    Edit: except in certain circumstances, upon how the child came about(i.e., rape).

    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      They ARE good and should be considered "good" until the time of their accountability.

      1. Cagsil profile image60
        Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Accountability? and WHO decided when that is to start? Just curious.

        1. profile image0
          Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I believe God decides that.
          And a parent can usually tell as well.
          Children reach a time when they can sort out right from wrong and can make a conscious choice between those.

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
            ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            "G-d" decided to close the fontanel at seventeen. when the brain has achieved full maturity.

            at the age of 17, you are fully equipped to understand the consequences of your choices.

            1. rebekahELLE profile image90
              rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              that is not accurate. the brain is still developing cognitively  until the age of 24-25.

              1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
                ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                the brain is still developing until you die because it is plastic. But the skull closes at this age.

                1. rebekahELLE profile image90
                  rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  your statement is misleading and not accurate. a teen brain does not reach full maturity at the age of 17.

                  1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
                    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    it does not reach full maturity at 17, but the skull size closes at this age and does not grow anymore, my dear.

                  2. ceciliabeltran profile image84
                    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    The point of what I was saying is, there really is a certain human readiness to discern choice.

                    Now aptitude to discern choice is another matter. Most of the time, you have to know the circumstances that a 17 year old person is born into. As an educator, you probably know that you cannot judge a student. Students come with histories.

                    I understand your concern though. The implication of punishing 17 year olds are scary at best.

                    But then, I was not talking of punishment. I was shifting Brenda's "G-D" decides to brain size.

                    Letting "GOD" decide on when is a scary prospect because people have very varied opinions on what "G-D" wants.

                2. TLMinut profile image60
                  TLMinutposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  This is the approximate age (mid 20's) when the parts of the brain involved in judgment are fully developed and "online" for use. It's hard to not punish a 17 year old for poor judgment but it's true that they really aren't physically capable at that age. It's still punishment and fear of getting caught that is the consideration at that age mostly.

                  1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
                    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    I mean, at 17 I was still watching cartoons, still avoiding responsibility. But I wanted to buy new shoes and my mom left her wallet with a wad of cash. I knew she would get mad me if I got it, didn't care,  bought it. what i didn't know was, that money was for my grand mother who was sick in the hospital.

                    I was ignorant.

    2. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      the BIRTH of a child is a good thing, because it is an event that changes people's lives for the better. A child's birth is a signal of a couple being a family. Future laughter, a new person is a happy thing.

      The baby is a symbol of possibilities of good. the child is neither good nor bad. the child is a child with both capacities for good or evil.

      1. Sab Oh profile image60
        Sab Ohposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        So...deliberately preventing that birth would be a bad thing, right?

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
          ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          "bad"?

          it is ignorant.

          on the one hand, if the birth of the child will cause his death and his mother's, is it bad to prevent his birth?

          1. Sab Oh profile image60
            Sab Ohposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            ""bad"?

            it is ignorant."


            It is a question. Answer it.

            1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
              ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              people are not good or evil.

              they choose good or evil.

              1. Sab Oh profile image60
                Sab Ohposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                Deleted

                1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
                  ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  your question is (pardon me) a little ignorant of what good and bad is.

                  1. Sab Oh profile image60
                    Sab Ohposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    roll

      2. Lisa HW profile image83
        Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I think a newborn child is nothing but "good and pure" - plain and simple.  I don't see "capacities for good or evil".   I see it more as "naturally good with the possibility of being turned evil" (with evil essentially going against what's natural and normal for human beings).

        I disagree with those who say being good is a choice.  I think the choice can be regarding right-or-wrong on a lot of matters ("Should I be bothered returning this item that got in with my groceries by mistake?").  Even with something like that, people's good nature often means they don't think twice about doing the right thing.  I can imagine some elderly lady discovering she got someone else's groceries after getting home, feeling like it would be a big deal to get herself back to the store, and deciding not to bother - and although that might be technically "wrong", I wouldn't consider it "evil".

        A lot of things involving right-versus-wrong (in terms of laws or the "moral" thing) aren't always clear-cut matters of good and evil.  Even with the law, intent factors in and sometimes creates a grayer area.

        Separate from that, though, there are also (other) clear-cut matters of good-versus-evil, with a bar-of-evil deeds that good people wouldn't even have the urge to cross.  There's no having to decide, and not even any question about deciding, whatsoever.

        I guess my point is that a whole lot of "wrong" isn't necessarily "evil".

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
          ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          you are right in many points. The problem of this discussion is that good and evil is not understood.

          good is the absence of evil and evil is the absence of good.
          they are twins.

          when there is evil, that means good is called for.
          when there is good, it invites evil.

          good times are followed by bad times and then by good.

          presence, absence.
          light dark
          knowing ignorance.
          awareness, blindness.

  14. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    a 22 year old decides to shack up with a seventeen year old in a cottage for two weeks. gets pregnant and decides to have an abortion. her reason: her mother and father are alcoholics. she has "a shitty" family.

    sounds logical if you're not so aware.

    But, what she is ignorant about is this. The potential of a child to change people. That child could have been her new family, who is not shitty but loving, understanding and fun. It could have made her a single mom. But potentially a single happy mom.

    The child could have done well in school, made her proud. The child could have given her focus and a reason to live. The child could have invited so many good things to come.

    But she killed the child. She killed the possibility for a lifetime of good. She is ignorant and her choice was evil.

    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yes.  Good illustration.

    2. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Another way to look at that example, though, is that not having the abortion for the reasons you mentioned would have been about what the child could have offered her (a selfish motive).

      One could say that this girl knew she, herself, could not offer her child what s/he would have needed to grow up happy and whole.  One could argue that she believed there are worse things in life than not being allowed to continue to grow into a complete, viable, person.  What we don't know from this example is whether this young woman struggled with thoughts about possibly raising a child who would come into this world unwanted and who would grow up mentally tormented by having a mother who wasn't able to nurture him/her the right way.

      Then, too, there's the matter of whether this person could just, without struggle, cavalierly have an abortion; in which case, one might ask if (even if she didn't intend for it to be this way) she had unwittingly acted mercifully, in view of the fact that she lacked regard for the fetus to the point where she would make a painfully horrible mother to the child.

      I'm not "some big advocate" for abortion, but I don't think it's as simple as saying her choice to have the abortion was "out-and-out evil".

      I ,personally, see abortions past a certain point in pregnancy (when the fetus has become better developed than, say, in the first couple of months) as a different matter than an early abortion.

      Even as opposed to later abortions as I am, I'd have to say I don't see it as "killing the possibility of a lifetime of good".  I see abortion, plain and simple, as "killing a fetus". Generally, I see killing as wrong (and often out of evil motives/nature).  I think, though, there are times when killing is the "lesser of two evils" , and some choices to kill don't always come from evil motives in the killer. That gets into the "merciful-killing" thing, and whether that's evil or not depends on someone's values/beliefs.

      It also gets into whether someone commits evil versus whether s/he is evil by nature (which was the original question here).

      I was in a car accident in which my-20-year-old girlfriend was killed when a drunk, speeding, young-woman came flying out of the "lounge" she'd spent Friday night in and hit us head-on at about 70 miles an hour.  It was, in my opinion, evil that she risked someone else's life by drinking, speeding, and driving.  She was stupid and apparently either didn't think or else didn't think it would happen to her.  Still, this young woman did not intend to kill; and I have to say I don't think she was/is an evil person by nature.  (Something else:  I had another friend who had an abortion at six weeks along.  Who was more evil - my friend who didn't let her fetus grow beyond six weeks, or the drunk driver who took away the daughter/sister/friend of people who loved my girlfriend, and who robbed this 20-year-old of 60 or 70 years of future?)

      Good people can commit evil, but there's a difference between evil commited from an evil nature and evil committed with intent.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        That is just my point. "An evil nature" does not exist. It is always choice. You choose your nature. Your nature is the product of habitual choice regardless of genes and environment.

        In your contention,all of her reasons are born out of fear. Fear of what she does not know. She does not know what she can do. She does not know that she is fully able to CHOOSE to raise this child well. She does not know the she can CHOOSE to put her up for adoption to a family she will CHOOSE.

        That abortion ended a life that is not hers to end. The child did not have the choice to live because she chose it for him. Why else would a fetus avoid destruction inside the womb if it does not want to live?

        She chose to shack up in a cottage and had unprotected sex to a minor. She was ignorant of her own biological time of fertility and left it to chance. She was ignorant on what to do after she found out that she was pregnant. She was ignorant and so she chose poorly. She chose something that will scar her literally and psychologically for life. She is not evil, her intent is not evil. It is her choice that is.

    3. Pandoras Box profile image82
      Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Or not.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        or not, i agree. lol

  15. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    knowledge has nothing to do with awareness.

    if you are aware that you are going to do harm, you may not be aware that the harm you do to others will harm you. And so despite the fact that you are aware of consequences, you are NOT aware of how it will affect you.

    You are not aware. You are ignorant.

    While it is true that ignorance is not a curse. Good and Evil attributes are not set in stone. they flow with our choices.

    example:

    E=Mc squared.

    Energy = good
    Bomb = not good.

    one equation, two applications. which one did america choose?

  16. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    "WRONG?"

  17. TLMinut profile image60
    TLMinutposted 7 years ago

    QUOTE:
    People are good by Nature don't need to be kept in check by anything, because they don't have the wish/urge to do anything evil.
    ------------------
    Some children DO have such urges at an incredibly early age. My first son was born so unearthly good he didn't seem real. The second took diabolical pleasure in harm. I worried about them both - the first because how could he fit into this world and be safe? The second because he was 'born knowing', he was so aware. And seeing a diaper baby plotting harm to others, secretively carrying it out scared me half to death!

    Both are now basically 'normal' people.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I often wondered about this. I see this all the time, one born kind and gentle and one born naughty and devious.

      1. Lisa HW profile image83
        Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I don't really think it's a matter of one being born naughty.  There can be differences in how "feisty", active, or "demanding"  a child is; but I still don't think it's a matter of being "evil" by nature (as evidenced by the fact that both of  TL Minut's sons are now "normal" people).    First children often love pleasing their parents and don't have any "issues" with things like getting enough attention and/or being left to their own devices because parents are busy with older children.  Subsequent children are often influenced by older siblings, themselves; but even those with "good" older siblings can feel "looked down on" by an older sibling.  There's the factor that some younger siblings want to differentiate themselves by consciously deciding to be different from other siblings.  There are things like one child's seeming closer to one parent or the other, etc.  There can also be differences in what some kids are allowed to get away with or parents being seeming to always be tough on a kid with more of a "mind of his own".

        There's just a big mix of natures (all of which are essentially good) and a big mix of dynamics with regard to siblings and parents; I don't really think it's all about one child being "born to be naughty".

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
          ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          of course, some children are just perceived naughty because well they require more attention. of course, of course.

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
            ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            but there are really challenging children and makes you wonder what kind of soup they were swimming in inside the womb.

  18. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    nobody is wrong, you either have incomplete or more complete understanding. ignorance.

  19. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    many people do not understand good and evil.

    1. Southern_Smiley profile image60
      Southern_Smileyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      And you do?

      Good and evil cannot be defined by Noah Webster. It is a definition that each defines for him or herself. I do not want to have good and evil defined for me. I am intelligent enough to determine my beliefs on my own, thank you. What I might see as good, someone else might would see as evil (and vice-versa) because of differing belief systems.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        lol

        I just said what you said, it is relative.

      2. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I never said you didn't. smile

    2. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I don't understand evil - especially as the putative opposite of mere good. By all accounts evil is worse than bad, and bad I can understand as the opposite of good...I think good, bad, wrong, right, evil, are overused and not well understood

      At one time in European history every good man had slaves... now we think a man who keeps slaves 'evil' or just wrong, or bad... but it means social mores change over time

      But the way the word 'evil' gets bandied around it seems as if people think it has some unchanging universal meaning...

      Viva la difference

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        well ofcourse anything you discuss in one liners like "love your nieghbor as you love yourself" or the "I am in the Father and the Father is in me", these are all...you know oversimplification of things.

        to say that evil is the opposite of good seems simplistic but that's because you probably not focusing on what it implies. you don't see the roots, the large chunk of ice submerged underneath. it is an unemotional line that needs to be translated  in human terms instead of just universal terms.

        I will try.

        -x plus x = 0

        0 being the origin, the indeterminate existence (not nothing)

        when you create presence, you create a concept of its absence.
        you create its shadow.

        what this means is it is good that is creating evil. because with no knowledge of good, you will have no concept of evil.

        case in point.

        a child in the Philippines, about 5 years old lived in the mountains for so long, happy chasing dragonflies and eating frogs the family catches during the day. life is good, food, insects to chase...river. Suddenly he goes to the city and experiences tv, ice cream and big houses...what do you think he'd feel when he goes back to his frogs? You created a concept of abundance where none used to exist! with the good experience of abundance the child now knows the extent of his poverty.

        so morality, as in the case of women as sex slaves in some cultures. it has remained this way because they did not know any other life other than that. for them, you luck out when you marry a man at 8 who is able to feed you and only hit you once in a while. and then tv comes, american pre-teens worry only about hannah montana, they don't have to get married to smelly old 40 year olds and lo and behold there is such a thing as barbies!
        so the concept of presence of good made them recognize the evil of their lives.

        so when a concept of presence is taken away (forgotten), you return to the indeterminate state--innocence, where no good or evil exists.paradise. the state where good and evil are fuzzy things that don't play out in your consciousness. you are neither wave nor particle. unobserved, you are that thing in between.

        1. profile image0
          pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          ceciliabeltran

          Thank you for your labor. And I enjoy 'the state where good and evil are fuzzy'

          I hope such things 'don't play out in [my] consciousness'.

          And if that means I am 'neither wave nor particle', then I relish being 'unobserved... [and] that thing in between'...

  20. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    in between that is the human and through his perceptions and choices, he creates the world around him, he creates his life.

  21. andromida profile image75
    andromidaposted 7 years ago

    Nothing can make you evil,unless you choose to be so.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      agree

    2. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      But what does the word 'Evil' mean?

  22. Ajitan profile image60
    Ajitanposted 7 years ago

    This is an age old question which has many roots in the philosophers Hobbes and Locke. Locke believed people were born with a blank slate or tabula rasa. Hobbes believed on the other hand that people were naturally cruel. Hate to be a pessimist here, but i have to agree with Hobbes. I might be biased because of some of the cruelty i have seen, but that's my view.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hobbes is the earlier of the two.

      Our brains have the capacity for both so that means we have a choice.

      1. profile image0
        pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        How come our physical and social environments do not make an appearance in this thread?

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
          ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I'm not sure what you mean, but if you mean why are there ridiculously immature notions of good and evil in this thread, well because there are ridiculously immature people everywhere who are more interested in looking smart than actually learning or discussing things (to truly be smart).

          lol I usually avoid being like this, but then sometimes I actually enjoy it.

          1. profile image0
            pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            lollollollol

  23. Shil1978 profile image88
    Shil1978posted 7 years ago

    People do have a dark side. IMHO, I believe people are conditioned to be good, for the most part. There are always exceptions, but one can't run away from the fact that many "good people" have committed the worst atrocities in circumstances where societal norms have broken down, for whatever reason.

    Ask yourself this, if there were no rules, no laws - would people behave the same as they do under normal circumstances? The dark side in humans is controlled, suppressed. When these controls go - people can behave just as wild as some wild animals. While this is not a generalization, I believe one can't ignore this aspect as well!!

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      not really. this is HOBBES you are talking about.

      the human brain evolved to understand altruism, so the anatomy for it is there. lower brain is in charge of being wild and selfish, outer newer brain designed to facilitate heroic and selfless acts.
      in the middle is the limbic brain that chooses from the impulses of these two brains. if it listens to fears, it acts on reflex, if it rises above it, the new brain can compute long term consequences and higher good.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        the brain will not evolve to have the altruistic capacity if the animal ancestors did not begin to see the value of being "socially good". So no, we will not necessarily revert to wildness unless we choose to.

    2. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I still say that (as long as there isn't some brain damage or other factor that makes brain development go awry), people are born (without evil and good by nature) with brains that have the potential to develop/mature completely; and when all goes well, brains develop completely, people reach emotional maturity, and get to adulthood as good-by-nature people who don't have a dark side (unless you consider "dark" the capacity to get angry, but there's anger that's appropriate and anger that isn't, and I don't think appropriate, justified, anger on behalf of any innocent victim is a matter of a "dark side").

      Good people don't need laws to "keep them in line".  As far as the human species surviving because of seeing the value of being "socially good" goes, I think that's a chicken/egg thing.  The potential for the human brain to evolve and develop empathy was there, eventually that kind of brain development probably started taking place, and the people who had it were the ones more likely to survive.  Even if you go back to a less "intellectually refined" time (for humans), or if you think about the animal kingdom; that goes back to being wild and predatory (for food purposes), but not to be "evil" (as we define it). 

      Some of the rotten things that go in Nature aren't always pretty or nice, but they aren't "evil" .   Evil is exclusive to humans, who have developed to the point where the concept of evil exists when it comes to humans.  When animals kill it's because of, and in keeping with, Nature.  When humans are evil it's because something went awry in the individual development/maturity of the person.  In other words, when animals do something "rotten" it's because of Nature.  When humans are rotten it's an anomaly.

      1. profile image0
        pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Lisa HW

        IMO you undercut your argument.

        You mention the 'other factor' in brain development. The 'other factor' comes in two forms; the social and physical environments. They are present throughout the life of every human - from the moment of conception to the moment of death....

  24. secularist10 profile image90
    secularist10posted 7 years ago

    Humans have the ability to be both "good" or "evil"--it is wired into us. If humans were inherently good or evil, then one must explain why the very same society in one age is barbaric and savage, and in another age is humane and gentle.

    A good example of this might be the Nordic societies--barbaric in the Middle Ages, civilized today.

    Another is Germany: correctly characterized as "evil" during the Nazi period in the 1920s and 1930s, but today very peace-loving and tolerant.

    If someone were to look at Nazi Germany and conclude that German people were inherently evil, they must explain why Germans today--with little to no change in the genetic pool--are totally opposite.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      agree

  25. sagbee profile image60
    sagbeeposted 7 years ago

    People are not bad.. they are good but due to the atmosphere and their experiences they turn out to behave bad in any way... some people... but most of the people are good..

  26. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    people are funny.lol

    1. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      According to Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, an Australian rock band during the late-1960s

      'Some people I know are crazy...' big_smile

  27. SpanStar profile image60
    SpanStarposted 7 years ago

    I know it's not what we want to hear but starting from the time a child can begin to understand We Have To Teach Time How To Be Good- We Don't Have To Teach Them How To Be Bad.

    Parents have to teach kids how not to be selfish, not to beat up on their brothers or sisters.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      yep, but its up to them what they CHOOSE to learn. see, the filter of choice is in the head. you cannot make someone learn something, they choose to do so.

    2. TLMinut profile image60
      TLMinutposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I did NOT have to teach my first son to be good. I didn't have to teach him how to be kind or anything like that. I always believed that saying too, that we don't have to teach a child to misbehave but it's not always true.

      The second one was horrible from a young age, shocked me completely after the first one. But he was always sickly - if you're fighting for your life all the time, you probably wouldn't be very nice either.

    3. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Span Star

      Without a body of evidence you make a spurious argument...

  28. profile image0
    poetlorraineposted 7 years ago

    not meaning to be controversial or anything,  but lot's of people who do not have the best of up bringings, can turn out good...... they make a better time for their own children,it happens all the time.

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I think that goes back to the thing that most people are inherently good, and it takes a whole lot of damaging them/teaching them misguided stuff  (or else their being scared enough to do bad, as a lot of people in Nazi Germany were)  to turn them into human beings who do evil things.

  29. jkallgood profile image59
    jkallgoodposted 7 years ago

    People are EVIL.  If you were to remove the societal constraints of consequence then nothing would prevent anyone from doing what they desire.

    Babies are taught not to hit, to share, to be nice these are learned actions not instincts.  I realize people will say that babies are born pure and not of original sin, well there is a reason it's called original sin and not first sin, Eve committed the original sin.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      people are mirrors, you see who you are.

    2. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I didn't have to teach any of my three babies/young children not to hit.  They didn't hit.  Of course, I didn't hit them and "teach them to hit" - so none of them hit.  They were just naturally kind to the cat and dog.  I did have to teach them not to pick up the cat in a certain way when they were - like - two; but that wasn't out of their being mean or evil.  They just didn't know how to pick up a cat without hurting it at two years old.

      If babies weren't born with a natural tendency to be "good" I WOULD have had to teach them what you said.  (Just a note, one of mine children is adopted -so it wasn't a matter of "non-aggressive" genes "running in the family".)

      There's no doubt that there are a lot of evil people in existence (and always have been), but I don't think that's because the species is inherently evil.  I think it's because so many parents/societies still do such an inadequate job of not turning children into people who grow up to be rotten.

    3. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      jkallgood

      You say 'remove the societal constraints of consequence' and nothing stops 'anyone from doing what they desire'

      But no society exists without constraints. So you have no working model to support your claim... What you have is a conjecture...

      What is more, in capitalist societies we have constraints, but nothing prevents some people 'doing what they desire'. For instance, snuff-movies, crack-cocaine, and alcoholism...

      In fact, according to the rhetoric of capitalism a person with sufficient wealth can have his or her heart's desire...

      That seems to me to undermine what you say...

  30. profile image60
    foreignpressposted 7 years ago

    Without having read all the previous posts, I'll add that humans are governed by a primitive will to survive. This will has been tamed or suppressed to an extent. But we still need laws to keep our instincts to survive in check.
       That's why we have laws. But what if we didn't have laws? If there were no laws for hideous crimes would people at large maintain a social order? For awhile, I think. But ultimately that order would break down into a lawlessness and only the strong or the most corrupt would survive.
       I was in Corpus Christi, Texas, when Katrina was approaching. For awhile, it appeared the hurricane would hit Corpus head-on. I drove around the city which was a ghost town. But at an HEB supermarket frantic shoppers were fighting and scrambling for anything they could find. They were even taking things out of each other's shopping carts. But there was order of a sort, as the lines stretched to the back of the store as people patiently waited to pay.
       I've learned that the will to survive will always outweigh the conscience. I live life accordingly. Perhaps that's how we've survived as a species.

  31. qwark profile image60
    qwarkposted 7 years ago

    Good and evil?
    Those 2 terms are relative to and dependent upon the mores of "culture and societies.
    Man is not created as either.
    He is a product of his environmnent.
    In some cultures killing a girl child at birth is acceptable. In some cultures sex with a female child is expected.
    In some cultures a female should be stoned to death for committing adultery.
    What you may think is evil may be totally contrary to what evil is considered to be in in other cultures/societies.
    Man is just 'doing his thing" as he STRUGGLES thru the processes of natural selection and tries to survive as a member of a naturally created species of animal life.
    It's as simple as that.

  32. Glenn S. profile image58
    Glenn S.posted 7 years ago

    People are generally good.

  33. SpanStar profile image60
    SpanStarposted 7 years ago

    If Mankind Is Basically Good Then Why Do We Need:

    More polices
    More military soldiers
    More vice squads
    More prisons
    More weapons
    More tanks, fighter jets, battleships
    More bombs, more bullets
    More Locks on our doors and windows
    Alarms on our cars and our person
    Better ways for women to hold on to their handbags
    Having to lookout for pickpockets
    Knowing what to look for when walking alone.
    etc.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      we are protecting

      shopping without worry of getting bombed
      sending children to school where they learn to read
      not having to line up for bananas
      watching avatar and going to museums
      keeping dangerous outside political influences from infiltrating our zone
      getting home safely, generally
      having a police force that actually control crime
      having banks that lend us money so we can start a business
      sleeping soundly at night
      marrying at 30
      falling in love and being free to marry whomever we choose
      having time to enjoy forum discussions because we are not forced to till cambodian fields.
      etc.

      the world is full good things, which is why bad things like war happen. our attachment to the good things that we experience makes us fear change and lack.

    2. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Span Star

      Perhaps we don't need more of the things you list

      Perhaps our governments impose more of the things you cite

      But the laws a government enacts does not reflect what we need as individuals...

  34. watchya profile image62
    watchyaposted 7 years ago

    I'm very bad ! tongue

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      good for you girl!

      1. watchya profile image62
        watchyaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Hello !  What about you ?

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
          ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          i'm indeterminate wink (and I don't mean dike)

          1. watchya profile image62
            watchyaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            So you're both, depending the circumstances. I will fight with you when you're good. Send a word. LOL

            1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
              ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              wink you get the picture lol

              1. watchya profile image62
                watchyaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                I always do ! LOL

  35. H.C Porter profile image84
    H.C Porterposted 7 years ago

    People are essentially good... We are born good and born innocent. From the moment that we are brought into this world the people around us shape us. Each of our minds deal with propaganda and situations differently and the way that we deal-molds us even further. One person can see a murder and be filled with hate-while another can see a murder and be inclined to want to help in some way. This has to do with anything from Age, Mind Set, Chemical Balances, and how we were taught to view the world and people from the start.
    So I guess in a nut shell-we are all Good at the Start, but sickness, society and personal views on what is considered right and wrong can alter the good in people and entice them do the most horrific things.

  36. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    having an understanding of the truth does not mean THE understanding of that truth. that truth is wide.

    one can have an understanding that grows with continues study. but to minimize one's understanding as an opinion is the activity of someone who is unsure of his own understanding.

    you can be sure of your understanding without necessarily claiming to be the only one who HAS an understanding of it. The truth has many facets and applications. it is not a thing that can be limited to one dimension.

  37. ceciliabeltran profile image84
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    people are funny in that they turn philosophical arguments into personality conflicts.

    even if I'm asserting something as truth, doesn't mean you have to feel inadequate. you have a choice to ignore and so do I.

  38. wilderness profile image96
    wildernessposted 7 years ago

    If "evil" is defined as hurting other people (financially, physically, emotionally, etc) and "good" is defined with such words as kindness, helping, generosity, etc. then people are born intrinsically evil.

    A few days ago, babysitting my 2 year old grandson and 8 month granddaughter, my grandson walked over and smashed his sister in the head with a toy car.  Evil.  He has also gotten to the point that when she cries he immediately tries to help her or get me to do it.  He is learning to be "good".

    Until children are taught otherwise, either by parents or experience, they will very often do evil acts.  They take toys from other children, hit them, bite them and so on.  They do whatever it takes to get what they want.  They must be taught different.

    At the same time, as has been noted, culture plays a very large part.  The Nigerian email scammers will steal whatever they can.  Muslim extremists will kill schoolgirls as they have been taught that that is "good".  In our culture both of these are evil, but not in theirs.  In addition there are many, many people that have rejected their own cultural teachings to gain their desires.  The burglars that broke into your house are a case in point - they have taken what they want from childhood and refused to change.  They didn't learn to steal - it comes naturally and the concept of NOT stealing must be taught.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      babies also kiss other babies, they share their food to dogs etc. they have the capacity for both. they are born with both, and that capacity is in the brain anatomy. prefrontal medial cortex and reptilian brain.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        By the time a baby is physically able to kiss another baby it is been kissed literally 1000's of times.  It has learned.  Small children will give part of their unlimited food supply to a dog - he/she gets attention from the dog that way and it's fun.  To share a limited food supply, while hungry yourself, with a dog is beyond most very young children. 

        However, I would certainly agree that "good" actions are possible for anyone.  It is merely a matter of learning what "good" is.

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
          ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          That's the thing. A baby doesn't know how to talk. When he wants something, he grabs it. But once you teach him language he will say "can I have that?" when he feels bad, he hits but when you teach him to talk he'll say "that made me feel bad" and the other person can apologize.

          Kids are not evil either, they're just ignorant...or innocent.

          My initial position was ignorance produces evil actions. As for people, we both have the capacity for good and evil. But we are neither just good or evil. We are both and the habitual choices we make identifies us with one extreme. But that's not to say that once you habitually do good that you have no capacity for evil.The choice is always there.

      2. profile image0
        pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Obviously, babies are 'evil'
        They eat their pooh roll
        Don't they? big_smile

        1. watchya profile image62
          watchyaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Did you ? yikes

          1. profile image0
            pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Probably!

            I was once a baby

            I am still maturing

            And people try to feed me all sorts of pooh-bah...

  39. lightning john profile image60
    lightning johnposted 7 years ago

    I think most people are naturally selfish!

    1. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yeah, I haven't seen many babies sharing their pooh big_smile

  40. SpanStar profile image60
    SpanStarposted 7 years ago

    Some people can try and convince them selves of anything but as one writer has already put it.  As long as things are good and nice we can be good but create a situation where someone might have to feel some discomfort and you will see a side of mankind didn't think was possible.

    When USA had gas shortages you should have seen how fights broke out at the gas pumps.  Some people traveling at night to gas stations cutting the locks and stealing gas.

    You problem were around for that Cabage Patch child doll craziness but Adults pulling the doll from customers that already paid for the dollar all because this what I saw ugly little doll was in short supply.

    The Twiliight Zone has a program that illustrates neighbors having a wonderful time together until the threat of a nuclear attack is broadcast and the only neighbor will a shelter get's the door broken of by his good neighbors.

    1. lightning john profile image60
      lightning johnposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yes indeed, and when some delusional crack head, tries to pull me out of my car {because he did it the night before in a video game] well it just isn't going to happen.  Why do you think most of the states now allow concealed carry to us citizens that are law abiding with out felonies.

    2. ceciliabeltran profile image84
      ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      fear is in the lower brain where selfishness resides. when you're under threat, the amygdala is hijacked and higher functions are incapacitated. so you operate on survival without really thinking things through.

      fear is a lower brain function that has the power to shut down your capacity for altruism which is found in the medial prefrontal cortex, the opposite end of the brain.

      outer brain=good
      middle brain=choice
      lower brain =evil.

      1. lightning john profile image60
        lightning johnposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Cool!

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image84
          ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          that's what i thought!

      2. KFlippin profile image60
        KFlippinposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        You seem to be implying that the human has no choice, it's just a brain function, one part of the brain in a certain individual just genetically having the greater impact on their actions?

      3. profile image0
        pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        ceciliabeltran

        I went along with you until I came to this

        'outer brain=good
        middle brain=choice
        lower brain =evil'

        Words from the discourse of religion mixed with the discourse of science?

        1. profile image0
          pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          But on reflection - the mix does not seem so 'evil' big_smile

    3. KFlippin profile image60
      KFlippinposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I like your take on things, love the Twilight Zone reference, saw that one as well.  The instinct of self-preservation that results in hurting others, by otherwise 'good' people, seems to me is indicative of 'good' people who have no 'strong' reference in their minds that serve as checks on their instincts that result in harm to others - references and checks such as the moral teachings of Christianity or other religions that teach right from wrong and have tenets such as the 10 Commandments.  It's interesting that the element of religion has not been broached, so far as I've noticed, in this discussion of the good vs. evil of us thinking humans.

      When you are reared in an environment with no checks and balances on behavior, then you are certainly more susceptible to crossing the moral line into 'evil' behavior.  No doubt many here will say that lots of evil people have religious backgrounds so I'm dead wrong.  But, in today's schools kids are doing unspeakable, inconceivable things to their peers, and I do believe it is a direct result of the banning of religion from our schools.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Are we to take it then, that you advocate the addition of a fundamentalist muslim to teach religion in our schools as an aid to stop evil?

        Or must it be a religion and teacher that YOU pick?

        1. KFlippin profile image60
          KFlippinposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          My, oh my, what a reaction.  Try that in a Muslim country like Iran.

          So far as I'm concerned, the kids themselves can take a vote on what religion they will have school plays about in any given year, and the school choir (do they still have those?) would sing appropriate songs on those religious holidays in a production for their parents, etc... 

          ... and learn from that song, if nothing else, some semblance of old morality teachings that promote moral and neighborly and caring behavior.  That's all there ever was, besides a prayer at assembly and the pledge of allegiance to our American flag, in the good old days. 

          School prayer could be done today to a generic 'Higher Power' -- kids weren't killing or beating up one another at the level they are now before the criminalizing of religion in this country.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            I agree that "kids weren't killing or beating up one another at the level they are now before the criminalizing of religion in this country".  However, if B follows A it does not mean that A caused B.

            Kids also weren't killing or beating up one another at the level they are now before parents quit switching them for misbehaving.  Or before they quit leaving school in the 4th grade to work the farm.  Or before they lost nearly all responsibility to anyone but themselves.  There could be many reasons.  I do not put religion very high on the list of probabilities; I find just as many "evil" religious people as I do non-religious.

            It seems more likely that responsibility is the key.  Most people grow out of this "evil" way of treating others poorly as they grow into more and more responsibility, especially having a family of their own.  They learn, it just takes longer than we would like.

    4. watchya profile image62
      watchyaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      LOL!  got the picture lol

  41. blondepoet profile image79
    blondepoetposted 7 years ago

    I'm not EVIL.

    http://i564.photobucket.com/albums/ss83/DiggyDude/Decorated%20images/0817091455.jpg

    1. Shalini Kagal profile image79
      Shalini Kagalposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      @bp - you're such a lovable nut big_smile Time for some bhang!

      1. blondepoet profile image79
        blondepoetposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Oh Shalini.......ohhhhh.....hey....peace.......where is the light switch bud...ohhhhh.aghhhhh....
        sorry everyone Shalini and I are sharing some bhang.........

    2. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      blondepoet

      Obviously, you're not evil...

      But what about the mouse? hmm

  42. SpanStar profile image60
    SpanStarposted 7 years ago

    I have concluded that there are some people who arguy just for the sake of arguying they wouldn't hear the truth even if it were spoken from the mouth of God.  If someone doesn't want to listen then I say you surely have that freedom and that right. I have no more time to spend with those types people if they have to find out for themselves then I say let them.  That day will come when all their bravado will face a reality they claimed wouldn't happen or doesn't exist.

    1. profile image0
      pburgerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Do you mean everybody must agree with you, or you will leave the discourse? hmm

      Is that not the same as 'Let me win, or I'll take away my bat'? big_smile

      I do not see the purpose of these threads as to convince other people to my point-of-view. I see these threads as a means to discuss our different point-of-views... In these threads I learn what other people think about the question...

      I also understand that language is not an accurate medium for making effective communication.. So I spend time asking people to clarify what I think I might understand by their words...


      So hang with us Span Star

      Viva la difference!

  43. mrpopo profile image88
    mrpopoposted 7 years ago

    Are people essentially good or evil?

    Well you have to ask what good and evil is - are these the results of choices? Does it boil down to whether or not this is a good choice or an evil choice?

    Do we even have a choice to make?

    Answering these questions makes me think that there is no good or evil. We are already programmed by DNA, and on top of that we are affected by our surroundings, how we grew up and developed - all of which are beyond our control and yet affect our actions.

    Even if we are capable of anything and everything, there are factors which push us to one way or another, making our actions not a choice one can make freely or independently.

    If there are no factors affecting your decision, then it is a pure choice. But, the only way to have a pure choice is through chance. For example, if we are to pick our favourite colour, we will be affected by existing preferences; if you like nature you might be fond of green.

    Thinking about that though, it may be that these factors simply change the consistency of the chance. If we look at the spectrum of colours, there's a 1 in 20 chance of picking any of the given colours as your favourite (for the sake of simplicity, I'll say there's 20 distinctive colours). If you like nature though, it'll be more likely that you'll like green, and maybe it'll be less likely that you like red or black.

    The above example may not hold true - there may be no relationship between liking green and nature. However, we notice these type of relationships all the time, and the example is to just illustrate a common theme in occurrence.

    Another example, some studies show that playing violent video games increases aggression. What it probably does is increase the chance for being aggressive, as opposed to being passive. You can likewise speculate that something as insignificant as chewing bubble gum can potentially make you more or less prone to anxiety. You can extrapolate such examples to pretty much anything in life (my sleepiness hinders my creativity, so if those are poor examples, I apologize).

    But regardless, if you are more prone to making one choice rather than the other, then it's not really a "choice". And if you have no choices, you can't classify anything as good or evil.

  44. SpanStar profile image60
    SpanStarposted 7 years ago

    pburger,

    There comes a time when one must decides to move on.  If one keeps bumping their head against a brick wall they are simply waiting their time.

    You've heard the term "then we must agree to disagree"

    When you're efforts are not making a difference then why continue?

 
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