Un-oh... I never should have said that... I am getting clobbered by a wind storm. News is saying 60 mph winds...
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Some babies and little children ARE mean. They don't need to be trained that way, they have those tendencies. However, I think those tendencies can be nurtured very carefully into a positive direction. Though right now, I can't think of the positive side of a trait of enjoying seeing others suffer. I know some people actually do enjoy that from a very young age and I don't know why. What could that be turned into?
Incompetence instead of malice, I think I agree. The levels of incompetence are astounding though.
"Realizing" that people are inherently precious and wonderful, GOOD, left me so shocked that I wrote a hub about it. I really still can't fit it into my sense of reality but I keep trying to think of what I see and hear. People championing causes that sound evil to me doesn't matter since they're trying to make things right in their view. And being selfish can't count as evil, that's biologically sensible.
I've long thought that children/people with tendencies toward evil really just have tendencies toward a trait. It depends on how that trait is nurtured and influenced whether it turns out for good or bad. Perserverance/stubborness, morally upright/rigidly judgmental, compassionate/victim...
I don't think we're basically good or bad really (vague answer, I know). Very young children (the closest people you'll find to a blank slate) can be extremely selfish in their actions but also selfless. They're acting on their natural instincts. If a child does something wrong we have a tendency to say "they don't know any better" which lends itself to the "basically bad" camp because we're saying they have to be taught how to be good.
At this point you could bring up the nature vs nurture discussion. I say it's a combination of both. But, as many have already said, there are people out there that make you wonder if true evil exists in human form. I just try to avoid those people.
IMO, children are selfish or better put - self preservationist. They don't know anything else. They are generous when it doesn't involve their own preservation.
Re humans being evil - Read a really funny book by Neil Gaiman - "Good Omens - The Nice and Accuate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter Witch" In it the devil character named Crowley says that humans have an uncanny knack for thinking up things to harm themselves and they do a better job of it than any devil ever could. (paraphrasing) I think that's hysterical.
Protagoras was a humanist and believed there's no measure greater in cultivating the human good than that of the measure of human beings. It starts when you're very small, you believe humans are good and you think evil is not that of a natural human being, so you think human nature is justice and decency. I used to believe that for a long time. Though I believe the world is evil I still believe in justice and the human good, there's hope for the positive pessimist. I also believe in the Christian good, though rare, there are brothers in a church of friends and they're good people, yes there is the Christian good, then the secular humanists, they're the best, people who are friends of decency and good will, unselfish people. I think being good is very human.
The original humans were basically good until evil through action and free will, which is sin, corrupted their basis of being. It has been passed on to all men which means that all humans are naturally bad. This does not mean that one can not overcome it though. But from conception humans are naturally evil.
It isn't my theory. I can find hundreds of thousands of scientific papers on the subject. You can, too. Just type in words like "moral ethic evolution" into Google Scholar for example. I found well over a million papers.
Search on your science. I bet some of your scientists were mere psychos that lived in their respective societies. You can use any search-engine. Religious folks show much more wisdom- get to know Buddha.
A Troubled Man, You are correct. Most of the wars in history have been fought in the name of God. Christians, Jews, and Islamics have always been killers. Not all of them, but some. But, it is not Gods fault.
Not really, in the history of Christianity the pope refused to let people read the bible for hundred of years. I think at least until ( ok, I am not sure ) about 1750 maybe. Popes refused to let the bible be translated. People who owned bibles we executed. That would be the fault of a single person. And thosde who followed his orders. Not the religion itself.
If we were not us, if we were considering our history, the conduct of our yet to be influenced by society infants, the degree and commonality of our wickedness, etc, as though we were examining any other beings besides ourselves, we would be stunned silly if they had the blindness, brassiness, and/or arrogance to imagine that they were basically good.
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