Are people born good?

Page 3 of 5<12345>
July 10th, 2014 at 6:43:01 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3061
I think I'm in lockstep with rxwine here. I might have even wrote his posts, it's that close.

We always talk about nature and nurture. We're all very much both. Some are just born aggressive, different mental processes, different hormone levels, we're just fired up. Temper that with stable and compassionate home life, and the person isn't who they are born as. The opposite can be true as well. Someone can be as mellow as a willow tree on a crick bank, but poke him with a stick for his whole childhood and he can grow up to be a powder keg.

Here we're just talking "nature". And I can't find a reason for this to follow the same bell curve as most everything in life. Some would be born with more desire and potential for caring, nurturing, comfort. Some would trend toward dominance, possession, control. Few would be extreme, those we'd label as "saint" and "demon". But most would fall in the middle, composed of different amounts of both.

For what it's worth, I think some sort of Lord of the Flies experiment, only done since birth, would be the most fascinating study I'd ever heard of. Fascinating, and extremely valuable. It would never happen, but just imagine the doors of the mind that would open.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
July 10th, 2014 at 8:08:42 AM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 44
Posts: 4926
I wonder what takes more work to make a person bad or to make a person good?

I believe it takes a heck of a lot more work to make a person bad and therefore human beings are not neutral. We are made for good but we have been wounded. It's like we naturally are limping while desiring to run and we do that for too long we get frustrated and give up. If we get a little help and someone cures our limp we can run free and boy is that an awesome feeling!

As far as this crazy experiment everybody is talking about, we are the results of it. Our first parents, the first human beings were kind of like the Lord of the Flies. We don't need to, nor could we, artificially try and recreate that beginning of the human race. The results are still coming in from God's fascinating experiment. One of the conclusions is that if we are to realize our potential for good we need help from each other and from God. Also if we are to become bad we also need help to become something we are not made to be.
July 10th, 2014 at 8:24:00 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3061
Quote: FrGamble
I wonder what takes more work to make a person bad or to make a person good?

I believe it takes a heck of a lot more work to make a person bad and therefore human beings are not neutral.


I'd strongly disagree, but I suppose it depends on the definition of "good" and "bad".

Our current definitions are not natural. For instance, it would be natural to acquire as many resources I could lay my hands on, not unlike a squirrel gathering nuts. Yeah, I'd waste a lot, but to protect myself, I should get as much as I can. Naturally, it's common sense. Nurturally (my word =p) we call this "greed". It would be natural for me to binge when I find these resources, not unlike a lion that has made its kill. Naturally, it's common sense. Nurturally, we call it "gluttony". It would be natural to seek out as many sexual conquests as I can. Gotta spread them genes, keep my line strong and moving on up. Naturally, it's common sense. Nurturally, we call this "lust".

To "make someone bad" in this sense is easy. It's easy because we're already designed naturally to be this way. It's much harder to deny natural urges to fit into societal acceptance than not. If however you meant BAD bad, like torturing another for personal pleasure, then yeah. That bad might be harder to infuse into someone.

Quote: FrGamble
As far as this crazy experiment everybody is talking about, we are the results of it. Our first parents, the first human beings were kind of like the Lord of the Flies. We don't need to, nor could we, artificially try and recreate that beginning of the human race. The results are still coming in from God's fascinating experiment. One of the conclusions is that if we are to realize our potential for good we need help from each other and from God. Also if we are to become bad we also need help to become something we are not made to be.


Lol, this is basically my same argument I've made in other threads. The thought of evolution, a sort of mental evolution, a societal evolution. I guess we're on the same page, we just attribute it to different causes.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
July 10th, 2014 at 8:58:57 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 306
Posts: 10241
Quote: FrGamble
As far as this crazy experiment everybody is talking about, we are the results of it. Our first parents, the first human beings were kind of like the Lord of the Flies.


It's hard to even determine who qualifies as "first humans." Technically it means H. Sapiens and nothing else. So Cro-Magnon man yes, Neanderthal man no. But morally Neanderthal man was just as "human." And much the same goes to H. Erectus and other earlier ancestors.

Nor is it possible to label any one group "first." Evolution si so slow that transitional forms likely straddle earlier and later forms.

The point is the "first humans" already carried some cultural baggage, so to speak, from earlier "near-human" ancestors they descended from. Things like tribal organizations, religion, hunting techniques, etc.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
July 10th, 2014 at 9:49:26 AM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 44
Posts: 4926
Quote: Face
I'd strongly disagree, but I suppose it depends on the definition of "good" and "bad".

Our current definitions are not natural. For instance, it would be natural to acquire as many resources I could lay my hands on, not unlike a squirrel gathering nuts. Yeah, I'd waste a lot, but to protect myself, I should get as much as I can. Naturally, it's common sense. Nurturally (my word =p) we call this "greed". It would be natural for me to binge when I find these resources, not unlike a lion that has made its kill. Naturally, it's common sense. Nurturally, we call it "gluttony". It would be natural to seek out as many sexual conquests as I can. Gotta spread them genes, keep my line strong and moving on up. Naturally, it's common sense. Nurturally, we call this "lust".

To "make someone bad" in this sense is easy. It's easy because we're already designed naturally to be this way. It's much harder to deny natural urges to fit into societal acceptance than not. If however you meant BAD bad, like torturing another for personal pleasure, then yeah. That bad might be harder to infuse into someone.


Great clarification and insight Face.

Yes, I was referring to BAD bad and how hard, thank God, it is to make a human being into a monster. The first part of your comments really have me thinking. I like your work "nurturally". I think your observations make it clear that we are uniquely and radically different than all the other animals. We don't do things just to survive, there is more to us than that - again thank God!
July 10th, 2014 at 10:30:14 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 306
Posts: 10241
Quote: Face
Our current definitions are not natural. For instance, it would be natural to acquire as many resources I could lay my hands on, not unlike a squirrel gathering nuts. Yeah, I'd waste a lot, but to protect myself, I should get as much as I can. Naturally, it's common sense. Nurturally (my word =p) we call this "greed".


When comapring human and animal actions, it's necessary to use animals who share similar caracteristics to humanity. Most salient in this context humans are social (we deal with each other) and gregarious (we prefer to live with others rather than alone). Two species alike in this repsect are chimpnazees, with whom we're closely related genetically, and dogs.

Both, you can easily notice, have rather complex social dynamics and tend to cooperate with each other and to care for others of their group. If you look at toher primates you see much the same thing (not with all species, but with most). If you look at lions, they also do this to some degree (males tend to drift from pride to pride).

So the natural state of humanity is to cooperate with and care for other humans, even when they're not of our group. In fact, we even cooperate and care for non-humans as well. All these is why human populations can trade with each other and even assimilate into each other, and why we can keep livestock for various purposes.

If by natre we were all lone wolf types hostile and predatory on everyone else, we'd still be roaming the savannah wondering how to keep lions and hyenas from killing us so easily.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
July 10th, 2014 at 12:41:23 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 10375
It's easy to be bad and hard to be good.
Look at a 'bad' 3 year old. He's bad because
his parents let him get away with giving
into the instinctive nature to be selfish and
demanding. For the kid, it's the easy way,
it's hard to constantly question if you're
behaving yourself or not. Same with adults,
no difference.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
July 10th, 2014 at 5:17:50 PM permalink
boymimbo
Member since: Mar 25, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 610
Children are born perfect. There is no good or evil in them. They are incapable of either. They just need. They must have food and air to breathe and eat. They should be cleaned to keep infections at bay. But they don't have an ounce of good or evil in them at birth.

It is entirely up to the parent to teach the child good and evil and the basics of logic and ethics and from there, societal norms is the dividing line between what good and evil is.
July 10th, 2014 at 6:18:12 PM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 671
Quote: FrGamble
I wonder what takes more work to make a person bad or to make a person good?

I believe it takes a heck of a lot more work to make a person bad and therefore human beings are not neutral. We are made for good but we have been wounded. It's like we naturally are limping while desiring to run and we do that for too long we get frustrated and give up. If we get a little help and someone cures our limp we can run free and boy is that an awesome feeling!

As far as this crazy experiment everybody is talking about, we are the results of it. Our first parents, the first human beings were kind of like the Lord of the Flies. We don't need to, nor could we, artificially try and recreate that beginning of the human race. The results are still coming in from God's fascinating experiment. One of the conclusions is that if we are to realize our potential for good we need help from each other and from God. Also if we are to become bad we also need help to become something we are not made to be.


I believe it takes a lot more work to make a person good. All you have to do as a parent to ruin a little kid is to ignore them until they irritate you enough to yell or punish, for negative reinforcement, because at least someone noticed them. Rinse and repeat. 10 years later; juvenile delinquent, nearly unreachable.

2 year olds are selfish amoral cretins. All defiance and curiosity. They have to be lovingly trained into decent members of the human race who understand that the world does not revolve around them. As a society, we've gotten very bad at that.
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. -ersatz Buddha
July 11th, 2014 at 2:51:17 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 97
Posts: 6020
Quote: boymimbo
Children are born perfect. There is no good or evil in them. They are incapable of either. They just need. They must have food and air to breathe and eat. They should be cleaned to keep infections at bay. But they don't have an ounce of good or evil in them at birth.


Oh, my, you need to be around more kids and take more of a note about human nature. Some kids are just bad, no matter what you do to them to train them right they will still not listen or do good. It can be seen in play groups, nursery schools, etc. In extreme cases the bad ones will be the ones who abuse then torture and kill animals. Lots of kids are born evil. To say "children are born perfect" is really to deny reality in favor of today's feel-good mentality. It is a reason society is on an accelerating decline in the western nations.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
Page 3 of 5<12345>