Is Man Naturally Good Or Evil?

972 WordsMar 4, 20174 Pages
The question of whether man is inherently good or evil has vexed humanity since its appearance. Is man naturally good? Does he live in a state of the noble savage? Or was his natural habitat ,nasty , brutish and short? These questions are important because they help inform the way in which we treat our fellow human beings and structure of society. If man is in fact naturally bad then there is little to be gained in trying to make bad people better. Similarly, if we think that people are naturally good, then one would tend to look at factors outside the control of the person to help explain egregious behaviour. Our view of human nature often informs our view of social justice. Those who believe people are born stupid will be less willing to…show more content…
Additionally the need for survival is stronger than empathy or sympathy which is why he believed that civilisation was needed to ensure that people did not misbehave. Despite the focus on whether man is good or evil I think that perhaps this is not the correct question. Does not everyone have good and evil in them? Are we not good and evil? Does pure evil exist? Does pure good exist? Was hitler entirely evil? Should we not try to understand what makes people bad? Man is neither born good or evil but is heavily influenced by the people surrounding them and the influence of society. If anything man is inherently good and evil. Even in the most extreme circumstances people have exhibited both compassionate and heinous behaviour. In the holocaust people carried out egregious acts of depravity and what can only be classed as evilness. However people also undertook acts of compassion, kindness and great bravery in order to save people from the holocaust, for example Oscar Schindler. If we really are evil, why do people carry out acts of kindness with no care for personal gain? Whilst we are sometimes driven by selfish desires we also have a sense of compassion and morality. What is good and evil? It is sometimes difficult to tell.The environment in which a person is brought up can alter his view on what is acceptable and indeed what
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