As through a tragedy or experienced a situation where

humans, we are brought into this world untouched, uninfluenced, and uncorrupted.
New born babies have not had the chance to learn what hate, or violence, or
cruelty is; they have not gone through a tragedy or experienced a situation
where they have become enlightened begins. The age-old question of whether or
not humans are inherently good or evil is complicated and controversial due to
the fact that that it involves the human spices and is completely subjective.
As human beings, we are born into a world where it has become easy to be
discouraged by what human nature and societal norms have turned into. Are
humans just good people, that perform evil actions or are humans just evil?

nature is the belief that human beings have natural instincts or tendencies in
the fundamental dispositions and traits that all humans share. All humans have
different experiences, and this is where the dispute begins. Based on people’s
views they will tell you that all people are basically “good” or basically
“bad”, that they are either “predators” or that they are capable of “empathy
and love”. This is all subjective, these ideologies are colored based off of
the cultures and subcultures that influenced you while you were growing up and
learning about the world around you. The people that raised or influenced you
will pass on their particular ideas
about what makes humans “human”. Plato thought that humans were rational, social animals,
and he connected human nature with our souls and ability to reason rather than
our bodies. Aristotle differed primarily in his belief that both body and soul
contributed to our human identity. These theories are not mutually exclusive, but
have been built upon each other and adapted over time.

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Pragmatism is the doctrine that practical consequences
are the criteria of knowledge, meaning, and value. This method is discovering
what our idea means, and we learn that by studying their consequences in actual
experiences. William James, a pragmatic
philosopher said that “If an idea or judgment makes a positive, practical
difference in people’s lives than it is true. The opposite is the
contrary.” (Paquette, P. & Gini-Newman, 2003) This suggests that a
person could be evil, just as easily they could be good.  In his quote, he states that if something
creates a positive difference in someone’s life then it has to be true. If
something creates a positive difference it would have to be good act not an
evil act. We relate this to the argument, humans are inherently good, by saying
they are naturally good creatures that have a positive effect on the lives of
other humans.

what makes a human evil? People that do evil acts have been known to be driven
by jealousy, manipulation, vengeance, materialism, mercilessness and
superiority complexes. For example, when people steal things it is usually
because they “have” to have it, this is a sign of materialism. Jealousy, or as
my mother likes to call it the green-eyed monster, is an ugly feeling people
get when someone else has something they way. I feel as though vengeance and
mercilessness go hand and hand, an example of this would be what is going on in
Purcell Oklahoma. For the last couple of week someone has been attacking dogs,
cutting them with knives and other weapons. It is merciless and vengeful. A major
characteristic of “evilness” is having a superiority complex, this not only
hurts a person it hurts am entire group of people whether it be a minority or a
political party.

don’t think we are born into the world knowing these attributes. I think you
learn them as you grow and develop in the world around you. This is an incredibly
difficult question to answer with a simple yes or no. People of all ethnicities,
backgrounds, genders, and religions have been asking this question since the
beginning of time. If it was simple we would have already figured it out.

is a lot of speculation as to whether or not religions are the key factor in holding
back humanities true nature. Some people think that the sacred texts of
religion are the guide lines in keeping the peace among people, that without it
we would be complete savages. I could understand that but at the same time if religion
was all it took then why is there still evils and wrong doings in the world. It
is because it takes more than words in a book. It is because humans aren’t
inherently evil beings.

Mengzi believed that humans are inherently good. He believed that if a child
ran out into the street and a car was headed right for the kid, somebody would
jump out and try to rescue the child. He defended the conception of the good
life, aka the Confucian way. He said that virtues such as benevolence, righteousness,
propriety, and wisdom were key for living a life well lived. He believed that
humans have an innate predisposition towards these virtues and that we are naturally
drawn toward them. Mengzi’s thought is if we fully refine or grow and tend to
our predispositions of virtues we will become fully virtuous, we will flourish.

believe that humanity is inherently good. We strive for positivity, love, and
light. We continuously try to better not only ourselves but a society. Yes, I think
that our innate human nature is effected by our surroundings and the struggles
or accomplishments we have made throughout our lives, but I still think in the
grand scheme of things we are good people that tend to perform evil acts. I agree
with Mengzi completely and I think that if people sat down and took the time to
learn about all religions they would see it the way I do.