Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


- - - - -

Are People Basically Good or Basically Evil?


  • Please log in to reply
93 replies to this topic

#1    Guyver

Guyver

    Poltergeist

  • Member
  • 3,242 posts
  • Joined:08 Nov 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Coast, CA

  • Then I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.
    Ecclesiastes

Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:37 PM

Anne Frank, famous author of Diary of a Young Girl suffered terribly at the hands of Nazi policy during WWII.  She eventually died in a Nazi concentration camp.  Her most famous quote, "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are basically good."

Jesus Christ, undoubtedly the most famous person/philosopher/religious figure of all time, said people are basically evil.  He went on to explain that for this reason one must be "born again" or receive a new spiritual nature in order to "see" the kingdom of heaven.

Which viewpoint do you think is correct?



"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
- Aristotle

#2    Rosewin

Rosewin

    Omnipotent Entity

  • Banned
  • 8,967 posts
  • Joined:26 Oct 2004
  • Gender:Not Selected

Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:40 PM

Both. God and other religious paths want to uplift us from the natural state. Anne Frank was speaking about the end product after religion and other ethical systems were done with us. You can see an infant walking and walk away saying I can teach them to walk. Then again you can see someone running already and walk away saying wow they are fast and do not crawl. It depends in which moment of that life one is to comment on.


#3    Emma_Acid

Emma_Acid

    Alien Abducter

  • Member
  • 5,094 posts
  • Joined:29 Jan 2007
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:London

Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:42 PM

Guyver on Mar 6 2009, 02:37 PM, said:

Anne Frank, famous author of Diary of a Young Girl suffered terribly at the hands of Nazi policy during WWII.  She eventually died in a Nazi concentration camp.  Her most famous quote, "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are basically good."

Jesus Christ, undoubtedly the most famous person/philosopher/religious figure of all time, said people are basically evil.  He went on to explain that for this reason one must be "born again" or receive a new spiritual nature in order to "see" the kingdom of heaven.

Which viewpoint do you think is correct?


Neither. The concepts of good and evil are completely relative depending on social, political and historical situations.



Science isn’t about truth and falsity, it’s about reducing uncertainty ~ Brian Nosek

#4    HerNibs

HerNibs

    Grand Duchess Anaesthesia

  • Member
  • 12,546 posts
  • Joined:03 Jan 2007
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Colorado

  • Endless repetition does not make something true.

Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:45 PM

Neither.  People are basically bags of meat and water.  

Outside influences cause a behavior which is then judged by society as either good or evil.

HN

Just because it is a mystery to YOU doesn't make it unexplained.

STORM - a must watch - caution, some profanity and may cause you to experience reason.

#5    Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

    an invisible dream

  • Member
  • 2,966 posts
  • Joined:04 Jul 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada

Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:49 PM

Humans are neutral i believe. It's outside forces of good and evil that set the motions. It's up to us to decide who to listen to.


#6    Nik Xues

Nik Xues

    The Still Wanderer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,468 posts
  • Joined:27 Nov 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada

Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:53 PM

Good/Evil so outdated.

People do what they do simply because they can. People are wired to see what they can do. So naturally we seek the paths that fulfil this need.

True Scientists consider all possibilities until they have evidence stating otherwise.
the others are idiots simply waiting for proof of existence.

#7    Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

    an invisible dream

  • Member
  • 2,966 posts
  • Joined:04 Jul 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada

Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:53 PM

I would also like to add that Anne Frank wrote that before her ordeal in the concentration camps. However, i dont think her opinion of people changed because her mother and sister who had the oportunity to leave her for better conditions when she was placed in a lice infected quarantine didn't. They stayed with her. If you have read The Diary of Anne Frank you will understand this significant event.


#8    Neognosis

Neognosis

    Telekinetic

  • Member
  • 7,159 posts
  • Joined:12 Sep 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:rochester, NY USA

  • Just try not to hurt anybody, ok?

Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:54 PM

People are self preserving. they will be "good" or altruistic when it costs them less than it gains them (including the positive feelings altruism produces in some) and when there is an end net benefit to them.

At a fundamental and basic level, you stop to help the stranded motorist becuase you want someone to stop and help you.


#9    Emma_Acid

Emma_Acid

    Alien Abducter

  • Member
  • 5,094 posts
  • Joined:29 Jan 2007
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:London

Posted 06 March 2009 - 03:02 PM

If you want a scientific answer, it would have to be "good".

There is an evolutionary reason for morals to exist - in lab tests, a monkey was given an electric shock every time a second monkey ate food. The second one very quickly refused to eat anything, seeing the trauma its actions were causing, whether or not it understood the process.

Being "good" to each other can help a species to survive.

But I'm not sure thats what the OP was getting at.

Science isn’t about truth and falsity, it’s about reducing uncertainty ~ Brian Nosek

#10    Rosewin

Rosewin

    Omnipotent Entity

  • Banned
  • 8,967 posts
  • Joined:26 Oct 2004
  • Gender:Not Selected

Posted 06 March 2009 - 03:14 PM

Emma_Acid on Mar 6 2009, 09:02 AM, said:

If you want a scientific answer, it would have to be "good".

There is an evolutionary reason for morals to exist - in lab tests, a monkey was given an electric shock every time a second monkey ate food. The second one very quickly refused to eat anything, seeing the trauma its actions were causing, whether or not it understood the process.

Being "good" to each other can help a species to survive.

But I'm not sure thats what the OP was getting at.


Indeed we have only survived as a species because of cooperation which most would define as good.


#11    Emma_Acid

Emma_Acid

    Alien Abducter

  • Member
  • 5,094 posts
  • Joined:29 Jan 2007
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:London

Posted 06 March 2009 - 03:30 PM

Rosewin on Mar 6 2009, 03:14 PM, said:

Indeed we have only survived as a species because of cooperation which most would define as good.


But the thing is, many species survive because they have an inbuilt co-operation instinct - you wouldn't say ants are "good" to each other. Its all relative.

Science isn’t about truth and falsity, it’s about reducing uncertainty ~ Brian Nosek

#12    SRCivic98

SRCivic98

    Psychic Spy

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,612 posts
  • Joined:23 Jan 2008
  • Gender:Male

  • When being pushed to the limits. Killing is just as easy as breathing.

Posted 06 March 2009 - 03:39 PM

Good or Evil, neither one is right but neither one is wrong. They're both based a point of view. Let's say that you kill someone in self defense in order to save your life and possibly someone else that you care for. Some people in the world would view it as murder while you viewed it as the right thing to do. Or better yet, you steal food from a grocery store because you and your family are on the streets, so that loaf of bread and meat helps you survive another night. Some might say stealing is still stealing and you should go to jail for it, but others might say that letting them go and live is the better choice. So it's all a matter of decision and point of view from an individual and other people in society. Just remember that no matter what you do, it's neither the right thing, nor is it the wrong thing to choose. Live life the way you want and choose which path you take. Either one leads to success.

LIVE WITH HONOR, DIE WITH PRIDE - PERSONAL MOTTO

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME - SNAKE PLISKIN IN ESCAPE FROM LA

ONCE ALL THINGS ARE ELIMATED, WHAT REMAINS, NO MATTER HOW IMPROBIBABLE IT MAY SEEM, MUST BE THE TRUTH - SHERLOCK HOLMES


#13    Guyver

Guyver

    Poltergeist

  • Member
  • 3,242 posts
  • Joined:08 Nov 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Coast, CA

  • Then I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.
    Ecclesiastes

Posted 06 March 2009 - 03:42 PM

Emma_Acid on Mar 6 2009, 07:02 AM, said:

If you want a scientific answer, it would have to be "good".

There is an evolutionary reason for morals to exist - in lab tests, a monkey was given an electric shock every time a second monkey ate food. The second one very quickly refused to eat anything, seeing the trauma its actions were causing, whether or not it understood the process.

Being "good" to each other can help a species to survive.

But I'm not sure thats what the OP was getting at.



That's fascinating.  I'd love to read that.  Do you think you could post a link?

It reminds me of another scientific study from the 80's.  College students were asked to administer an electric shock to convicts who answered incorrectly.  This experiment was designed to examine how people could have done what the Nazi's did - if I remember correctly.  Anyway, each time the inmate answered incorrectly the college student was instructed to turn up the amperage.  They wanted to see if the person would administer a lethal shock in the presence of an authority figure.  They did.  This messed with their heads and at the conclusion most of the participants had to receive counseling in order to deal with the internal conflict.  

PS.  The shocks were simulated, no one actually died.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
- Aristotle

#14    Emma_Acid

Emma_Acid

    Alien Abducter

  • Member
  • 5,094 posts
  • Joined:29 Jan 2007
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:London

Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:11 PM

Guyver on Mar 6 2009, 03:42 PM, said:

That's fascinating.  I'd love to read that.  Do you think you could post a link?


Think I read it in the New Scientist, will try and dig out an online copy over the wkend!

Science isn’t about truth and falsity, it’s about reducing uncertainty ~ Brian Nosek

#15    Sherapy

Sherapy

    Sheri loves Sean loves Sheri...

  • Member
  • 24,780 posts
  • Joined:14 Jun 2005
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:At the Beach-- San Pedro, California

  • "If one is to be thought acceptable and agreeable in society, one must submit to being taught the same lessons over and over again." --Hammer

Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:25 PM

Emma_Acid on Mar 6 2009, 07:30 AM, said:

But the thing is, many species survive because they have an inbuilt co-operation instinct - you wouldn't say ants are "good" to each other. Its all relative.


I concur with emma on all points... our cells  seek altruism and cooperation it is built in to the system.... so from a sciency posit  it does seem this is part of nature...





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users