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#1
I've been doing a lot of thinking about human beings and society as a whole lately. I used to think that everyone was innately good and that those who are bad are so because of the world they live in and the influences around them. That is, those who are good are pure and those who are evil have been shaped that way. However over the past year, possibly because of the industry I work in and the places I have been, I have started to think the opposite. I think humans in their purest form may be inherently bad or in the best case, a blank canvas. It seems the golden rule has gotten a golden shower in our society nowadays.

So what do you think, are people born good, bad, or somewhere in between?

I would like to hear what everyone has to say and also compare responses from the states to those in other parts of the world. Cheers

TLDR Version: Peeps iz bad or peeps iz good? And not the marshmallows, we all know those are effing great.
#5
People are not inherently good or evil.
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#6
I believe that people inherently live according to their self-interest. Whether they come out looking good or bad is not always certain, but most, if not all, things are done out of self-interest.


Besides, what one person says is evil, one may see as human nature, so the terms can be tricky.
#8
It's the world that shapes us. Someone who grows up poor, or losing family members will be bitter, while a rich person will look down on someone.
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#9
Quote by lespaul#1
It's the world that shapes us. Someone who grows up poor, or losing family members will be bitter, while a rich person will look down on someone.


My brother who was 2 years older then me was killed when he was 13 and I am not bitter. Your logic fails.
#11
Quote by Masamune
People are shaped by their environment. No one is good or bad when they are born.


Then why is there good and bad? Should there just be a being.
#14
Quote by lespaul#1
It's the world that shapes us. Someone who grows up poor, or losing family members will be bitter, while a rich person will look down on someone.


I understand that that is how most people would react to the situations, but not all people would react as such. Some rich people are philanthropists and some are selfish. Some poor people will scorn the world and some will try to change it.

So I guess if I look at it that way, then it seems that some people will be inherently good and some inherently bad, but I don't think it is that simple. My brain hurts.
#16
Yes look up John Locke, Tabula Rasa and all that for some theories.
Quote by Masamune
People are shaped by their environment. No one is good or bad when they are born.

some people could be genetically predesposed to be one or the other, and simply aided by the environment. There was a case in England where I think it was a 6 and 8 year old lured off a toddler and killed him...doubt they could have been shaped that early to be killers.
Quote by lespaul#1
It's the world that shapes us. Someone who grows up poor, or losing family members will be bitter, while a rich person will look down on someone.

thats poor logic, I know rich people who are plenty kind and generous and "poor people" who are likewise.
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Last edited by Vedder at Dec 8, 2008,
#17
Quote by nodice182
People are not inherently good or evil.


Exactly what I was going to say.

Thats pretty much the end of the thread, no?

EDIT:
Quote by TestMan6
Then why is there good and bad? Should there just be a being.


No, because there are bad situations which influence people to be bad.

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Last edited by -xCaMRocKx- at Dec 8, 2008,
#18
I find people are generally evil.

There was a experiment done by Psychologists to see how ordinary people could carry out the horrors of the Holocaust and they took average people and told them they were going to test a new method of learning. They told them that they are hookin a total stranger up to an electric shocking machine. Every time the person got a question wrong, the regular guy would give him a shock. However, the person was never receiving shocks, the tester only thought he was delivering pain. They found that the regular person would continue to administer shocks if they were told to do so, even if the person being "shocked" begged them to stop. Even when the light said danger, the tester would continue shocking. I feel that this shows that humans are naturally evil and un-sympathetic and all it takes to release that evil is a small little push. My personal opinoin is that we are nothing more than dogs with advanced brains that can walk on two legs
#19
Quote by -xCaMRocKx-
Exactly what I was going to say.

Thats pretty much the end of the thread, no?

EDIT:


No, because there are bad situations which influence people to be bad.


But that logic cannot account for people who react differently to the same situation or the same environment. I am gonna reference Jon and Kate Plus 8 because I am sure the Pit loves TLC. The two oldest twins are the same age, grew up in the same house, with the same parents, and one is a complete bitch and one is very kind. Also, they are 8 years old. I know it is a bit trivial but I think it is also a viable example.
#20
Quote by Vedder


some people could be genetically predesposed to be one or the other, and simply aided by the environment. There was a case in England where I think it was a 6 and 8 year old lured off a toddler and killed him...doubt they could have been shaped that early to be killers.people" who are likewise.

No, a person's morals can't be genetically predisposed. If you can give me a source I'll believe you but I think that is highly unlikely. Also a 6-8 year old kid can very well be influenced enough by that age to do something as horrible as that. They might not fully understand what it is that they did but they are capable.
#21
Quote by conkersbfd182
I find people are generally evil.

There was a experiment done by Psychologists to see how ordinary people could carry out the horrors of the Holocaust and they took average people and told them they were going to test a new method of learning. They told them that they are hookin a total stranger up to an electric shocking machine. Every time the person got a question wrong, the regular guy would give him a shock. However, the person was never receiving shocks, the tester only thought he was delivering pain. They found that the regular person would continue to administer shocks if they were told to do so, even if the person being "shocked" begged them to stop. Even when the light said danger, the tester would continue shocking. I feel that this shows that humans are naturally evil and un-sympathetic and all it takes to release that evil is a small little push. My personal opinoin is that we are nothing more than dogs with advanced brains that can walk on two legs

ya the milgram experiment, doesn't necessarily mean people are evil, some refused to go past a minor shock. That only demonstrates obedience, most people felt pretty horrible during it and wanted to stop but didn't want to disobey, it isn't like they enjoyed doing it or anything. They also had to do insane follow examinations for the participants to make sure that they weren't scarred by the experience. An experiment that might support your theory is the zimbardo prison experiment (I think thats what it is called)
School children washing cars for charity, is there anything more arousing?
#22
It's a huge grey area, not many sane people are purely good or evil like in a movie, people do certain things for certain reasons
#23
Peeps are horrible.

People are good.
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#24
Quote by Masamune
No, a person's morals can't be genetically predisposed. If you can give me a source I'll believe you but I think that is highly unlikely. Also a 6-8 year old kid can very well be influenced enough by that age to do something as horrible as that. They might not fully understand what it is that they did but they are capable.

There are no concrete sources for either, there is evidence for both...nature/nurture is one of the oldest debates in psychology. How do you explain serial killers or pedaphiles? many have regular childhoods, but something about their personality sets them apart...a lack of sympathy/remorse etc. that 'regular' humans possess.
School children washing cars for charity, is there anything more arousing?
#26
Quote by Masamune
No, a person's morals can't be genetically predisposed. If you can give me a source I'll believe you but I think that is highly unlikely. Also a 6-8 year old kid can very well be influenced enough by that age to do something as horrible as that. They might not fully understand what it is that they did but they are capable.


Most kids know when they have done wrong at a very young age. Noone has to teach them what they are doing is necessarily wrong. They just know.
#28
Quote by TestMan6
Most kids know when they have done wrong at a very young age. Noone has to teach them what they are doing is necessarily wrong. They just know.

Yeah, I know that they can tell right from wrong. What I meant when I said "they can't fully understand" is that they don't really understand death. I remember when I was 6, when my dad died, I didn't know what death was. I thought that people would just take really long naps when they died.
Quote by Vedder
There are no concrete sources for either, there is evidence for both...nature/nurture is one of the oldest debates in psychology. How do you explain serial killers or pedaphiles? many have regular childhoods, but something about their personality sets them apart...a lack of sympathy/remorse etc. that 'regular' humans possess.

Well keep in mind that serial killers and paedophiles aren't regular human beings. I think regular humans are shaped to be good or bad as they grow up and that starts very early.
Last edited by Masamune at Dec 8, 2008,
#29
Quote by Masamune
Yeah, I know that they can tell right from wrong. What I meant when I said "they can't fully understand" is that they don't really understand death. I remember when I was 6, when my dad died, I didn't know what death was. I thought that people would just take really long naps when they died.


Technically we don't know what death is.

If our brains just start thinking one day, what is life? Can we create the right circuits one day where a computer wakes up like an infant?
#30
Quote by Vedder
There are no concrete sources for either, there is evidence for both...nature/nurture is one of the oldest debates in psychology. How do you explain serial killers or pedaphiles? many have regular childhoods, but something about their personality sets them apart...a lack of sympathy/remorse etc. that 'regular' humans possess.


Just to add to what you said, in my first post I spoke of sane peope and good and evil, but serial killers and whatnot are usually not considered sane, they generally are catergorized with having a personality disorder because they have a lack of compassion and remorse for their actions
#31
People are in-between, they are influenced by outside forces. It's half and half, while I do believe there is some good in everyone, people are naturally fake, greedy, lustful pricks. But so it goes.
#32
Quote by captain Trips
serial killers and whatnot are usually not considered sane, they generally are catergorized with having a personality disorder because they have a lack of compassion and remorse for their actions

exactly, so therefore it is extremely likely that there is some genetic disposition causing them to be so, or at least be more susceptible to environmental cues.
Quote by Masamune

Well keep in mind that serial killers and paedophiles aren't regular human beings. I think regular humans are shaped to be good or bad as they grow up and that starts very early.

I'm just saying you can't ignore the genetic aspect, but yes I too believe that nurture has a larger impact.
School children washing cars for charity, is there anything more arousing?
Last edited by Vedder at Dec 8, 2008,
#33
neither. We all choose how we act. And even then, good and evil are all a matter of perception.


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#35
People are born neither good nor bad. If I had to decide whether somebody was good or bad, I would look at the intent and motives behind the actions they do.
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#36
Speaking for myself, mostly I'm a bad person who sometimes does good thimgs.
#37
People are what they are because of the environment that they live in.

Also, Good and Bad are relative terms. I think I'm a fairly good person, but other could say otherwise.
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#38
I believe that each person has a choice whether or not to act as a pure, kind human being. Sometimes to choose to act nobly is the most difficult and confusing thing to do, therefore, many do not take that route. I believe that everyone has the potential to be an ideal self, a pure, satisfied, possibly not always happy, but a good human being. However, I find that many people completely ignore the longing inside them, the longing to be as they wish, and search instead for quick pleasures, cheap romance, false love. I have met quite a few people that I believe are completely determined and dedicated to being a more free, more genuine and definite person; therefore, I do think that people inherently wish to be good, and that it is not a simple question of human nature.

Hell, what do I know, anyway. I live with the things that I despise, and I cherish the things that are beautiful in all ways, and work towards being a person that I can love.
#39
Quote by SeveralSpecies
I believe that people inherently live according to their self-interest. Whether they come out looking good or bad is not always certain, but most, if not all, things are done out of self-interest.


Besides, what one person says is evil, one may see as human nature, so the terms can be tricky.

*DING*

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I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money.I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down.
#40
people = ****
oh, and slipknot = super ****
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