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#1
What do believe is the moral status of natural man? Is natural man inherently good? Inherently evil? Or is he merely pragmatic, inferring that morality is a nonfactor?

By "natural man" I refer to a conceptual person whose development involved no interaction with society. To extend the question a bit further:

What role does society take in the development of a human? Is a person's nature predetermined? Is it determined by random choices made after birth, but unaffected by society? If one deems society to be the source of evil, then is a utopian society the lack thereof?

I'll throw in my own thoughts in in a bit, but first I'd like to see some other folks bounce some ideas around.
#2
Well, it kind of depends on what one would define as "good" and "evil."

Being a Nihilist, I see no meaning in either, but that's the first part to answering your question.
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Quote by MusicMan00
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#3
man leaves the womb without a sense of morals.

he learns later in life what his peers find moral and immoral and he judges himself and others accordingly.
#4
"good" would be the most progressive route towards achieving moral virtue, "evil" would be the opposite.

What exactly makes a Nihilist different from a Machiavellian?
#5
Quote by unplugtheradio
man leaves the womb without a sense of morals.

he learns later in life what his peers find moral and immoral and he judges himself and others accordingly.


QFT.
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#6
I have a question for you, why are you still here?

ermm...my brain isn't quite capable of all that thinking...
#7
Quote by unplugtheradio
man leaves the womb without a sense of morals.

he learns later in life what his peers find moral and immoral and he judges himself and others accordingly.


So, the imaginary man developed completely free from society is a pragmatist?
#8
The way I see it, man is Purgatory (metaphorically speaking) But with the ability to escape into a realm of 3d objects. But thats just me and my incredibly compilcated and hard way of looking at things. But I believe as far as the good vs. bad subject, is, and always will be, shaped by the decisions that you make. you are who you are now by the decisions you've made in the past.

any other ideas that may conflict with mine?
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#9
i'm sure society has a big influence in the human behavior and moral status, obviusly, if there's no interaction with the society, you can't know what's good or bad, society is what sets those standards ( in a very hipocritycal way sometimes)
#10
Man could be defined as "evil". If you count greed as being evil.

Even with now interaction to society, man would still be greedy and keep possessions.
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#11
This thread was made before.

But I would say society imposes it on the person, and his surroundings.
#12
Quote by AndyK
So, the imaginary man developed completely free from society is a pragmatist?


a man that is developed free from society is an animal.

there have been many cases of it seen.

he uses instinct and nothing more.
#13
Quote by Hart_Attack
The way I see it, man is Purgatory (metaphorically speaking) But with the ability to escape into a realm of 3d objects. But thats just me and my incredibly compilcated and hard way of looking at things. But I believe as far as the good vs. bad subject, is, and always will be, shaped by the decisions that you make. you are who you are now by the decisions you've made in the past.


What is the nature of those decisions? Is it random? Or is it predetermined genetically?
#14
All sets of morals are completely irrelevant, they're just chemical reactions in the brain giving you a false sense of what is "good" or "evil"
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#15
Men's morals are created by the society to which the subject is exposed. Depending on that society's overall moral and principles, the individual's morals are shaped with great similarities, if not identically.
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#17
Quote by arsonite
Man could be defined as "evil". If you count greed as being evil.

Even with now interaction to society, man would still be greedy and keep possessions.


But what about the virtue society brings about? Are education, free enterprise, etc, all nullified by the fact that social hierarchy is created only for the fulfillment of man's greed?
#19
basically, society's purpose is to mold a man into something more civilized.

in that sense, society is good.

but only in moderation, a society should never go too far.
#20
Quote by unplugtheradio
a man that is developed free from society is an animal.

there have been many cases of it seen.

he uses instinct and nothing more.


Is instinct merely pragmatic? Animals have been known to display affection and sorrow.

I don't really think the line between instinct and humanity is as clear cut as you seem to be inferring it is.
#21
Quote by AndyK
But what about the virtue society brings about? Are education, free enterprise, etc, all nullified by the fact that social hierarchy is created only for the fulfillment of man's greed?



Yes. You still need people in positions of power to run these enterprises.
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#22
personally i say randomly, ala the Chaos Theory (many people love to disprove this theory but I Like it) if it were predetermined then wouldn't we all be in some shape or form the same? Besides the whole Your destiny is already laid out for you to follow is gay I like the idea of bein' in some sort of control of your life, which is under law of the chaos theory ofcourse.

Chaos theory summed in a sentence incase some who do not know:
everything is related and intertwined by decisions made.
IE. I drive my car but forget to replace my brake pads because i'm lazy, i drive and can't stop my car, I hit a bystander, he dies.
Bystander wakes up goes for a jog, stops at a red light waiting for the cross signal, it turns on for him to cross, He gets hit by a car that had worn out brake pads.

Not destiny.... things are shaped by decisions that we make.
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#23
Quote by AndyK
Is instinct merely pragmatic? Animals have been known to display affection and sorrow.

I don't really think the line between instinct and humanity is as clear cut as you seem to be inferring it is.



of course they do it, but just by instinct
#24
Quote by AndyK
Is instinct merely pragmatic? Animals have been known to display affection and sorrow.

I don't really think the line between instinct and humanity is as clear cut as you seem to be inferring it is.


who says humanity isnt an instinct?

and if humanity is an instinct i think it would be below survival and self fulfillment.
#25
I think society plays a large part in the development of almost all people. Humans, on the whole, are naturally social creatures. Most of us crave social interaction and acceptance. This of course is the reason why there is such a thing as a trend. By fitting ourself into that trend we are hoping to find social acceptance. And of course denial from social acceptance can lead to that individual wanting to strike back at the ones who rejected him/her.

As far as a person being good or evil, I think it depends on the person. I think each different person starts out with some amount of predisposition. The majority of people probably start out very neutral. Then there are some who begin life already having a certain degree of "good" or "evil" ingrained into their being. This is why a child who has had a perfectly normal life with a loving family can still sometimes be found tormenting other children. Whereas another child may go out of their way to save an insect.

Now, that being said, I would say that social interaction probably have a bigger affect on how a person turns out then their predisposition at birth. If you took a large number of people and kept them in a magic bubble till they were 18 then released them to the world, there would be, i think, relatively few intensly "evil" people and also possibly relatively few very "good" people. What a person experiences in their life can override their predisposition at birth. Even that child that saved the insect's life can turn into a sadist if they suffer enough abuse.
Last edited by bbsbass at Jan 30, 2007,
#26
I believe binary opposites are idiotic... because they ignore all the factor's that go into a decision.

A man steals a peace of bread from a homeless man to feed his starving family. Would he be considered a good man for feeding his family or a bad one from stealing from someone who needs the food equally as much.

Society as a whole is pressuring people to always try to do the right thing... but the problem is that the right thing is often ambiguous because it is impossible for an action to be right for all parties affected. Which means that something that is right (such as feeding ones family) is often equally as wrong (stealing from the beggar).

So thusly there is no such thing as good or evil... because good is naturally entwined with evil (think of a yin'yang) and so someone saying something is good is only really saying they are ignurent to what make's it evil.
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#27
Quote by arsonite
Yes. You still need people in positions of power to run these enterprises.


so are we to deem those who aren't running social enterprises failures, since they have not fulfilled their inherently greedy nature? Or are they more morally virtuous for having resisted?
#28
Quote by unplugtheradio
who says humanity isnt an instinct?

and if humanity is an instinct i think it would be below survival and self fulfillment.


So even in society, humans are still animals?
#29
Quote by AndyK
So even in society, humans are still animals?


did anyone say they werent?

society may try to make us more, but we are animals at our core.
#30
Quote by Alex The Red
I believe binary opposites are idiotic... because they ignore all the factor's that go into a decision.

A man steals a peace of bread from a homeless man to feed his starving family. Would he be considered a good man for feeding his family or a bad one from stealing from someone who needs the food equally as much.

Society as a whole is pressuring people to always try to do the right thing... but the problem is that the right thing is often ambiguous because it is impossible for an action to be right for all parties affected. Which means that something that is right (such as feeding ones family) is often equally as wrong (stealing from the beggar).

So thusly there is no such thing as good or evil... because good is naturally entwined with evil (think of a yin'yang) and so someone saying something is good is only really saying they are ignurent to what make's it evil.


That is well said

To AndyK: But what about benifitting from these programs and structures without even moving a leg?
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#31
Quote by Hart_Attack
personally i say randomly, ala the Chaos Theory (many people love to disprove this theory but I Like it) if it were predetermined then wouldn't we all be in some shape or form the same? Besides the whole Your destiny is already laid out for you to follow is gay I like the idea of bein' in some sort of control of your life, which is under law of the chaos theory ofcourse.

Chaos theory summed in a sentence incase some who do not know:
everything is related and intertwined by decisions made.
IE. I drive my car but forget to replace my brake pads because i'm lazy, i drive and can't stop my car, I hit a bystander, he dies.
Bystander wakes up goes for a jog, stops at a red light waiting for the cross signal, it turns on for him to cross, He gets hit by a car that had worn out brake pads.

Not destiny.... things are shaped by decisions that we make.


chaos theory really has nothing to do with fate or randomness... What chaos theory basically says that the factors going into an action are often more complex then people think it is.

It really wasn't meant to refute people who believe in destiny as it was to refute scientists who think that they can derive large actions in the world such as weather phenomena and pretty much anything else into something as simple as a math equation or a cause-effect diagram
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#32
Man is born not good nor evil. Evil and good are the products of mans choosing on what they see to be defind as "good" or "evil". Choices made by us and factors of society make us go down either of the paths (Altho neither are right or wrong but are just shown as that by society). But i also belive a person is born with there own nature and personality which can also factor within it.
#33
I believe that humans naturally are, what society would call, evil. When we are first born, we are self-centred, but through punishment, we understand what society does and doesn't tolerate, which means that we behave more like what society views as correct. But, I don't believe that we are either good or evil, because I don't believe in the terms.
#34
Quote by AndyK
So even in society, humans are still animals?


especially in critical situation whjen the main goal is to survive
#35
Quote by unplugtheradio
did anyone say they werent?

society may try to make us more, but we are animals at our core.


So all institutions we see around us (welfare, public schooling, homeless shelters, disaster relief) are merely the result of evolution?
#36
^ To Alex The Red

I dont think what you're saying is true for all occasions. Sure, its true for the example you've given. But there are many times when doing something "good" has no "bad" reaction.

For example, what if you are driving down the road and you see a badly injured squirrel. So you stop, gather the little guy up, and take him to the vet. Hooray, you saved the squirrel's life! Where's the evil in that?
On the other hand, lets say you were the person driving down the road earlier and you deliberately hit the squirrel, for your own sadistic pleasure. Where's the good yang to that?
#37
kudos for the perfect use of refute my friend, You may and probably are right about the chaos theory but i leave it up to interpretation, I interpret it almost as how you explained it, things are much more complex. such as the example i gave whereas if an interviewer explained the story it would be the victims side and somehow inter-relate it with god and destiny (Yes they do that here in california, they use god to help make tv ratings.)

and I will enjoy prog. rock thank you
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#38
Quote by AndyK
So all institutions we see around us (welfare, public schooling, homeless shelters, disaster relief) are merely the result of evolution?


no, but to serve ourselves better we had to make them.

so we were looking out for ourselves.

but compassion is an instinct.

at least, i believe it is.
#39
Quote by B.I.N.
I believe that humans naturally are, what society would call, evil. When we are first born, we are self-centred, but through punishment, we understand what society does and doesn't tolerate, which means that we behave more like what society views as correct. But, I don't believe that we are either good or evil, because I don't believe in the terms.


So basically, your post implies that in a world that viewed slaver as acceptable, slavery WOULD be acceptable. Not only that, I take it that you would also agree that you yourself would find slavery acceptable in such a society?

(of course, I'm assuming you think legal slavery is immoral)
#40
Quote by arsonite

To AndyK: But what about benifitting from these programs and structures without even moving a leg?


I suppose that it implies a satisfaction, that take the institution's resources without having to control the institution. Are people driven to do this? Are men inherently greedy (and thus motivated) or inherently lazy?
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