The Instigator
Rubikx
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
AbandonedSpring
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Humans are inherently good.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/28/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 608 times Debate No: 64120
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Rubikx

Pro

First round is acceptance only.

I will argue that human nature is inherently good.

My opponent must argue that human nature is essentially evil.
Good luck!
AbandonedSpring

Con

Hi, thanks for starting this debate!

As con, I will prove that humans are not necessarily inherently good.

Good luck with your first argument!
Debate Round No. 1
Rubikx

Pro

Wow! that was quick. Thank you for accepting this debate.

All right, to begin. lets define good.
the dictionary defines good as "to be desired or approved of", "having the qualities required for a particular role", "possessing or displaying moral virtue".

Humans are naturally good. Whether or not you believe we evolved from apes or that we where created by God, human nature is to form society. We are social beings, we could not exist the way we do if it weren't for this fact. Because of the fact that we require these levels of social interaction we need to be in essence good. Willing to share, to help others and to contribute to the greater good. We need to abide by the same rules, to respect one another and to come to each others aid. If we did not then humanity and society would descend into chaos and anarchy. As a whole human kind needs to be good in order to exist the way we do.
AbandonedSpring

Con

Sure! Alright, I'll start with my argument, then I'll do rebuttals next round.

Inherent: "existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute."
Good: "that which is morally right; righteousness."

According to the definitions given, you believe that humans have characteristics that are morally right. Therefor, you also believe that humans can do no wrong, assuming if you don't do good things, then you must do bad things.

No one can just be 50/50 100% of the time. You must at one point either do the right thing, or do the bad thing. I'd like to argue that it is simple human nature to want whats best for yourself, and then to worry about the next person. In a situation where you had to either kill yourself or a random stranger, who would you choose? While today society has somewhat made it the expectation that occasionally you will do good things, most of the time when people do good things, they are also in some way benefited. For example, Nike does breast cancer awareness and then donates proceeds. The amount they are actually given is pennies on the dollar. Humanity started in an anarchy-type situation, therefor we naturally have corresponding instincts.

Thanks, I am finished.
Debate Round No. 2
Rubikx

Pro

All right, first things first. I would like to point out that at no point did I say humans can do no wrong. I said humans naturally do good. What I mean to say by this is that we are naturally good and do bad things due to situational pressure. To use your example, if given the option to kill or be killed many people would choose to kill. However, this does not mean that if given the option to kill or just sit there and do nothing they will choose to kill. Humans do bad things due to situational pressure, i.e. they become a serial killer because they are mentally unstable or they become a thief because they have no job and need money. There are of coarse examples of people doing bad things simply because they can, however these people make up a small portion of our society and the majority of people just don't go around harming others. Like you said some people do good things in order to profit from it. This can also be said about doing bad things. This profit can be just making the person feel better, as long as they deem that reward worth the cost of helping another person. Humans naturally want to do whats best for themselves, and helping other people often brings greater fulfillment then harming people. Therefore, humans naturally do good in order to profit both themselves and the recipient.
AbandonedSpring

Con

Okay, I'll jump right into rebuttals

"All right, first things first. I would like to point out that at no point did I say humans can do no wrong."

I never said you did. That was my argument. By stating that humans are inherently good, then by definition you must believe that humans are incapable of doing wrong. Regardless of pressure, like you stated, doing bad things qualifies you as a bad person. If someone tell you to kill someone, and you do because "you were pressured into it", are you still a murderer? Of course!

"To use your example, if given the option to kill or be killed many people would choose to kill. However, this does not mean that if given the option to kill or just sit there and do nothing they will choose to kill. Humans do bad things due to situational pressure, i.e. they become a serial killer because they are mentally unstable or they become a thief because they have no job and need money. "

People would obviously kill, however the completely non-selfish move would be to kill yourself. If you chose to kill the other person, your not abnormal, no one would kill themselves. This is clear proof that humans are not inherently good. Irregardless, you you are a serial killer, you are not inherently good. Also, just because you kill, you are not mentally unstable.

"There are of coarse examples of people doing bad things simply because they can, however these people make up a small portion of our society and the majority of people just don't go around harming others. Like you said some people do good things in order to profit from it. "

Do they really? According to http://www.shopliftingprevention.org..., "There are approximately 27 million shoplifters (or 1 in 11 people) in our nation today. More than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years." That is a lot of people. But we all have done it at one point. It's human nature. Therefor, we are not inherently good. Also, I'm not sure pecan pie you agreed with my last point, it strengthened my argument. A lot of people only do good things when profit is involved. Kindness is not their first motive unless money is involved.

" This profit can be just making the person feel better, as long as they deem that reward worth the cost of helping another person. Humans naturally want to do whats best for themselves, and helping other people often brings greater fulfillment then harming people. Therefore, humans naturally do good in order to profit both themselves and the recipient."

Have you seen the real world? It's nothing like you describe it to be. Wealthy people steal from others, only to benefit themselves. Some charities are only started because of tax breaks. You really have no evidence backing up this claim, except for the faulty information you provided.

Overall, people aren't inherently good. There not inherently anything. There are good people, and there are bad people. But just because someone is human does not make them good. Therefore, my side of the argument is the correct side.
Debate Round No. 3
Rubikx

Pro

Ok, my bad, I misinterpreted your statement. But just because a person is a good person that doesn't mean they can't do wrong things. My statement, Humans are inherently good, does in now way mean that humans can never do bad. Just because you a bad thing does not make you a bad person. There are thousands of cops and soldiers who dedicate their lives, and in many cases give them up, to protect their family and country. These people kill, hurt, break up families and ruin certain peoples lives. Are they bad people?? No of coarse not they are protecting people. If a cop and a criminal both have a gun pointed at each other, and the cop shoots the criminal. Does this make the cop a bad person?? No, he was protecting himself and the general public. Just because a person kills another person, depending on the circumstances, does not make them a bad person, it only makes them a good person who's done bad things. Now obviously killing people is not a good thing, but there certainly circumstances in which killing someone can be justified and do more good then harm.

Shoplifting. Ok to use your statistic (every 1 in 11) that means that there are 10 in every eleven who don't shoplift, or in other words 270 million people who don't shoplift. Thats far greater odds. The majority of the population you are speaking of don't shoplift. Like I said earlier, the vast majority of people do not go around harming people simply because they can. The percentage of people who intentionally cause suffering on other people simply because they want to is very small. The majority of people who regularly inflict suffering on others do it because of situational pressure, i.e. they had a rough childhood, they have poor financials or their addicted to an illicit substance. Now obviously there are many more reasons why people do bad things, but just because a person does a bad thing this does not make them a bad person. Situational pressure is not an excuse to claim hurting others is not bad, however it is the reason why it happens for the majority of situations.

To put it another way, when a baby is born it has done no wrong and so according to your logic is a good person. So as soon as that kid grows up and steals a quarter from their moms purse or blames a broken toy on their younger sibling they are a bad person. Your reasoning assumes that in order to be a good person you must never do any wrong, EVER. When I said "Humans are inherently good" I did not mean there are no bad people. Of coarse there are tons of people who could very easily, by both our standards, be declared as bad people. Humans are born good and can become bad people later on in life, but we are initially good. No person is born evil, and when they grow just naturally having the desire to harm others. When I say "Humans are inherently good" what I mean is when we are born and even at a young age (and in many cases to an older age as well) we are good. Whether are not we change later on in life is not the point, as you have pointed out the world is not a happy-go-lucky place, the point is that humans are initially good and many of us stay that way for the majority of our lives.
AbandonedSpring

Con

Alright, I will jump straight into rebuttals.

"Ok, my bad, I misinterpreted your statement. But just because a person is a good person that doesn't mean they can't do wrong things. My statement, Humans are inherently good, does in now way mean that humans can never do bad"

Alright, but to assume that something is good, it means that the good out weighs that bad. But there is no real way to determine this, therefor we can't say that humans are inherently good.

"There are thousands of cops and soldiers who dedicate their lives, and in many cases give them up, to protect their family and country. These people kill, hurt, break up families and ruin certain peoples lives. Are they bad people?"

Right, but do you know who kills these good people? Bad people.

"No, he was protecting himself and the general public. Just because a person kills another person, depending on the circumstances, does not make them a bad person, it only makes them a good person who's done bad things."

If a person kills another person to protect, then it is not a bad action. He did a good thing. But just because I do a good thing does not make me a good person.

"Shoplifting. Ok to use your statistic (every 1 in 11) that means that there are 10 in every eleven who don't shoplift, or in other words 270 million people who don't shoplift. Thats far greater odds. The majority of the population you are speaking of don't shoplift"

Once again, all it takes is one bad berry. in this case, it's about 10% of the population. Which is massive when you have to say about 30 million people have admitted. Now let's really think about it, how many people lied? I would imagine it would be around 60-70% of people.

"ike I said earlier, the vast majority of people do not go around harming people simply because they can. The percentage of people who intentionally cause suffering on other people simply because they want to is very small. "

10% is not small at all. Imagine if 10% of the population died. Then that number would be massive. It's the same number, the result of the action was just much greater.

"To put it another way, when a baby is born it has done no wrong and so according to your logic is a good person. So as soon as that kid grows up and steals a quarter from their moms purse or blames a broken toy on their younger sibling they are a bad person."

Your initial statement is false. In order to be a good or a bad person, you have to do something. Those actions determine if your a good or bad person.

The rest of the argument, you just talked about how individual people can be good, but that's irrelevant. You agree that humans are inherently good. You basically believe that regardless of actions, people are good, and you said several times that people can be bad. People can only be good through actions, and therefor, they are not "inherently good".

Thanks
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Rubikx 2 years ago
Rubikx
Thanks for the debate. This was actually the first debate i've initiated and I had a lot of fun. Good luck on all future debates.
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