Are human beings inherently evil/immoral/malevolent? Are we born to do evil things or are we corrupted?

Asked by: Shadowheart26
  • Depends on what we think to be evil.

    If we are judging from a Stand point of someone like Hitler, I would say that he wasn't born the same way he was, when he died.

    From the stand point of the Christian belief, it says we all fall short of the Glory of God, it also says that we are sinful from birth. So with that we might say that we are evil in the sight of perfection and then you have the role of a Jesus to wash us clean from this evil and make us perfect.

    But very simply put, you never have to teach a child to be selfish or rude. They have that naturally.

  • Yes because that's the direction we always progress towards without Christ. One key theme exists in the nations that prefer humanity, and that is Christianity.

    In all other nations, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, religious worship of the Saints, Pope, and Mary, and pagan, oppression, violence, and inhumanity is the way of life there. Except for those that follow a deeply religious Catholicism, the people of these nations do not even really understand what freedom means, it is so foreign to them.

    Even in the Christian nations, mankind kept trying to debase itself, become more corrupt, follow it's own selfish greed and ambition.

    Yet, even in spite of that, Christian nations had enlightenment imposed upon them that defied human nature and overcame human nature.

    However, every where else that did not have the benefit of Christianity. This did not happen, and things even became worse and more inhumane for the people.

    Our nature brings us towards evil, immorality, and malevolence, however God will overcome our nature for the sake of His children.

    And this is seen everywhere, for where God was in abundance in the people's hearts we improved in spite of our nature, and where God was not in abundance in people's hearts, even rejected by the people there, the products of our human nature are more prevalent.

  • Depends, We( Humanity) is just stupid

    We do stupid things throughout are life and some of that stuff is bad/immoral/whatever, but is it inherently like that... In my opinion: yes and no. Yes because most of us do terrible things and different ages: We lie as children, as adults, as elderly folk. Also in the past 2000 years, Humans have killed each other just as much as we have loved each other. Humanity destroys just as much as it creates.
    No: because Even though we have done all of this horrible deeds, we have tried to redeem ourselves by helping others, feeding the starving, building shelters for the homeless, yet if we put them there in the first place; what is the point?

  • Of course we are.

    Human beings are inherently evil and malevolent. You don’t need to teach kids to be mean, They know it already. Humans are capable of murdering other humans. I like to point out that experiment of humans pushing a button and fake automated screams coming out. The humans, However, Did not know this. The study showed that if the researchers told them to, The humans kept pressing the button, Even as worse fake screams came out. Also, You see people like Hitler and Genghis Khan, Who killed tens of millions.

  • "Nothing gold can stay."

    Babies that have first entered the world do not have enough knowledge to make any prejudices or commit evil. They are clean, pure...Gold. As they grow up, the people, events, and ideas around them. I first found the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost in the book "The Outsiders." This is how it goes:

    Nature's first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf's a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf,
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day
    Nothing gold can stay.

    People are not born wicked, but they have evil thrust upon them.

  • No, we are not.

    In spirit of constructive criticism, I will explain my stand. Firstly, one has to question the need of such a theory. This theory is developed to explain the existence of evil. We can define evil as the will to destroy. The thing is this: we grow up in a society which instills in us a fixed framework of actions. For example, theft and murder are just evil. But if justification allows for benign judgement, i.e. justifications that moves towards the notion of forced circumstances, then the evilness of the action is diminished to some extent. So it is not clear here what kind of evil this question refers to. Is it towards the society or towards nature? Secondly, we have to exclude psychopaths, whom are anomalies that do not conform to the definition of evil. These people are thus chucked aside without consideration of individual cases. Thirdly, I will finally consider this question in layman understanding, which is the understanding that people are inherently destructive to other human beings. The problem here is that there often lies a specific reason to why someone commits evil, which are qualities such as greediness, the desire to fulfill one's ego etc. And this qualities are not inherently evil. They are fundamentally survival instincts. It is evil only in consideration of our social belief. And often there are psychological implications behind the development of the having such qualities, such as a suppressed childhood which in turn is compensated with the desire to fill up the ego on adulthood. Evil do not inherently appear in us; it is us who later on deem these qualities as evil.

  • Torturous maniacs have been tortured themselves.

    We're not inherently evil, we're just somewhat naive. We create our conceptions of good/evil based on what we observe to be the "norm" or "what we observe most frequently." Without social conditioning, ideas of good and evil wouldn't exist. If we are nurtured, we will become nurturing. If others are cruel to us, we will be cruel to others.

    Guess you could call it Karma.

  • It's counter-intuitive for a social species:

    While humans are inherently selfish that selfishness quickly gives way to group thinking even in children as the stages of relationships quickly advance from temporary to selfish to quid pro quo within the first 6~9 years of life. Adulthood brings with it many notable points such as how most citizens are not murderous, thieving, entities seeking to commit crimes.

  • Good comes before Evil

    I believe humans are naturally good, but prone to willingly doing evil things. Many people will do good things instinctively, such as diving after a drowning child or pushing someone out of the way of danger. I know many people do bad things just as easily, but I also know that they have to have been on the receiving end of bad things first. Even Hitler himself was good before he became what he is infamous for. Furthermore, when people do good things for others, they often feel a pleasant sensation for it while many might feel guilty for immoral actions. It seems that we naturally lean towards the light and if people have malevolent intentions, it is only because they were hurt first.

  • We are not born evil

    Prominent philosophers differ on this question; Machiavelli and Hobbes both agree that man is by nature wicked, Selfish and competitive, And therefore ethics acts as a curbing agent. Rousseau disagrees and believed we are inherently good and are taught by social forces and circumstances to behave evilly. Human nature has two sides to it: there are both good and evil tendencies. I agree with the middle position(Aristotle), Which says by nature we only have the potentiality for virtue or vice, But to actualize them takes work.

  • Our free will can be influenced to be evil, however i believe we are naturally kind beings

    I don't believe we are naturally malevolent beings. Although looking at our history shows plenty evidence of not changing. For example all the twisted things of war and everything some of the worst of us have done. Or the ways of animal cruelty like circus animals, or hunting for pure sport. Even in today as corporations/companies/etc poison the air, land, and water. But there are plenty of people who have enlightening spirits. Its as though we have a free will of which path to take. We all know, however, which path is the right path. But we have yet to achieve the circumstances to properly band together and bring about the inner peace within us. Its easy to dwell in evil and to act upon it, but it takes much more strength to do the opposite. Some could say, in that previous statement, that that is where the evidence of our evil nature resides. "It takes much more strength to do the opposite." I have yet to know myself whether we are naturally benevolent or not. Though, if we look at natural occurances where we do go far out of our to aid eachother, all that amounting evidence adds to the point of us being sincerely kind at heart. Recently, in a terrible flood (i forgot where) people made a chain by holding onto eachother to get a person out a car in a terrible rushing flood. We have the capabilities to come together and act out of the kindness in our hearts, together, as a single consciousness with the same goal in mind. We risk our lives for eachother. We love so deeply and if that love gets wounded to an untrained individual, it can turn quite harmful.
    So i guess where my thoughts ended up going is i tried comparing the evidence of our evil to our kindness, and although there are plenty of negatives, theres an equal amount of positives. Some recorded some not. We have a free will, its as though its a natural law, so we could whatever path we please. We tend to choose the benevolent path unless influenced or mislead otherwise.

  • The circumstances of a individual cause immorality and malevolence.

    Humans attempt to be good. However due to their inherent selfishness they often do evil things as a result of their need to survive and be happy. The average person is more likely to keep their food to themselves than share with a starving homeless person due to their unfounded suspicion of said people. This is a side effect of the individuals selfishness and need to survive themselves.

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