Fundamentally speaking, are humans good or bad? It's a question that has repeatedly been asked throughout humanity. For thousands of years, philosophers have debated whether we have a basically good nature that is corrupted by society, or a basically bad nature that is kept in check by society. Psychology has uncovered some evidence which might give the old debate a twist.
One way of asking about our most fundamental characteristics is to look at babies. Babies' minds are a wonderful showcase for human nature. Babies are humans with the absolute minimum of cultural influence – they don't have many friends, have never been to school and haven't read any books. They can't even control their own bowels, let alone speak the language, so their minds are as close to innocent as a human mind can get.
The only problem is that the lack of language makes it tricky to gauge their opinions. Normally we ask people to take part in experiments, giving them instructions or asking them to answer questions, both of which require language. Babies may be cuter to work with, but they are not known for their obedience. What's a curious psychologist to do?
Fortunately, you don't necessarily have to speak to reveal your opinions. Babies will reach for things they want or like, and they will tend to look longer at things that surprise them. Ingenious experiments carried out at Yale University in the US used these measures to look at babies' minds. Their results suggest that even the youngest humans have a sense of right and wrong, and, furthermore, an instinct to prefer good over evil.
How could the experiments tell this? Imagine you are a baby. Since you have a short attention span, the experiment will be shorter and loads more fun than most psychology experiments. It was basically a kind of puppet show; the stage a scene featuring a bright green hill, and the puppets were cut-out shapes with stick on wobbly eyes; a triangle, a square and a circle, each in their own bright colours. What happened next was a short play, as one of the shapes tried to climb the hill, struggling up and falling back down again. Next, the other two shapes got involved, with either one helping the climber up the hill, by pushing up from behind, or the other hindering the climber, by pushing back from above.
Already something amazing, psychologically, is going on here. All humans are able to interpret the events in the play in terms of the story I’ve described. The puppets are just shapes. They don't make human sounds or display human emotions. They just move about, and yet everyone reads these movements as purposeful, and revealing of their characters. You can argue that this “mind reading”, even in infants, shows that it is part of our human nature to believe in other minds.
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I think people are basically good because even if they are a serial killer, arsonist, burglar, whatever. They will watch over their family. Most of the time they will take care of them. If you say, well if they are good they shouldn't even be doing that, then I agree. But the thing is, people will learn from their mistakes. Or if they have a mental disease then they cannot see the world like we do. PTSD. ADHD. ADD. Any mental, disorder
People are good at heart. Children do not have the capacity to fathom killing. They could do it, yes, but murder is also partially a mental phenomenon. Murder is when a person calculates how they can end a life, premeditated and planned out. If a child kills another child, they know what they did, but most likely they do not understand what they've done, because if they did, the evil of it would drive them to insanity. A sane person is good at heart because of the often mistaken weaknesses trust and compassion, which are really strengths. They're the reason our species has survived. Compassion between people is a great thing. I can trust my neighbors not to burn down my house in the middle of the night, because I know they have compassion for my own life. People are good at heart, but distrust of others who have been wronged in life and make horrible choices or do horrible things cause people to simply distrust everyone because they wish to survive by instinct. In the end, if a person never encounters evil, how can they be evil when they don't even know what it is? A normal person would not commit mass homocide or genocide, that requires something to go wrong in their lifetime, or something mentally scarring by experience.
People cause harm to themselves, To others and to life on this tiny Planet Earth.
Ongoing wars, Domestic abuse, Targeting the weak and vulnerable, That is basically what human beings Do. Not all. Look at reality as it unfolds.
And if you are a good person in all you do, You get killed or harmed in some way by the brutes of this world. We all are hairless apes and in the Chimpanzee family, Male Chimps will gather a group of Chimps and attack a neighboring group of Chimps, If they think they can conquer and kill them. . . So it is with us human apes. . .
Have you raised children? A certain understanding of this subject comes with being a parent. I'm complimented all the time about how well behaved my children are. And they are... (thank you very much) But they require constant correction. Children (people) are intrinsically, instinctively selfish. Goodness is something learned. Children (again people) must be taught to share, to give, to empathize, to be altruistic, a sense of honor, to not lie, etc. To say people are naturally basically good can only be said by those who haven't raised children. (My children might also say they are basically good too... Ha!)
We are all born in a state of neutrality. Experiences and learned behaviors is what determines how we react to certain situations. It has been statistically proven that a child raised in an abusive household is 3 times as likely to repeat the cycle of violence in adulthood and 75% more likely to commit a violent crime against someone else. No one is all good or all bad, we all fall within this middle grey area of muddled morality. Most people are able to understand the difference between wrong and right, which implies that everyone has some degree of good in them, however we are also inclined to submit to things such as jealousy and selfishness meaning we all possess some degree of evil.
Our inner self may be controlled by an individual voice in our head but on a typical day every human alive sways between empathy and jealousy all day long. We would like to believe that on balance we sway toward empathy far more than jealously, but we don’t. We behave with empathy for our own selfish, jealous reasons, we do nothing accept out of jealous reasoning – therefore at our basic root we are bad but self-controlled for the same jealous reason to be socially accepted.
People are good. Get it through your thick heads. So just because we have made mistakes we categorize that as evil? No! We learned from our mistakes though, that's the key thing! If we didn't then we would be evil. Not just because we made mistakes. So kids that accidentally mess something up are evil, bad?! No. Not everyone is evil
I believe there are good people in the world, but there are many more bad or evil people. Most think of themselves first. Look at history; slavery, the holocaust, mass murders. Look at how we treat each other when doing simple every day things, like driving. Look at how people treat their children, or animals. It's a crazy and sad world!!
I think that human nature is basically bad. Think about it. If we could trust people to do the right
thing, why would we need so many laws and police officers? There is something innate in human beings
that make us commit evil acts against one another. It has always been this way.
I believe human nature is neither good nor evil. Humans tend to learn or develop a taste for things over time. If a child witness's their parents become violent toward on another. A good hypothesis to say is that child will more than like grow to be just as abusive as their parents.