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#1 Edited by OverLordArhas (7793 posts) - - Show Bio

Are we shaped by Society?

Are human beings inherently evil?

Are human beings inherently good?

Are human beings born as "blank slates"

Additional Questions by @kuonphobos

#2 Posted by The_PAIN (720 posts) - - Show Bio

A blank Slate

Perception is a powerful thing.

#3 Posted by PrinceAragorn1 (20339 posts) - - Show Bio

#4 Edited by Strider92 (16838 posts) - - Show Bio

Blank slate. Good and Evil are concepts we invented if we aren't taught them then we have no idea what they are.

#5 Posted by OverLordArhas (7793 posts) - - Show Bio

Can I eat the DOG?

@the_pain said:

A blank Slate

Perception is a powerful thing.

Are you saying that who you are right now is molded by society?

#6 Edited by WarBlade539 (4759 posts) - - Show Bio

Are we generally good but corrupted by our environment?

Are we shaped by Society?

You've done and made this topic, didn't you? :D

Anyway, to answer your question. Yes and No. In different societies, there are different perceptions of good or bad. In some societies, it is completely unacceptable for a lady to be alone with a guy without supervision. So, is that lady 'bad'. No.

But if some guy is a serial murderer or rapist. If someone stomps over the weak and helpless for their own personal gain, i don't care what society you belong to, that is evil. Nobody has to tell us...we just know in our hearts that it is.

Nobody taught me to be good or bad. I am what I am. If you are my friend, if you earn my friendship...I would die for you. That's just who I am. :)

#7 Posted by PrinceAragorn1 (20339 posts) - - Show Bio
#8 Posted by OverLordArhas (7793 posts) - - Show Bio
#9 Edited by WarBlade539 (4759 posts) - - Show Bio
#10 Posted by OverLordArhas (7793 posts) - - Show Bio
#11 Edited by The Stegman (26103 posts) - - Show Bio

Blank slate. Society molds us into who we are.

#12 Edited by WarBlade539 (4759 posts) - - Show Bio
#13 Posted by Cezar_TheScribe (2615 posts) - - Show Bio

Mankind is not inherently good.

#14 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (18740 posts) - - Show Bio

We aren't inherently "good" or "bad" when we are born, those terms are terms we have made up and have no bearing on our nature when we are born. Of course we are shaped by society, not just society though, we have certain aspects, such as our morality traits in our nature, we are naturally social animals, we can also inherit certain diseases which affect our lives etc. Those are just some examples. But its not just nature or nurture its a mixture of both. Though we created society due to our nature. But in regards to how we are affected it comes down to both.

#15 Posted by Batman242 (4862 posts) - - Show Bio

We're a blank slate

#16 Posted by wolverine1610 (250 posts) - - Show Bio

pretty much, its nurture vs nature, experiences shape what kind of person someone will be. example no one is born racist, a baby will play with anyone of any color but it's not until they get older and learn the hatred from their parents who learned it from theirs and so on

#17 Edited by kuonphobos (4931 posts) - - Show Bio

Humanity is inherently evil with a small capacity for doing "good" every now an then. If anything society leads us from the path of "chaotic evil" to the position of "lawful evil" if we are lucky. It is the best we can hope for.

#18 Posted by IrishX (2475 posts) - - Show Bio

We are definitely Not a blank slate. There are actual things in our body and mind that we are born with that push us in one direction or another.

There are people not necessarily born evil or good but because of the chemical composition of their mind at birth they have a much highter potential to become it.

I do however feel that we choose our own path and that we are responsible for our own actions.

#19 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23238 posts) - - Show Bio

@irishx said:

We are definitely Not a blank slate. There are actual things in our body and mind that we are born with that push us in one direction or another.

There are people not necessarily born evil or good but because of the chemical composition of their mind at birth they have a much highter potential to become it.

I do however feel that we choose our own path and that we are responsible for our own actions.

Well said.

#20 Posted by ARMIV2 (8856 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm inclined to believe the opposite...

#21 Posted by Durakken (1591 posts) - - Show Bio

Humans are not a Blank Slate...

Define good...

#22 Posted by DoomDoomDoom (4211 posts) - - Show Bio

I understand that good and evil are just words slapped onto concepts but think about bringing up a kid. You have to tell them not to hit and tell them to share and what not. It appears to me that traits generally deemed as negative are inherit in a child while traits that are normally referred to positive have to be cultivated and conditioned.

I don't think were born good or evil. I believe we are born a blank slate with a slight disposition towards being naughty lol.

#23 Edited by Fallschirmjager (18986 posts) - - Show Bio

Good and evil are false concepts. There is nothing inherently evil and nothing inherently good. There are things we can justify in this world and things we cannot. And what I can justify is different from what you can justify. Nothing is absolute.

I'd say the only thing man is born with is curiosity. Whether its the curiosity to see whats beyond what the eye can see in the sky or the curiosity to eat the forbidden fruit, all humans are naturally curious.

#24 Posted by INLIFE (1600 posts) - - Show Bio

Lord of the Flies comes to mind.

#25 Posted by Saren (25133 posts) - - Show Bio

People aren't blank slates, people aren't inherently good, people aren't inherently evil, people aren't easily generalized. People don't fit into these neat pre-conceived boxes with nothing in between.

Moderator
#26 Posted by Hawkguy (585 posts) - - Show Bio

At the end of the day, we're animals. The same way a lion cub would kill a mouse to survive, I'm sure humans would too, without the society and education we have today, we would be like cavemen, doing whatever we could to make sure we see the next sunrise.

Society, our parents and the people around us shape our lives and how we perceive things on a day to day basis.

Survival is all there is when you go to the basics. Almost everything in the world can be explained through it, including us.

#27 Posted by Edamame (28401 posts) - - Show Bio

People are simply products of their environments.

#28 Edited by Pyrogram (41344 posts) - - Show Bio

We are born with the will to survive.

#29 Posted by The Stegman (26103 posts) - - Show Bio

I really like Hobbes' idea of Man's nature. He basically says Man is a brutish creature who will come in conflict with one another eventually whether it's for land or food or simply ego, therefore, man invents government and laws to give them checks and balances, and keep them from killing one another.

“--dissolute condition of masterlesse men, without subjection to Lawes, and a coercive Power to tye their hands from rapine, and revenge” would make impossible all of the basic security upon which comfortable, sociable, civilized life depends. There would be “no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” If this is the state of nature, people have strong reasons to avoid it, which can be done only by submitting to some mutually recognized public authority, for “so long a man is in the condition of mere nature, (which is a condition of war,) as private appetite is the measure of good and evill.”

#30 Edited by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

@irishx said:

We are definitely Not a blank slate. There are actual things in our body and mind that we are born with that push us in one direction or another.

There are people not necessarily born evil or good but because of the chemical composition of their mind at birth they have a much highter potential to become it.

I do however feel that we choose our own path and that we are responsible for our own actions.

#31 Posted by nickzambuto (15026 posts) - - Show Bio

Blank slate. Good and Evil are concepts we invented if we aren't taught them then we have no idea what they are.

The concepts themselves maybe, but the emotions are something we're born with.

#32 Posted by BumpyBoo (10744 posts) - - Show Bio

@irishx said:

We are definitely Not a blank slate. There are actual things in our body and mind that we are born with that push us in one direction or another.

There are people not necessarily born evil or good but because of the chemical composition of their mind at birth they have a much highter potential to become it.

I do however feel that we choose our own path and that we are responsible for our own actions.

Pretty much.

Moderator
#33 Posted by PeppeyHare (4310 posts) - - Show Bio

Blank slate

#34 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (18740 posts) - - Show Bio

For the people who keep saying and voting for "Blank slate". How are you defining this?

#35 Posted by The Stegman (26103 posts) - - Show Bio

For the people who keep saying and voting for "Blank slate". How are you defining this?

I think they're saying that good and evil are concepts, thus one can't be born good or evil, but rather they are born with the capacity to do both, depending on how they are raised and the morals that are instilled in them.

#36 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (18740 posts) - - Show Bio

@mrdecepticonleader said:

For the people who keep saying and voting for "Blank slate". How are you defining this?

I think they're saying that good and evil are concepts, thus one can't be born good or evil, but rather they are born with the capacity to do both, depending on how they are raised and the morals that are instilled in them.

hmm okay

#37 Edited by kuonphobos (4931 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't believe that humans can be "blank slates" in the truest sense of the term. We all have instincts and drives which arise from our biology that come hard-wired into our composition. A "blank slate" would seem to imply a kind of innocence or mindlessness or "pre-programmed" state of being.

I feel that the title question is an incomplete set of options. It might be better to re-state it as:

Are human beings inherently evil?

Are human beings inherently good?

Are human beings born as "blank slates"

Of course this requires some agreement upon the definitions of "good", "evil" and "tabula rasa"...

Perhaps substitute "selfless" for "good" and "selfish" for evil. Either way it would seem that human beings are somewhere on a spectrum between those options. I personally feel that we lean towards the "selfish".

#38 Posted by PowerHerc (85336 posts) - - Show Bio

Blank slate but with tendencies towards being good or bad based on individual nature.

#39 Posted by Blood_Red_Rage (508 posts) - - Show Bio

This is the endless nature vs nurture debate, I'd say it is a combination of both. We are born with a various perspective but our experiences further define it. As for the good thing that is another monster, that varies from culture to culture or person to person.

#40 Posted by lykopis (10746 posts) - - Show Bio

@irishx said:

We are definitely Not a blank slate. There are actual things in our body and mind that we are born with that push us in one direction or another.

There are people not necessarily born evil or good but because of the chemical composition of their mind at birth they have a much highter potential to become it.

I do however feel that we choose our own path and that we are responsible for our own actions.

Perfect.

#41 Posted by OverLordArhas (7793 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't believe that humans can't be "blank slates" in the truest sense of the term. We all have instincts and drives which arise from our biology that come hard-wired into our composition. A "blank slate" would seem to imply a kind of innocence or mindlessness or "pre-programmed" state of being.

I feel that the title question is an incomplete set of options. It might be better to re-state it as:

Are human beings inherently evil?

Are human beings inherently good?

Are human beings born as "blank slates"

Of course this requires some agreement upon the definitions of "good", "evil" and "tabula rasa"...

Perhaps substitute "selfless" for "good" and "selfish" for evil. Either way it would seem that human beings are somewhere on a spectrum between those options. I personally feel that we lean towards the "selfish".

Good Idea

#42 Posted by TheSpiritStalker (2092 posts) - - Show Bio

Whatever they're programmed to be.

#43 Edited by The_Good_Loser (236 posts) - - Show Bio

Blank slate. Good and Evil are concepts we invented if we aren't taught them then we have no idea what they are.

#44 Posted by GraniteSoldier (9011 posts) - - Show Bio

Humans have free will. What you make of yourself is what you choose to make of yourself. My opinion.

#45 Posted by TifaLockhart (14167 posts) - - Show Bio

Lol @ the dog pic

#46 Edited by Jnr6Lil (7885 posts) - - Show Bio

Blank state.

But parents can mold you.

Online
#47 Posted by russellmania77 (15852 posts) - - Show Bio

I remember being born, it was dark, it was new, and so much fear was consuming my newly born infant body but from the first moment i open my eyes i knew my destiny was...

BatGod

#48 Posted by WillPayton (9829 posts) - - Show Bio

Being "good" is simply another way of saying being "moral". Being moral is another way of saying that you conform to the rules that benefit society and community.

Humans by their nature (along with many other animals) have an instinct for social behavior and community, which is a large part of survival and why we're still here as a species. Hence, we are inherently good. It's just part of our DNA and how we have evolved. Of course this doesnt apply to everyone, but to the species as a whole, yes.

#49 Posted by Deadite (25399 posts) - - Show Bio

If you wouldn't stop crying when you were an infant then you invite outside elements to create more varieties of possibility in you future character development.

But my real answer would be: everyone starts at a blank slate.

#50 Posted by HBKTimHBK (5308 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a blank slate, you learn morals through life experience.