Are We Born Good or Evil

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 813
  • Published: April 19, 2009
Read full document
Text Preview
Since the beginning of time, our mere existence has created a number of questions we cannot seem to forget nor answer. Where did we come from? How was the universe created? What is our purpose? Are we innately good or bad? Assumptions, theories, evidence, faith, and science have all been used to try to answer these questions accurately. Specifically the question whether we are born good or bad will be addressed. Locke says that we are born good with a blank slate. Whatever we learn and how we learn it from society is what fills the slate. However Hobbes believes that we are born bad and because of this we need a ruler to control that attribute with fear of punishment. I believe that Hobbes is right in the sense that we are born sinful. Yet, I do not agree that we need a ruler to control our sin by fear. Rather, we do have a blank slate that society does affect, bringing the idea of good into our perspectives. We are born with a sinful nature because of our natural survival instincts. If left to our own, away from society, we would act upon nothing but the will to survive. Every decision would be based on the idea of how to better us, practicing an extreme form of selfishness. Yet, when brought into society we would start to understand the idea of others and performing selflessly. Society will begin to show us what is accepted as right and what is accepted as wrong. Once understanding what is considered good, I have faith in humanity to at least try to make appropriate decisions. Using your survival instincts is neither wrong nor sinful. Rather, my point is that in a situation where we are taken away from society our one interest is to survive. Within that interest it is not whether right or wrong, but rather what it will help or hurt us. An example of this would be in the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. In Golding’s novel the children have even already been addressed to the rights and wrongs of society, yet they still forget them when placed in a natural environment. They become stranded on an island. The reader watches their civility slowly slipping away the longer they are away from their society. The idea of killing someone never would have crossed the children’s minds until the natural instinct to survive replaced the want to do right. The children in sense became barbaric when they let their natural instincts override their domestic upbringing. Also, just apply what we do from day to day as humans. One day we will go out to eat have a lovely dinner, and though we are full, precede to a dessert that is not needed. Comes number less ominous. When that woman with a model figure dressed in BeBe walks by you grudgingly wish you were she. Hearing these inconsequential things, you would think nothing of performing them from day to day. These sins do not necessarily strike you as a good reason why we are innately born evil. Yet, according to the Bible gluttony lying, and coveting are all sins. In which every sin is weighed the same. Looking at sin this way, we begin to see how much we really do sin in a day. However, in order for that argument to have meaning to a person, they would first have to believe in the truth behind the Bible. See this is where the argument of society creating our out looks on right and wrong comes from. In earlier ages it was less heard of to not trust the Bible as your source of right and wrong. Throwing out the Bible as the only source, now a days we have seen the change in what is considered “acceptable” in sexuality and morals. Society has said no to the Bible as the one moral code now deciding what our moral code is. Nonetheless, we are still making our laws, civility, and morals under an order of society. Thus all of us are forming the ideas of right and wrong together. Think of a child playing with other toddlers. He grabs the toy form the little boy who begins to cry. The mother yells at the child and says you need to share your toy with the little boy....
tracking img