Is Man Inherently Good

Topics: Criminology, Crime, Morality Pages: 4 (1559 words) Published: August 20, 2010
Is man inherently good or evil? To answer that question we will examine humanity’s past and present acts. We will discuss the causation of man through their natural acts, through wars, conflicts and common acts of violence. We will show that humanity is neither inherently evil nor good. However, we often settle our personal disagreements through common violent acts. Wars are fought because we want to establish our dominance or have some kind of agenda. Briefly mentioned are some common theories suggesting the reasoning behind such wicked behaviors. Also discussed is the examination of each team member’s personal values, which is an idea, accepted by individuals or a group; beliefs are any cognitive content held as true; morals are principles of right and wrong or, conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles. These are based in cultural and social constructs which vary from culture to culture. Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century philosopher viewed human beings as naturally egoistic creatures who seek their own welfare, even if this leads to aggression against others. Hobbes argued that people join into society to gain security from others. A century later Jean-Jacques Rousseau disputed Hobbes’ theory, and in 1762 Rousseau wrote humans are natural compassionate loners. But, unlike animals, human behavior is not determined by instinct; human behavior is acquiescent; it changes in the societies within which humans live. Rousseau argues that the violent traits that Hobbes attributes to human nature are actually caused by the type of society in which people live and not essential human nature (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2007).

The principles that determine the character of man are morals, values and beliefs. It is within these principles that will decide whether humanity is inherently good or evil. In our team, we have individuals whose beliefs, morals and values have some faith-based influence and others whose...
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