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View Poll Results: What is your outlook on mankind?

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  • I'm an NT and believe that people are basically good, but do bad things.

    5 23.81%
  • I'm an NT and believe that people are basically bad, but do good things.

    3 14.29%
  • I'm an NF and believe that people are basically good, but do bad things.

    7 33.33%
  • I'm an NF and believe that people are basically bad, but do good things.

    2 9.52%
  • I'm an SJ and believe that people are basically good, but do bad things.

    1 4.76%
  • I'm an SJ and believe that people are basically bad, but do good things.

    2 9.52%
  • I'm an SP and believe that people are basically good, but do bad things.

    0 0%
  • I'm an SP and believe that people are basically bad, but do good things.

    1 4.76%
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Results 1 to 10 of 35

  1. #1
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    Default Good/bad people or good/bad deeds...

    So what's your outlook on people?
    • Are people good and do bad things?
    • Are people bad and do good things?
    Answer my poll and get a free cookie.

    Explain your vote and get another one free.

  2. #2
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    I basically hate people. Sometimes

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  3. #3
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    Free cookies for YLJ...and anyone else who votes (like I promised):


  4. #4
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I think each person contains potential for bad and good and the choices they make move them toward one side or the other on the sliding scale making them predominantly neutral, bad, or good.

    Primarily people are just self-interested, which I think of as kind of neutral since it's a default and understandable, but I guess for the purposes of the poll, I'll call it bad.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #5

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    I think this is an interesting topic, but I did not vote because none of the options represents my opinion.

    I think that people are born neither good or bad. I think people are born with value-neutral instincts that can be put toward good or bad ends. For example, we're born with survival instincts; we can use those to rob people that have more than we do, or we can use them to provide responsibly for ourselves and our families. I think we have a balance of selfish interest and community interest (conscience?) that struggles to find equanimity, and whether we're good or bad depends on how we maintain that balance. I also think that generally good people can do bad things and generally bad people can do good things, which suggests more of a continuum than an either/or situation.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  6. #6
    Wild Card Atomic Fiend's Avatar
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    There's no middle road?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    There's no middle road?
    I was considering a middle road as one of the options, but I feared that it would screw the entire poll up. I wanted the answers to be diverse, and so the best way to approach is to look at things in terms of black and white.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nemo's Avatar
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    Okay, I've thought about this before and have a weird way about reasoning through this:

    I don't think there's any real objective definition of good and bad.

    I think that, at the very least, for a society to be successful and not self-destruct, it must possess mechanisms by which its members are socialized into behaving in non-dysfunctional ways.

    Many of these "non-dysfunctional" values seem to be universal (e.g. don't kill everyone). Whether or not they're human nature is a question I'm not willing to come to any conclusion on. They may very well be, but, as I said above, at the very least most people are socialized to have them.

    But since something like "don't kill people" ** seems pretty universal, aside from a few dysfunctional serial killers, it would appear that, by and large, a human trait is that we don't like to kill one another recklessly; and even if it's not an innate attitude, it is a value ubiquitous enough that it might as well be.

    So I even though I technically don't believe in any objective definition of good or bad, I purposely limit myself to a framework of "What sorts of behavior would destroy society?" and evaluate good/bad as what I think is universally required for societies to persist. I do this for practical reasons; I think anything beyond that framework, frankly, is pedantic and a waste of time.

    And yes, I think these "good" qualities are, at the very least, socialized into most people; and, at the very most, are human nature.

    So I voted that (most) people are basically good. Sort of.

    ** Things like war are a major discrepancy here; but war is usually justified internally within a society as vital for its self-preservation, so I don't really see a contradiction. On the other hand, I'm not prepared to say that the willingness to kill over ridiculous tribal divisions (no matter how sophisticated they've become) is a value that's universally required for a society to function, so I don't think wars are necessarily moral. Thus, otherwise good people do bad things, etc.
    You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. - Jack London

  9. #9
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    Thus far, I am seeing that most of the pessimists are J and the optimists are P.

  10. #10
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    Well, discussion continued huh? Good for you!
    and us.

    I didn't choose one either because I think they hit the world pretty much neutral (blank slates) and, then, based on what they're taught or what they experience and how they deal with it.. what they see as working for them... will determined which direction they go in. And I don't think whatever they become, at that point, is a constant because education and experience never stop. So, yes, a formerly "bad" one can become a "good" one and vice versa. And, as Farmer said, good ones do bad things and vice versa but, as Aristotle said: We are what we repeatedly do, meaning we're making the same kinds of choices over and over again... not just a one or few time choice "error" until we learn something different works for us. We've either decided we like doing good or bad. Its a matter of preponderance. For example: The mafia boss or hitman who donates to the church or gives to the needy. A bad person doing good deeds that in no way offset the preponderance of bad actions. Those good deeds, in their comparatively inferior weight, do not a good person make. Another example: The man or woman who cheats on their spouse/mate once or twice compared to the one that continues doing so over and over for years. One is a good person making a bad choice and the later is just a bad person.

    Well, thanks Ube... I didn't get to say this on the other thread.

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