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  1. #21
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    If you want to view it in a black and white way then yes.

  2. #22
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    Are we as humans good, or are we as humans bad?
    No.

  3. #23
    Senior Member SRT's Avatar
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    Most people are inherently good, just stuck in bad circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Off-the-cuff analysis:

    I think the universal theme is that people are largely social animals. As such, they engage in approval-seeking or attention-seeking behavior. Some conform in order to win the approval of their peers, and some act out in order to bring attention to themselves. Even psychopaths usually care enough to rationalize their acts to the broader public; psychopaths can be quite vocal about trying to show that they’re only doing what others would do if they dared, i.e., that their acts are understandable and even admirable. (For example, the Unabomber and his lengthy “Manifesto”).

    IOW, good or bad have little to do with it. Good and bad are largely just measures of conformity or lack of conformity with local standards. What's good behavior in one part of the world may be bad behavior in another. Good and bad are too arbitrary to be of much use.

    To boil it down to a single universal motivator of behavior: If you want to understand people, then figure out what kind of attention-seeking or approval-seeking behavior they’re indulging.
    I like this.
    To reiterate what everyone is saying: good/evil, right/wrong are just words we use to label and justify our actions after the fact. The important thing to learn is to find and listen to your own self in the moment.
    Everything that I express is simply an opinion with varying levels of support

    If I seem like a different type to you, I hereby give you permission to type me however you want.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Stigmata's Avatar
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    People are only as good as the severity affecting their circumstance.

  5. #25
    Ginkgo
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    I would say they're inherently neutral, but each has the power for the greatest good and the greatest evil in their choices.

  6. #26
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRT View Post

    I like this.
    To reiterate what everyone is saying: good/evil, right/wrong are just words we use to label and justify our actions after the fact. The important thing to learn is to find and listen to your own self in the moment.
    Everybody does that already. Are you trying to debase the entire conversation with a priori knowledge?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I suppose that my views on this are largely shaped by my world view, although I think that observation bears it out to be true. I do believe that people if left to their own devices are inherently bad. No one has to teach a small child to lie, to steal, to be selfish etc. Those things come quite naturally to everyone. By nature, we are all rather lawless and do not prefer to answer to or depend on anyone else, even though it's been shown over and over that it is only order and restraint and interdependence that allows for a society that is productive, safe and sustainable. In my view, it is only through the supernatural and transforming work that stems from complete submission to and reliance on God and the saving power of Jesus that can make us anything different.

    The term good or evil is rather subjective unless you have a standard to measure it against and unless there is someone whose authority offers the right to establish guidelines over all people. If I did not believe that there is a God who cares for me and to whom I will be one day accountable for my actions, there would not be any solid universal definition for me of what constitutes good or bad actions or motives. It all becomes situational and depends on whose point of view is being considered. I believe that all people reflect some positive traits of the One who created them, and therefore, even the worst of people are not totally devoid of good. Due to our sinful nature, the best of people are similarly not totally devoid of bad.

    Certainly I believe that there are conditions which can foster more good or more bad through the kind of attachments or events that happen to people in their most formative years. Even in those cases though, two individuals may react very differently to the same set of circumstances and ultimately take very different paths from each other.

    As with almost any issue, the underlying foundational beliefs you are starting from determine your conclusions about it. I think this question in no different in that regard. This is one of the reasons why it is very difficult in post-modern times to attempt to create laws or order a country in some way that is fair and works for most. There is no one agreed upon majority worldview or set of premises, nor one given philosophy by which to determine what is right or wrong and to make decisions by.
    Hey fidelia!

    As a non-religious person, I find it astounding as to how many people I've found who've resounded the message you're sending here. You mention that through pure observation, it's evident that people left to their own devices are evil. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask a difficult question: if you were left to your own devices, and, by some strange circumstance, you felt you were divorced from God, would you be corrupted into acting out your most savage nature?

  8. #28
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    Are we as humans good, or are we as humans bad?
    Both.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    Hey fidelia!

    As a non-religious person, I find it astounding as to how many people I've found who've resounded the message you're sending here. You mention that through pure observation, it's evident that people left to their own devices are evil. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask a difficult question: if you were left to your own devices, and, by some strange circumstance, you felt you were divorced from God, would you be corrupted into acting out your most savage nature?
    I am in agreement with this. I think some of the most pure, open, loving people are non-religious.

    I think atheists sometimes behave in the most tolerant and humane manner.

    Brutality is a human trait that has been perpetuated by churches just as much as governments or business.

    I think people are both good and bad. They are born loving and trusting, which is good. Though they do have to be socialized to refrain from hitting others when they are mad, et al...but that socialization can be done with rationality and ethics minus organized religion.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    I am in agreement with this. I think some of the most pure, open, loving people are non-religious.

    I think atheists sometimes behave in the most tolerant and humane manner.

    Brutality is a human trait that has been perpetuated by churches just as much as governments or business.

    I think people are both good and bad. They are born loving and trusting, which is good. Though they do have to be socialized to refrain from hitting others when they are mad, et al...but that socialization can be done with rationality and ethics minus organized religion.
    What are you agreeing with, exactly? Most of my post consisted of a question.

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