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  1. #61
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    "Inherently" is inherently ambiguous, and you can't give a clear answer to a vague question, no matter how smart you are. People have the capacity to go either way and have the psychological architecture to go either way. Both possibilities are "in them" already. It's just a matter of what gets nurtured and what they nurture themselves.

  2. #62
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Original Sin and Original Blessing

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew_Z View Post
    If goodness falls on a bell curve, then yes, only a very small number are very good or very bad, but that's relatively speaking. Those extremes only mean that they are much more "good" or "bad" than the general population, not some standard of morality. The idea that people's moral compasses follow a bell curve (hell, go for it if you want) may hold true, but it says nothing about the center of our distribution; it doesn't tell us if "normal" human morality is evil or not.
    Yes, the doctrine of Original Sin says we are born bad, we remain bad, and can only be redeemed by God's Grace.

    On the othe hand, Original Blessing says we are good or bad depending on our upbringing. So if we endured the Sacrificial, the Abusive or the Authoritarian forms of child rearing, we will be correspondingly bad. But if we were blessed with the Helping Mode of child rearing, we will be empathic and creative and so good.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    People are mostly good.

    Libertarians now, that's a different matter. Although are they people?

  4. #64
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I don't think good and bad are words that can apply to an entire person. People have limited knowledge and variable intentions. This in turn brings about actions with different consequences. The consequences are key. Are they more negative or positive? Assess the virtue of the person based not only the ability to bring about positive consequences but evidence for whether or not they are capable of improving their ability to generate good consequences. The closest you can get to categorizing the person morally is to try to make an average of what they've done and see what side it lines on, and that's fraught with complications.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #65
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Sign me up for not totally good or bad. Absolutes rarely work. Even circumstances don't fully explain anything. People rise up from terrible early lives and can become either Nelson Mandela or Jeffrey Dahmer. People born in very good circumstances can operate with a commitment to making the world better or with pure self-interests.

    Plus, toss on the fact that about 1-2% of all people are sociopaths, with no clear environmentally/nurture based patterns, so it seems they're just born like that.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  6. #66
    Senior Member ICUP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    Plus, toss on the fact that about 1-2% of all people are sociopaths
    It's more like 5%. And even sociopaths aren't ALL bad. I can list some advantages of dating/living with one. (One being that it is the best sex you will ever have.)
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICUP View Post
    (One being that it is the best sex you will ever have.)
    Why do you say this?

    I think good lovers are considerate (they want you to get off), they're emotionally passionate about being with you (sociopaths aren't capable of that, are they?), and they aren't prudish about trying different things.

    What would make a sociopath better? Do you like the danger? Are you turned on by selfishness or roughness?

  8. #68
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICUP View Post
    It's more like 5%. And even sociopaths aren't ALL bad.
    Generally if their interests and yours incidentally coincide then that's a benefit. I can't imagine all sociopaths just happen to be sexually impressive, though I'd still say that falls into two interests happening to align.

    They're also usually charismatic and charming if they've no motivation or there's no benefit to cross you.

    I don't think incidental goodness or kindness can really count towards being a "good" person, but I guess that depends if you think strictly motivation or action, with intentional and/or well-meaning or unintentional and/or without any intent are equivalent.

    That's a tough question for me. I'm generally utilitarian, which implies action is best, but in evaluation of a person (which includes likely actions in the future), motivation is key.


    EDIT: Also, where is the 5% figure coming from? I've always seen 1-2% as the consensus. A psychologist named Hare originally speculated this, and Jon Ronson, who just wrote a book called "The Psychopath Test" repeated that 1-2% statistic on a recent episode of The Daily Show (though he claimed it was significantly higher, close to 25%, in prisons, and around 10% in CEOs and high-ranking business officials).
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  9. #69
    Senior Member BlueGray's Avatar
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    People will define good such that they are good. Thus, people are good.
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  10. #70
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    The behaviour of human beings is based on their innate genetic endowment as well as environmental influences. So why suggest a dichotomy?

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