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Is Human Nature Intrinsically Good Or Evil?

1461 words - 6 pages

6Is Human Nature Intrinsically Good or EvilSaint Louis UniversityJennifer CreekEng 190 B3Instructor: Elise B. Aasgaard, PhDI believe that everyone is essentially good, and born that way. Everyone is born as a miracle from God, and God is good. When everyone is born they have yet to be corrupted from the evil of the world, and this is why I believe that everyone is essentially good. Unlike what Hsun Tzu says: "He is born with feelings of envy and hate, and if he indulges these, they will lead him into violence and crime, and all sense of loyalty and good faith will disappear." Children are protected from their parents from the bad things out there in the world until they are at a certain age to where they are able to understand bad things that occur and why. Until then, I believe all humans are pure, good, and innocent creatures when born.Culture and society eventually has an impact and influence on humans starting at a certain age. Ruth Benedict (1934), who played a huge role in the development of cultural anthropology, believed that culture and society is what determined if someone was good or evil. Benedict believes that "the vast proportion of all individuals who are born into any society always and whatever the idiosyncrasies of its institutions, assume, as we have seen, the behaviour dictated by that society" (1934 p. 135). I too believe that society, culture, and family is what shapes someone as to whether they are good or evil, and for the most part "take quite readily the form that is presented to them" (Benedict, 1934, p. 135). Benedict also states that "most people are shaped to the form of their culture because of the enormous malleability of their original endowment. They are plastic to the moulding force of the society into which they are born" (1934, p.135). I believe that Benedict is using a metaphor and not literally saying that humans are born plastic. I believe that she is stating that all humans are born innocent and pure without any influences until society begins to have their influence and then humans are able to understand these things by a certain age and molded into whatever the culture they were born, and eagerly want to learn and easily shaped by others around them.I believe people can continue to be good if they are guided properly with good values and morals from their parents and leaders. Like Mencius says "Think about barley: if you plant the seeds carefully at the same time and in the same place, they'll all sprout and grow ripe by summer solstice. If they don't grow the same-it's because of inequities in richness of soil, amounts of rainfall, or the care given them by farmers. And so, all members belonging to a given species of thing are the same. Why should humans be the lone exception? " (circa 300 BCE, p. 96-97). There are certain circumstances when people grow up with parents that are not leading good examples, and are doing bad things like drugs, then it is possible for someone to do the same thing that they...

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