Human Nature

So, what are your thoughts on human nature? Are people basically good? Or bad? Or just self-serving? Do you differentiate between a few elites and most other people?

A miserable little pile of secrets!

It’s crunchy and tastes good with [STRIKE]ketchup[/STRIKE] wasabi.

Honestly though, I don’t believe there’s anything purely good or evil, even if some people veer off in different directions. Grey stripes, mon, grey stripes.

All biological. Good and evil don’t exist, etc. Conscious intelligence a freak of nature which allows us to deny our basic biology, probably a good idea to.

I define “good” as contributing to the survival of members of our species, and “bad” as not.

I think most people are basically good, but can be driven to do bad things if the good they serve outweighs the bad, or if they’re ignorant enough not to understand the effects of what they’re doing.

I guess I better post my own theory. The older I get, the more uncertain I become about everything philosophical. But, if I had to say what I think about people, I’d say some people are good, some are bad, but most exist somewhere in the middle.

Some people most definitely give to society more than they take. Some definitely take more. But most people seem to be balanced somehow. They’re selfish but they also show goodness in raising the families.

Sorry I couldn’t come up with something more original.

Human beings are neutral by nature. We’re born neither generous not cruel; those things are taught to us, either intentionally (by other people) or unintentionally (by the events in our lives.) The one thing that makes us special: we CAN break those conceptions, and change our lives, IF we care to. All we need is to QUESTION the why of things. However, many people are scared of doing just that.

Most people I’ve met have been basically decent people. Then again, I live in Canada.

You see, I would disagree with that. I think genetics play a large part in potential for altruism versus selfishness. For instance, some animal species are capable of compassion and some not so much. This shows there might be some kind of genetic link.

The only thing that really grinds my gears about people is when they fill my favorite message board with pseudo philosophical BULLSHIT!


I think true evil is very rare. Most of the things history and morality tend to see as “evil” are people trying to do what’s right and make the world a better place; it’s just that they fuck up at it. Very few, if any, people, act with definitive and complete altruism, but, by the same token, just as few actions are made with definitive and complete selfishness.

People don’t think about what they’re doing enough. This means they tend to fuck up a lot.

Originally Posted by Arac
Very few, if any, people, act with definitive and complete altruism, but, by the same token, just as few actions are made with definitive and complete selfishness.

Unfortunately most of them tend to be leaders of things.

You are just converging to Socrates’ “All I know is I know nothing” as t grows bigger. :kissy:

Anyway, some days I love humanity and hate people and others vice versa. I believe most people are good but they are often removed, misguided, self-deluded, afraid, uninformed and when it gets ugly you don’t wanna be there. But when it’s good, it’s good.

Arac, you’ve got a point. No one’s trying to do what they consider wrong. But when you have two arrested guys beating each other for shit and giggles or having pics of you taken with a prisoner on a leash, yeah, fuck you.

edit: I don’t like the dehumanising aspect of the word evil, but I think some occasions warrant it. Note: the acts, not the people.


Rig: Well, yeah, I mean, there are numerous, obvious occasions for “fuck you guys” throughout history, but I don’t really think they’re (usually) evil, even. I tend to feel more sad than angry when I hear about that stuff, with some very notable exceptions.
Also, for the record, I think rape is the only crime in America that is truly and definitively evil. And it still does make me angry.

This was sort of supposed to be an extention of the big debate Sinistral-Mullenkamp were having in the other thread about human nature. So if either of you guys wanna start up again :stuck_out_tongue:

I know it was, but that debate will not result in me changing Sin’s mind or Sin changing mine. Honestly, I’m just grateful you started this thread because the result has been the end of that debate. Everyone who wanted to talk about that now has a place for it, and it’s not in a political thread.

…But for the heck of it, I tend to believe that people are more prone to do good and help others. I think people always have a spirit for goodwill and a desire to help society, especially once they understand that everyone benefits if they do so. To serve others is to serve oneself.

Humans without society or without interaction with other intelligent, or even semi-intelligent beings, are essentially best when they are entirely selfish creatures, but when placed in a group, develop social behaviour that seems altruistic on the surface, but can essentially be positively selected for <i>if the behaviour is returned</i>. This altruism leads eventually to the benefit of the overall group (and even to each of its members) being <a href = “”>much greater than the benefits that any individual can reap by being selfish and alone</a>.

Eventually, if your society with a small altruistic population is developed for long enough, then the trait becomes more common until it reaches a saturation point where an additional altruistic individual does not benefit the whole group more than that individual can benefit him/herself by being selfish (and thus contribute to the group by being individually more fit). There we reach an equilibrium, as far as altruism/selfishness is concerned. Of course, this is all abstract; there’s no such thing as a “selfishness” gene or an “altruism” gene.

And if you want to talk about mating, that’s an entire other can of worms.

The important thing when considering questions like this is to keep in mind that patterns in nature repeat themselves, for example NYC looks a lot like a cancer cell when viewed from space, for some reason.

Let’s be honest, most people are stupid. This meaning, they make less use of their individual thought faculty and rely more on a posteriori mindshare complex, being made fun of for so and so, or sociological intimidation are good example . Now, is your average worker doing it for survival?, must said worker conform to some standard to be hired?. What we’re taught in the west is that greed is good, but one cannot create their house and everything in it without the help of society, think action and reaction.

People are like sheep, what they do depends on what shepards them, it could be their favourite entity causing them to adopt ideas based on such.Most true friends are merely what we’d like ourselves to be like in some way or another.