Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Inherently Evil

Scumbag Water Buffalo.

Dr. Chacko wrote a post recently where he talked about a philosophy which he agreed with which said that basically people are good but systems corrupt them and make them evil.

I disagree with this. Every animal is inherently evil and out for itself. The difference between us and a scumbag water buffalo is we attempt to go against our self-preservation instinct and try and live within a society in a good way.

Inherently we are evil but we try and fight against it because we feel this is a good thing to do. Which way do you fall on the argument? Do you think people are inherently good or evil?


Blogger Josie said...

I'd have to go with inherently evil BUT there's the nature/nurture thingy. People are taught right from wrong from their parents which is a major factor. Of course a few people have not been taught this and it surely is evident in their character and behavior.

10:05 AM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

The nurture things is us trying to fight our inherent evilness. I might be able to agree people basically want to fight against their evil natures and be good but inside we are inherently evil.

10:07 AM

Blogger DrChako said...

People are not born evil. I refuse to believe that. Animals are not evil either. Since when is survival evil? I consider myself a good person, but if I'm up against it, I would kill to survive. Most people would. Doesn't make it evil.


10:18 AM

Blogger Josie said...

DrC is right!

10:31 AM

Blogger PokahDave said...

We as humans have reason and logic...the stupid fucking water buffalo just wants to survive....

10:49 AM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Agree we have logic and reason that can fight against our inherently evil selves.

If you were being chased by a pack of wolves would you push down the guy in front of you so he got eaten instead of you? That is kinda evil.

I agree it is not evil to kill someone who is trying to hurt you.

1:23 PM

Blogger sebszebra said...

Being to some extent altruistic is a very important survival strategy for human beings. Our modern genetic programming as a species was probably most defined during the hunter-gatherer tribal phase of human history, of which modern civilisation is an extension.

Keeping in with the tribe, being willing to help others out, contributing to the group and other individuals within it will mean others will help you when you need it, watch out for you in dangerous situations, help you if ill or hurt.

Most human beings want to conform and fit in, often unthinkingly doing things everyone else does, like certain rituals of greeting or attending arbitrary social events just because it is expected. Look how in just about any social group those that do not conform are picked on for being different.

I would highly recommend The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. It explains why genes through evolution have programmed strategies of behavior that are to gain the maximum chance of perpetuating the genetic replication of an individual organism's DNA, yet why this can often result in apparently altruistic behavior. It also tells a fascinating story of how the amino acids that occurred naturally in the primeval soup with the ability to chemically replicate developed through an arms race into DNA wrapped in plants and animals designed to protect and replicate the chemical codes within. Humans are just a by-product of this process.

(Frankly, I generally consider Dawkins to be a pratt, but this book is a translation into an understandable version of some highly academic pre-existing work he used to teach to his students. It is about the best book I ever read.)

I know the evolution thing is a bit more controversial in the USA. In Britain, we have Charles Darwin on one of the bank-notes.

3:35 PM

Blogger Josie said...

Check out the big brain on Sebs!

6:27 PM

Blogger The Neophyte said...

I don't think I would define looking out for oneself as evil. It is how one survives, one gets ahead even. Adam Smith called it the "invisible hand", how in trying to make as much money as I can, I produce more widgets which makes it cheaper for others to buy them which makes it good for them as well.

Like Dr Chako I don't think anyone is born inherently evil though I do think some come by it much easier than others. Most of us have the reason to see that in order to live with each other, we cannot just act on every impulse. So most of us don't run over the guy because he got in the way when we are late to work.

7:15 PM

Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Every animal is inherently evil and out for itself.

Looking out for oneself and being evil are two different things.

10:24 AM

Blogger BamBam said...

When we learned, (read: felt the need ) to seperate ourselves from animals, we basically threw out the rule book. Thus inviting decision making to replace survival.

While we should be most proud of our opposable digits and humbled by our fundamental generousity, we should be equally humiliated by our basic thought process and greed.

I'll eat that if I can catch it to survive, is NOT I'll kill that.

So in closing I offer you this;
I believe that none of us are born evil, but being mankind, we are certainly the most capable species of ending up that way.

2:54 PM


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