If we were naturally good, why would we fight wars?
If we are naturally good, why do we need laws to make us behave a certain way? Seems like it may just be a belief that we are born good.
Are we naturally bad?
Let’s take an example from history. It is important to remember that these events occurred not even a century ago.
- Under Adolf Hitler, during the second world war, approximately 6 million European Jews were murdered by the German Nazis.
- Around 4 million people died as a result of the Holodomor, a man-made famine triggered by the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin between 1932 and 1933.
All these heinous crimes happened just 1 human life away. It might have been in the newspaper your grandparents read every day. I wonder if they even went through it.
Much has been written about slavery, murder, and rape. Nuclear war is constantly looming over us. Why is that? Are we naturally bad?
Life happens sometimes
It is possible for circumstances to increase the bad and reduce the good.
There are many reasons why someone may go off the rails. Maybe they were bullied most of their lives, had a terrible childhood, or perhaps they had an abusive father or overbearing mother. Honestly, who knows?
From food, water, shelter, and oxygen, we all need basic physical survival and safety needs. Taken out of the equation, we do have tendencies not to become the best versions of ourselves.
Sometimes people behave differently because of poverty or something outside of their control.
Are we naturally good?
Children as young as 3 are often selfish, but when they’re 7, they start developing generosity. It is normal for babies to be self-centered in order to survive; otherwise, they will cry until they receive what they want.
Corruption is not genetic but rather is a result of bad influences or bad ideas nurtured in a bad environment.
Most humans want to be empathetic and kind and are hardwired for friendship.
But, in our society, cooperative action is rewarded, which is why many people do good. If you remove the rules of society, what would you be?
It is necessary for people of all ages to be educated in order to be naturally good, and it is even possible for our intentional activities to induce altruism and goodness in us.
A final word
Good and evil are just concepts of our own making, and humans are capable of both. Inherently, we can be both, but by default, we are not either.
Each of us has been created by nature, with improvements from generation to generation, so we can live together nobly and without error.
As human beings, we are responsible for returning to our true nature and treating each other with kindness.
There is potential for goodness in each of us. And, for society to survive, we must be good.