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Is humanity inherently good or evil?

Overtime I have developed a way of thought that has led me to believe humanity is generally good. However, many events over the past few years have challenged my inherent belief. Do you believe that humanity is inherently good? Why?

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  • Jul 28 2013: Not to distract... but am I the only one that is annoyed by questions like this?

    Why must you restrict the way you define humanity through such polar means? What about all of the instances in which good and evil are clearly subjective? I think it's obvious that we're both... inherently good and evil.

    I do have to agree with Mary Elen Johnson though:
    " humanity is inherently good....... just really, really scared."

    Why not, the first part helps us sleep at night and keep the faith, and the second part couldn't be more accurate. There's countless models of emotions that manifest into action and rationalization, defense mechanisms, referenced against subjective experiences that muddy the waters a bit when trying to label people 'inherently' anything. We're inherently all of the above... The whole proverbial 'Pursuit of Happiness' thing I think best describes our inherent good, for that's what most of our lives are in the name of... 'happiness'.

    I think Morgan Freeman said it best on B.O.B's song 'Bombs Away' when he said...

    "As the war between light and darkness continues
    Heroes and villains become harder to identify
    Kindred spirits separated at birth
    Fighting for their place in time to be solidified"

    ...

    "As the mask of deception falls off the face of humanity
    Unveiling the grim reality of duality
    In which everyone is a casualty, no one will be exempt
    Truth has many shades
    It's not a matter of black and white, but gray
    Although many, we are one, so in the final analysis
    Could it be that we are fighting a war that can't be won?"

    just my two cents
    • Jul 28 2013: My apologies if this type of question annoys you. Yet, you still take part in the conversation; perhaps, a bit hypocritical. In my empirical opinion, these types of questions are very healthy. Although a broad question, this question can lead one to many other questions and perhaps personal discoveries.

      What does it mean to be good? And, by who's standard? Conversely, what does it mean to be evil? You say that it's "obvious that we're both" good and evil. This perspective is very much the same as mine, however, why is it that people are more susceptible to evil when given a certain amount of power or authority? Or, on the opposite spectrum, why do many feel an obligation to help a complete stranger who is in need?

      You may be intellectually more advanced than others reading this question, but please don't squander the curiosity of others.

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