Is Man Good or Evil? Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 11 November 2016

Is Man Good or Evil?

I. Summary Is Man inherently good or evil? This is a question that many philosophers, psychologists, and scientists have questioned for centuries. According to Thomas Hobbes men are created so alike that there difference in their strengths and weaknesses are no significant. For example if two men desire a thing they wouldn’t be able to attain it simultaneously, hence they become enemies. The pleasures to achieve the thing sometimes lead their actions to suppress one another in order for him to become satisfied. Man continues to look for power until no other being can overpower him, until he feels safe and contented.

According to him the three primary causes of clashes between men are competition, diffidence, and glory. For that reason during the time when men have unequal authority or power they are at a time of conflict. According to another philosopher Nina Rosenstand man is fundamentally selfish. Man has the ability to do acts of greed and generosity. But according to Rosenstand these acts of generosity are done to delight and for us to feel good of ourselves. On the other hand it is stated by Peter Kropotkin that man is basically good because how would primitive mankind survive and develop without any mutual support and unity among the early man.

Assistance and cooperation are essential characteristics of the human nature that lead to our survival. In different religions around the world the virtue of compassion is taught. Mencius said that man is born good it is just because of life and the environment that we become bad. He believes that we are good because of our conscience, the human nature, and intuition or instinct. Socrates believes that our ignorance/lack of knowledge leads us to wrongdoing; no person does bad things intentionally. II. Reaction In my opinion man is neither good nor evil.

I think it is not only a question if man is good or evil but also a question of what each man thinks is good or evil. Everyone on this planet has different beliefs and has been educated differently. Look at man from one point of view, man kills millions of live stock to feed themselves and their domestic pets, and then they kill millions of domestic pets to save wildlife, and then kill millions of wildlife so they don’t become a pest and then man sends a card out at Christmas time praying for peace on Earth. Many people would think man was evil.

Or if you look at it say from a suicide bombers point of view, they are raised with the belief that what they do is right and pure and good, yet the rest of the world thinks it’s pure evil. The good and evil that you see don’t even exist in reality, at least not outside of the mind that believes in them. They are only judgments passed by the individual from their own unique perspective. What one person sees as bad or evil may seem to be the only logical thing to do from some other perspective. The ideas of both good and evil are point of view specific. This is why people like Bush and Bin Laden are either loved or hated.

Bush is seen as good by people who share his fear based thought system. Those who have a compassionate concern for all of mankind often see him as evil. To sum it all up, good is the name we give to people who do things that we think we like. Evil is the name we give to people who do the things that we don’t like. I think it’s an individual answer based on each individual person remembering whether you choose to conform to what society says is right or wrong, everyone is able to have an opinion on their own accord without influence, it just depends what you choose to do.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

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  • Date: 11 November 2016

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