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Inherently Good or Bad?

BigSpaceMonkeyBigSpaceMonkey Registered User regular
edited April 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
Of course the definitions of "Good" and "Bad" are going to vary all over the place, but I would just like to see what the general consensus is concerning the inherent state of man, or if there is such a state.

Are we born inherently good or bad (sinful or blameless)?

It's a fundamental question, that I admit have done very little research on, but would like to entertain your thoughts regardless.

BigSpaceMonkey on
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    JohannenJohannen Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    Johannen on
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    ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Logically speaking, the inherent state of man is "bad," because that's how our society categorizes many of our base instincts. Naturally that's completely relative, but we just had a thread on that.

    Zek on
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    FoxOnFireFoxOnFire Registered User new member
    edited April 2007
    Good And Bad are social constructs. There is no hidden "Book of Good and Evil" to dictate, officially what is what. So I would say there is no such state.

    FoxOnFire on
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    ALockslyALocksly Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    masochists?


    better wording would be :do NOT treat others as you would NOT be treated

    otherwise there's a few folks would would like to tie you down and spank you naughty boy

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
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    JohannenJohannen Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ALocksly wrote: »
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    machochists?


    better wording would be :do NOT treat others as you would NOT be treated

    otherwise there's a few folks would would like to tie you down and spank you naughty boy

    Fair point.

    ...... :winky:

    Johannen on
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    AnomeAnome Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    A cliched as it sounds, I think we're just born inherently human. In general, everyone has the same capacity for "good" and "evil" in the beginning. When you've just been born, you haven't done anything yet, so you can't really be either. Sure, some people seem to be natural fuckwads and some naturally ridiculously nice, but most people fall in between. Most people I've met have shown that they can and will do things on either end of the spectrum, dependant on how they feel. Maybe people are just born inherently selfish - what will benefit them the most? Sure, it'd satisfy my sweet tooth right now to take the candy from that baby, but would it be worth knowing that I made it cry? Yeah, it would make me feel good to give all this money to charity, but is it worth waiting the extra paycheck to get that new computer? The question most people will ask themselves, consciously or otherwise, is not "is this good or evil" but rather "is the short term gain/loss worth the long term effects?" I could usually articulate myself a lot better, but I haven't been sleeping.

    Anome on
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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    Why not treat others how THEY would like to be treated?

    Hell, I might enjoy being punched in the throat every day, doesn't mean everyone loves this action.


    back to the OP...

    Maybe I'm a pessimist, but judging by how the world works, I think man is inherently violent and territorial. Frankly, we are exactly what we are... animals. Sure, we have a higher brain function to make up for our lack of claws or fangs, but we are no different then a pack of hyenas. And if we are different, it isn't so much for the better.

    Sentry on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
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    BigSpaceMonkeyBigSpaceMonkey Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Zek wrote: »
    Logically speaking, the inherent state of man is "bad," because that's how our society categorizes many of our base instincts. Naturally that's completely relative, but we just had a thread on that.

    Can you point me to that thread good sir, for I am lazy.

    Hmmm...so far all of the posts have been most logical.

    Anome, makes a good point that we are all born with the same capacity for good or evil deeds, but does the fact (and I'm assuming this is a fact, but being not omnipotent and all, I can't prove it) that everyone has at some point in their lives done something selfish that hurt someone else, preclude that when left to our own devices, we lean towards evil.

    BigSpaceMonkey on
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    MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I think of myself as completely selfish, and society and all that good stuff has forced me to become or at least act less and less selfish. Good and bad are totally relative until you get to extremes or behaviors.

    Malkor on
    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
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    ALockslyALocksly Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    Why not treat others how THEY would like to be treated?

    I would like to be treated such that you give me all your money kthnx.


    Hell, I might enjoy being punched in the throat every day, doesn't mean everyone loves this action.

    already covered that.

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
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    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Are we born inherently good or bad (sinful or blameless)?
    No.

    We are born with the potential to do good and to do bad. The path we walk determines our overall goodness or badness.

    It might be the case that people have no control (free will) over what they become. This would only mean though that some people are born destined to be good, and other people are born destined to be bad. There is nothing inherent in the concept of humanity that necessitates either goodness or badness.

    Grid System on
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    Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Anome wrote: »
    A cliched as it sounds, I think we're just born inherently human. In general, everyone has the same capacity for "good" and "evil" in the beginning. When you've just been born, you haven't done anything yet, so you can't really be either. Sure, some people seem to be natural fuckwads and some naturally ridiculously nice, but most people fall in between. Most people I've met have shown that they can and will do things on either end of the spectrum, dependant on how they feel. Maybe people are just born inherently selfish - what will benefit them the most? Sure, it'd satisfy my sweet tooth right now to take the candy from that baby, but would it be worth knowing that I made it cry? Yeah, it would make me feel good to give all this money to charity, but is it worth waiting the extra paycheck to get that new computer? The question most people will ask themselves, consciously or otherwise, is not "is this good or evil" but rather "is the short term gain/loss worth the long term effects?" I could usually articulate myself a lot better, but I haven't been sleeping.

    I agree. Despite Kant's efforts to the contrary, I think most, if not all people are utilitarian in their decisionmaking.

    Granted, their definitions of what is good and bad for both themselves and others is shaped by their lives, genetics, etc, but I think it holds true that people do make decisions based on "Am I comfortable with the good/bad effects this decision has on me, and the good/bad effects it'll have on others?". I don't see any real "good" or "evil", just different perceptions, different limitations on long-term thinking, etc.

    Vincent Grayson on
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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ALocksly wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    Why not treat others how THEY would like to be treated?

    I would like to be treated such that you give me all your money kthnx.


    HA! Clever! You got me. Oh, wait, maybe when you adopt a policy like that, you don't inherently abandon sense and reason.

    Sentry on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
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    VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I like how everyone is so sure we all have the same capacity for good and bad. Where does this come from?

    Variable on
    BNet-Vari#1998 | Switch-SW 6960 6688 8388 | Steam | Twitch
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    ALockslyALocksly Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    ALocksly wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    Why not treat others how THEY would like to be treated?

    I would like to be treated such that you give me all your money kthnx.


    HA! Clever! You got me. Oh, wait, maybe when you adopt a policy like that, you don't inherently abandon sense and reason.

    it's just as valid as the masochist argument you made, that's why I worded my above version as I did.

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
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    BigSpaceMonkeyBigSpaceMonkey Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Variable wrote: »
    I like how everyone is so sure we all have the same capacity for good and bad. Where does this come from?

    Indeed...this is a great question.

    Also, your avatar...it burns my eyes.

    BigSpaceMonkey on
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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ALocksly wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    ALocksly wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    Why not treat others how THEY would like to be treated?

    I would like to be treated such that you give me all your money kthnx.


    HA! Clever! You got me. Oh, wait, maybe when you adopt a policy like that, you don't inherently abandon sense and reason.

    it's just as valid as the masochist argument you made, that's why I worded my above version as I did.

    Touche. I would still argue that there is no inherent value in treating others how you want to be treated, it seems egotistical in nature and presupposes that everyone thinks and desires the same things as you.

    Sentry on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
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    VBakesVBakes Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    All humans have the capacity for both. It a matter of environment, situation, and temptation. Though the longer you stay pursuing one of those paths the harder it is to change. The "good" become self-righteous, and the "evil" eventually stop realizing that what they're doing is "wrong".

    I dont put much stock in good and evil, its a ll a matter of point of view. A lot of what I do people consider evil, but I dont, and vice versa.

    VBakes on
    Therman Murman?......Jesus.
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    ALockslyALocksly Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    ALocksly wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    ALocksly wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    Why not treat others how THEY would like to be treated?

    I would like to be treated such that you give me all your money kthnx.


    HA! Clever! You got me. Oh, wait, maybe when you adopt a policy like that, you don't inherently abandon sense and reason.

    it's just as valid as the masochist argument you made, that's why I worded my above version as I did.

    Touche. I would still argue that there is no inherent value in treating others how you want to be treated, it seems egotistical in nature and presupposes that everyone thinks and desires the same things as you.

    well, yeah that's the fallacy in folks pointing to the golden rule as a divinely inpired example for perfect behavior. If two mere mortals such as we can hash out flaws and improvements in the wording obviously it's not.

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
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    Dr. ODr. O Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I think humanity and human beings are essentially good at their core, but that we are also flawed and have an innate predisposition for wrong/sinful behavior. I like to think of it as optimism tempered by realism.

    Dr. O on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    ALocksly wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    Why not treat others how THEY would like to be treated?

    I would like to be treated such that you give me all your money kthnx.


    HA! Clever! You got me. Oh, wait, maybe when you adopt a policy like that, you don't inherently abandon sense and reason.

    No, it was a fair point. If someone wants everyone to pamper him, are you wrong if you don't? If I really think it's unfair that you got a winning lottery ticket and I didn't, are you obligated to give me the money?

    "Treat others as you would be treated" and "treat others as they want to be treated" and "don't do things to others that you don't want done to you" are all equally useful as moral guidelines, but they all fall apart in many, many cases. There's no clever 12-word maxim that serves as a perfect moral framework, because morality is a complex beast governing the behavior of complex people.

    As to the OP, I think that in general, people are born neither good nor bad, but trend towards good as a result of basic empathy. Almost everyone has some capacity to understand and care about others, and most people are basically good folks. They may be selfish or short-sighted, but this is usually just a side effect of being too lazy to consider the ramifications of their actions, not an actual desire to be bad.

    That said, people can be born inherently fucked up and inclined towards sociopathic behavior and the like, so I guess some people can just be born broken. But I don't think anyone is ever irredeemable.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
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    OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Are we born inherently good or bad (sinful or blameless)?
    No.

    We are born with the potential to do good and to do bad. The path we walk determines our overall goodness or badness.

    It might be the case that people have no control (free will) over what they become. This would only mean though that some people are born destined to be good, and other people are born destined to be bad.
    Unless you also want to establish a preassumption of absolute moralities, this is absolute bunk. Some people might be born with a propensity towards certain behaviors, but they cannot possibly be born destined to be 'good' or 'bad' as those are not things.

    You could rephrase it as a laundry list of verbs one can be predisposed to verbing, but then you still need to establish an absolute moral code to make the jump to predisposition to 'good' or 'bad.' Otherwise, you need to qualify it with a time, location, and situation for each of those events, and you also run aground the usual subjective-morality problems of clashing outside observations and personal perspectives.

    i.e., unless you are going to establish that absolute moral code for us, all we get is a fucked up situation with multiple logical realities where the person is not predisposed to be good or bad, but predisposed to create confusing logical situations where multiple realities exist.

    tl;dr-- absolutionists need to pony up or else 'born criminals' will become the moral and logical equivalent of the Silver Surfer

    Oboro on
    words
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    SithDrummerSithDrummer Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Bad. Looking at morality from a religious standpoint, this is fairly self-evident, and a staple of at least the Abrahamic religions. From a secular, society-driven standpoint on morality, we have to be taught how to behave "rightly" in this system. If morals are largely derived from both common sense and the masses, then we start out in uninformed opposition to that system, at least until a parent or some other authority figure smacks our butt and tells us what we're doing wrong.

    Edit: this is not to say that humanity has no natural capacity for good - merely that our default predilection, in most cases, is for what is generally considered "bad".

    SithDrummer on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    There's no clever 12-word maxim that serves as a perfect moral framework, because morality is a complex beast governing the behavior of complex people.

    "I don't swim in your toilet, so don't piss in my pool."

    Shinto on
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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    ALocksly wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Johannen wrote: »
    Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. Good statement, it pretty much tells you what's morally wrong, because most things that are wrong to do are things that you wold not like done to you or the things that you own.

    Why not treat others how THEY would like to be treated?

    I would like to be treated such that you give me all your money kthnx.


    HA! Clever! You got me. Oh, wait, maybe when you adopt a policy like that, you don't inherently abandon sense and reason.

    No, it was a fair point. If someone wants everyone to pamper him, are you wrong if you don't? If I really think it's unfair that you got a winning lottery ticket and I didn't, are you obligated to give me the money?

    Yeah, it was a fair point. Both of the examples were obviously flawed in that they completely discounted common sense. I admitted as much once Alocksly called me out on it. Edit: Although, you really should read my post before this one on why the Golden Rule is flawed. Just because someone wants you to treat them a certain way, doesn't mean you are obligated to. However, not taking a persons own wants and needs into account will in no way better the situation for anyone.

    As to the rest of your post, I wonder about the empathy thing... I mean, are we really born with it, or is it something instilled in us by society? If you watch children play, don't you often see them being cruel to each other without concern for their feelings? It is only when we scold them for it that they begin to see it as being bad. Sure, as they develop they begin to move beyond not being mean to avoid getting in trouble towards not being mean because it is the right thing to do, but I still wonder how much of that is societal influence and how much of it isn't.

    I think we can also see this when societies change who you can and cannot be cruel to... I hate to bring up Nazi Germany, especially when there are a number of other examples, but here you have a very large portion of the country specifically not empathizing with certain minorities within it and, in fact, actively promoting their destruction. One can't chalk this up to a flawed physiology, but instead into changing societal values.

    Sentry on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
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    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Oboro wrote: »
    Are we born inherently good or bad (sinful or blameless)?
    No.

    We are born with the potential to do good and to do bad. The path we walk determines our overall goodness or badness.

    It might be the case that people have no control (free will) over what they become. This would only mean though that some people are born destined to be good, and other people are born destined to be bad.
    Unless you also want to establish a preassumption of absolute moralities, this is absolute bunk. Some people might be born with a propensity towards certain behaviors, but they cannot possibly be born destined to be 'good' or 'bad' as those are not things.

    You could rephrase it as a laundry list of verbs one can be predisposed to verbing, but then you still need to establish an absolute moral code to make the jump to predisposition to 'good' or 'bad.' Otherwise, you need to qualify it with a time, location, and situation for each of those events, and you also run aground the usual subjective-morality problems of clashing outside observations and personal perspectives.

    i.e., unless you are going to establish that absolute moral code for us, all we get is a fucked up situation with multiple logical realities where the person is not predisposed to be good or bad, but predisposed to create confusing logical situations where multiple realities exist.

    tl;dr-- absolutionists need to pony up or else 'born criminals' will become the moral and logical equivalent of the Silver Surfer
    It looks like you're trying to disagree with me though I'm not sure why or how you're doing it.

    Grid System on
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    OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    t Grid-- I'm disagreeing with you because you and all of the other people in this thread just slapping down this particular notion should stop dancing around the bush and just say "there is an absolute moral doctrine we all are judged by," and it should degenerate into yet another thread on that topic afterwards. Or, rather, I'd like that opinion canned and the sort of discussion we've got concurrent with anecdotes of children being empathetic, or not being empathetic,

    or something that does not rely on an illogical, absolute, sacrosanct moral doctrine, basically.

    I called you out on it because I wanted to see if you realized you were adhering to that, and I wanted you to say it if you were, because if you are-- and if the other people leaning on it, some who have already said it, would say it-- I'd know just to ignore those people's posts because I don't want this to spin out like a religion thread.

    Oboro on
    words
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    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    It doesn't matter what people define the various moral terms to be though. Unless you're holding a non-cognitivist/anti-realist moral viewpoint - in which case you're probably in the wrong thread - there will be some meaning to the propositions "X is bad" "Y does bad things" and "Z is a bad person". It may be that there is necessarily disagreement over those propositions, and it may even be the case that one or more is true and false depending on the frame of reference of the person expressing it. Even if there are infinitely many contradictory yet equally valid moralities out there, a person can still be accurately described as good or bad based on their actions or dispositions. There just won't ever be universal agreement.

    Grid System on
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    OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    It doesn't matter what people define the various moral terms to be though. Unless you're holding a non-cognitivist/anti-realist moral viewpoint - in which case you're probably in the wrong thread - there will be some meaning to the propositions "X is bad" "Y does bad things" and "Z is a bad person". It may be that there is necessarily disagreement over those propositions, and it may even be the case that one or more is true and false depending on the frame of reference of the person expressing it. Even if there are infinitely many contradictory yet equally valid moralities out there, a person can still be accurately described as good or bad based on their actions or dispositions. There just won't ever be universal agreement.
    But this isn't about their actions or dispositions, this is about their predispositions. I'm not too peachy-keen knowledgable on this one part, so I'll just ask--

    is there a moral continuity? Can we say someone was born inherently bad or good because, later in their life, they proved to act good or bad more often than the other?

    I mean, you even get nature and nurture rolled up when you start looking at this as a continuity. It's just a clusterfuck to me, unless you follow the logic I proposed of

    predisposition to [verb]

    [verb] is bad

    therefore, they are predisposed to [bad]

    but then you have to wonder just how genetic these predispositions are at all, because we can't yet separate nature and nurture so well to say, "Well, he's a serial killer because he was born that way, and not because of his experiences preceding the serial killings."

    If you establish a moral continuity, you run across chicken and the egg, nature v. nurture, and maybe some other problems I'm not seeing.

    I don't see how you can say someone is objectively 'inherently' bad, or that people are 'inherently' bad, without following that logical process I described-- and even then, yes, you need a moral continuity, you need an absolute moral code, and you need an absolute certainty in the predisposition being genetic.

    Oboro on
    words
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    Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Who was it that said "I am good because I do without being told what others do out of fear of the law"? (Or something like that)

    Anyways, I too am interested in knowing what other people think about empathy and what instills this in humans. I consider myself as a very empathic person. I feel a huge sense of guilt and shame when I hurt someone in some shape or form. I often do go out of my way to help someone in need (provided I feel that person really is in need and not some bum on the street who put himself there) and I adhere to the law not because I'm afraid of getting caught and going to jail, but because I know it's the right thing to do. Though the law isn't always right, it's better than every man for himself.

    Do you guys think this might be a good thread to bring up ye ole Dungeons and Dragons alignments? I know it's uber geeky, but I also know that my friends and I have had lively discussions regarding them, and it might be interesting in which alignment people find themselves.

    For those curious, our friends in Of Dice and Men can elaborate, but there are 9 alignments in D&D which dictate more or less a character's moral compass. They are:

    Lawful Good
    Neutral Good (or True good)
    Chaotic Good
    Lawful Neutral
    Neutral Neutral (or True Neutral)
    Chaotic Neutral
    Lawful Evil
    Neutral Evil (or, you guessed it, True Evil)
    Chaotic Evil

    I classify myself as on the perhaps more lawful side of Neutral Good, though my friends pin me in the Lawful category.

    Romantic Undead on
    3DS FC: 1547-5210-6531
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    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Oboro wrote: »
    < snip >
    Now you're not even arguing with me. I talked about destiny, not inherence. The two aren't the same thing. My answer to the OP's question regarding inherence was, after all, "no".

    Grid System on
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    OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Oboro wrote: »
    < snip >
    Now you're not even arguing with me. I talked about destiny, not inherence. The two aren't the same thing. My answer to the OP's question regarding inherence was, after all, "no".
    The distinction between inherence and destiny seems altogether arbitrary and I'd really like it if you could clarify what in the world the difference is between a predisposition and destiny?

    Oboro on
    words
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    VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Variable wrote: »
    I like how everyone is so sure we all have the same capacity for good and bad. Where does this come from?

    Indeed...this is a great question.
    .

    I think what I have said here is somewhat what Oboro is trying to say, I could be wrong.

    also, Shinto's BOPd post last page really won the thread.

    Variable on
    BNet-Vari#1998 | Switch-SW 6960 6688 8388 | Steam | Twitch
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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    *snip* (provided I feel that person really is in need and not some bum on the street who put himself there)*snip*

    Thus proving that there are different levels of empathy, which I believe supports my claim that empathy is instilled by society, not by some trait inherant to human beings.

    Sentry on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
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    VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    *snip* (provided I feel that person really is in need and not some bum on the street who put himself there)*snip*

    Thus proving that there are different levels of empathy, which I believe supports my claim that empathy is instilled by society, not by some trait inherant to human beings.

    humans grow to varying heights. This supports my claim that height is instilled by society, not by some trait inherent to human beings.

    Variable on
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    Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    *snip* (provided I feel that person really is in need and not some bum on the street who put himself there)*snip*

    Thus proving that there are different levels of empathy, which I believe supports my claim that empathy is instilled by society, not by some trait inherant to human beings.

    How does the fact that there are different levels of empathy prove that they're instilled by society?
    Are you saying that in order for empathy to be naturally instilled in a person, it can only exist in two modes: on or off?

    *edit* beated by Variable

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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Variable wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    *snip* (provided I feel that person really is in need and not some bum on the street who put himself there)*snip*

    Thus proving that there are different levels of empathy, which I believe supports my claim that empathy is instilled by society, not by some trait inherant to human beings.

    humans grow to varying heights. This supports my claim that height is instilled by society, not by some trait inherent to human beings.

    Sure... find me the genetic code linked to empathy. K thanks!

    Sentry on
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    VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    Variable wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    *snip* (provided I feel that person really is in need and not some bum on the street who put himself there)*snip*

    Thus proving that there are different levels of empathy, which I believe supports my claim that empathy is instilled by society, not by some trait inherant to human beings.

    humans grow to varying heights. This supports my claim that height is instilled by society, not by some trait inherent to human beings.

    Sure... find me the genetic code linked to empathy. K thanks!

    your proof was flawed, pretty clearly. My point was simply that varying empathy from person to person proves nothing about where it comes from. I think you know that, but hey good try at sidestepping the point.

    Variable on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    As to the rest of your post, I wonder about the empathy thing... I mean, are we really born with it, or is it something instilled in us by society? If you watch children play, don't you often see them being cruel to each other without concern for their feelings? It is only when we scold them for it that they begin to see it as being bad. Sure, as they develop they begin to move beyond not being mean to avoid getting in trouble towards not being mean because it is the right thing to do, but I still wonder how much of that is societal influence and how much of it isn't.

    Given that empathy is by no means a uniquely human thing, and that babies more or less pop out of the womb able to cry when they know their mother is ill or upset, I'd say it's something that we're born with. It needs to be fostered and developed, and people can certainly learn to ignore it, but it's definitely there.

    ElJeffe on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Peanut butter = good
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