Human Nature Good Or Evil

790 Words4 Pages
People possess evolutionary morals that allow them to build functioning societies. These societies form the concept of good and evil, according to their needs. To tackle the question of whether human beings are innately good or evil, an understanding of these concepts are required. The definition of ‘good’ in this context is possessing moral value, the actions that are beneficial to the society and the people living in it overall. Qualities such as kindness, empathy, pity and respect are needed for a peaceful society, and are labelled as good and moral. In contrast, ‘evil’ is the actions that are tending harm to others. Societies label these actions (such as stealing, murder and rape) as immoral actions, since evil actions undermine the structure…show more content…
Hsun Tzu claims that humans “desire to do good precisely because their nature is evil.” (9) However, with the fact that forming a society is a fundamental part of the human nature, one can easily see that the rules that societies construct, as well as what is considered good and evil is directly linked to human nature. Humanity simply considers the actions associated with positive emotions…show more content…
One might argue that if all humans are innately good and if they all have a conscience to account for, the reason of the existence of evil in people cannot be explained. However, those who build such arguments often forget to consider the effects of outside factors on morals. It is reasonable to argue that all actions have a reason, good and evil are not different. Good actions are derived from ‘the seeds’ that everyone inherently possess. (Mencius, 2A.6) Evil actions, however, are merely a result of interactions. Mencius illustrates this by comparing human nature with water. He restates that human beings are innately good by drawing parallels to water using the fact that there is no water that does not flow down. Using this analogy, he explains that the evil behaviour is a “result of force”, giving the example of splashing the water to leap it up. He claims that “the fact that men can be made to act badly merely shows that human nature is like this as well.” (6A.2) For instance, a starving person may steal. Someone who has been wronged will feel indignation, and such a person may canalize their feelings by doing wicked actions. Nevertheless, when people are educated, they will learn how to canalize their feelings in a good way. For example, people who lack the knowledge of human nature might act violently when they are wronged. People who possess this knowledge will understand that responding violence with
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