22 October 2007

Are people naturally good or evil?

This writing assignment is due before class starts on Thursday, Oct. 25

One of the more complex and perplexing questions raised throughout history concerns the true nature of humankind. Philosophers have debated whether people are naturally good or are they instinctively capable of evil. Some of the novels you may have read in 9th grade, including Lord of the Flies, Night, Animal Farm, and/or Ishmael have grappled with that very same topic. In A Separate Peace, that idea is also raised as Gene struggles with his own actions and the realization of his true inner feelings.

What do you think? Do you think people tend to be naturally good or naturally evil? Are we all born with the capability to commit evil, or is it something we learn as we grow up? There is no easy answer to this question, but you should try anyway in the comment section. In addition to your own opinion, your answer should include a specific reference to a piece of literature as part of the evidence to support your opinion. It could be A Separate Peace, or it could be something else you've read.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think people are born good. It is their emotions and/or other people which Helps people do evil things. How people help you do bad things is by influencing the person doing the bad thing, but people can influenc you to do good things too. In the end it is you how chooses if you do the evil thing or a good thing. In A Separate Peace Gene's emotions got the better of him so HE chose to jouste the tree branch on Finny to make him fall.
Aaron
Period 6

Anonymous said...

I believe that people are born with the ability to good things or evil things, but it is the way they are raised and the situations they find themselves in that cause them to choose to do one thing or another. Just as in A Seperate Peace Gene was put in the tree with Finny feeling jealous that Finny was better than him at so much and the feelings he had along with the opportunity he jounced the limb. Another example is from The Bourne Identity and the other books in that series. Jason Bourne has to kill the people that he does because he wants them to stop chasing him and they want him dead.
Josh Period 4

Lindsay, Per. 4 said...

I believe that people are born good. Personally I have never meet an "evil" baby. They don't know anything else than to be good. But as people grow up, and more evil is shown around them, whether it be something small or big, it makes an impact on us. When we realize that we don't necessarily have to be good, even though we should be, it grows on us. Evil can be a terrorist attack or making fun of someone. This is shown in The Lord of The Flies. When the boys first arrive on the island, they are good. But as they adapt to life on the island, the evil starts to come out of them. I think that we are born good, but all people have the capability to let out the evil in them and everyone has some in them. It's those who chose to let it out and those who keep it in which makes the difference.

Anonymous said...

I think that people are neutral. They aren't good or evil until there minds have matured and gained knowledge from their surrounding society. If a person's society is civilized and good mannered then most likely the person will be good by nature. If a person's society in uncivilized and lives without rules the person will most likely become evil/bad by nature. Most people that are evil have psychological problems and are "crazy". Hitler, who was one of the most evil people alive, had psychological problems caused from the death of his parents, growing up in post-WWI poverty stricken Germany, and not getting accepted into art school. In "Lord of the Flies" the boys from the island start out good but after awhile their good mannerism disappears from not being a part of civilized society. At that point their inner evil is revealed as they start to turn on each other. There is no true "good" or "evil", there is only the way we behave because of the way our minds work and the knowledge we gather as man evolves. "Good" and "evil" are inventions of man and are only portrayed through man. There is no such thing as a "good" or "evil" animal, only one that fights and lives to survive in the world.
-Mike K

emily, period 6 said...

I think that people are born good. We all have a conscience, and whether we listen to it or not is what differentiates between the good and the bad. People are not born evil. Instead, they develop evil feelings and actions during their lives. There are many things that could encourage evil to spark in someone's life. For example, Gene is jealous of Finny, and this causes him to turn on the evil side of him. Or, like in Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm, a greed for power and importance might also cause someone to act evil. To what degree one expresses evil depends on the way he or she is raised and how they are taught to treat other people. There is always a motivation to become evil; it does not just happen at birth.

Anonymous said...

I think that people are born good, and hen as they grow they learn they have the choice to be evil. Your emotions will cause yo to do evil things, like when Gene jounces the limb that Finny was standing on causing him to fall off the tree. If children are surrounded by evil people they are more likely to let out the evil they have inside of them,because they learn form example.

Justin
Per. 6

David Trotta Period 4 said...

Some people have no choice but to be evil, such as serial killers. They cannot help but listen to the bad little thoughts inside their heads, because they basically have a disability. In most cases, however, people have a choice as to whether they would like to be good or evil. There is evil that lives inside of all of us, that is for sure. Take Gene, from A Separate Peace, for example. His inner evil was jealousy for Phineas. THAT is the evil inside of Gene that caused him to jounce the limb. Gene decided to ACT on his feelings by giving in, but he has no one to blame but himself. We all have evil inside of us, ALL of us, but it is the strong willed and courageous people that manage to keep their evil thoughts and feelings in check. That is where the good people come in. People that ignore the bad little thoughts in there head and instead choose to make an improvement in the world, and humanity in general, are the good ones. Ones that don't just think about their thoughts and their desires and what they want, but what someone else wants or needs. Everyone has a CHOICE as to what they will be, good or evil. It is only how we live our lives that matters in the end.

chloe per. 6 said...

I don't think people can be naturally good or naturally evil. I think all people are born with a clear conscience because they are born innocent and they don't know how to differenciate between what's good and what's bad yet. I don't know about you, but i've never heard of a baby being born with like, an evil laugh or something. What I'm getting at is that when people first get a taste of what "bad" is, they like it. I think that what people do is mainly based on emotion. I mean, look at Gene for example. He wouldn't have jounced the limb if it weren't for his jealousy towards Finny. Different emotions are what spark good and/or evil in human nature. Although their conscience may be telling them otherwise, people sometimes decide not to listen. There is good and evil in everyone and it is up to us to decide how we control it. Some people have a harder time controlling the "evil" inside of them than others. Basically, what I'm saying is that I don't think people born with the cabablilty to be evil but it is something that comes with age as we grow more knowledgeable with the topic and learn things like greed, jealousy, anger, and other issues.

Chelsea period 4 said...

I think that it is human nature to have the capability to do both good and bad things. For the most part however, I believe that people are born good. I think that it is what they see, hear, watch, grow up around, and are taught that make people turn to doing evil things. Some people do bad things because they have problems that they don’t know how to deal with and they result to doing something evil. In A Separate Peace, I think that was Gene’s problem. He was so frustrated with Finny always being better with him that he couldn’t take any more of the constant competition and stress, so instead of dealing with it in the “right” way, he turned to doing something bad; jouncing the limb that Finny was on.
I don’t think that any of us are 100% good or 100% bad. There is a little bit of good and bad in us, however some people don’t know how to channel the bad into good, and some do. I think that is what separates the good from the bad. We have all done bad things in our lives, but I think learning from our mistakes and making something positive come out of it is what makes us good.

Charlotte P4 said...

I think that everyone is born naturally good, however we have that instinc of evil hidden inside us. The evil develops as we grow older. Bad experiances unleash and influence the evil. Most people don't do bad things with out a reason behind it or something that fired them up. Usually criminals have bad childhoods or pasts that explain how they ended up being involved in criminal actions. I also believe that the truley evil people are phycotic. For example, Hitler didnt have much of a bad past, so there must of been somehing really wrong with him to have done the things that he have done. No sane person would go out and just kill someone.

Anonymous said...

People are just born, then they get influenced by the society we have established today.
Everyone is capable of evil but most can control their feelings.
I believe evil is a little bit of both, sometimes its just their human nature, could it be genetic? I have no doubts though, that their behavior could potentially be based upon the way they are brought up, their home life and past experiences. If someone has a bad childhood there is a possibility that they will turn into the same sort of person that hurt them in the first place. Not everyone who has a bad childhood turns out to be bad though. It takes strong will power to break away from the way you have always learned things and some people never learn how to do that. Possibly out of anger or hate? Then there are just sick people who have no explanation.

Many people we consider bad in our society have succumbed to greed or anger which certainly causes people to act like jerks and do horrible things to get what they want.Animal Farm was a great example of showing this jealousy and greed. If someone one has what they want they get jealous and that jealousy could turn into hate which causes people to do "evil" things. I believe people can maintain a certain amount of control and that Gene just completely lost it and did something horrid. I don’t think Gene is necessarily a bad person, I definitely think what he did was terrible and I don’t understand how it could be possible to do something like but, people do worse things everyday. Gene clearly doesn’t know how to maintain his jealousy. Not once in the book does he really look at himself and evaluate himself or ask himself what am I good at? His focus is constantly on Finny.

Macy P.4

Dominic Per 4 said...

To be completely honest I think this question can never be answered unless we all have one collective mind because reality is, in actuality, subjective and different to every living being because of their separate yet intertwining environments. In my opinion, however, there are some inherently good or evil people who devote their lives to such paths but I truly feel that in most cases people are born into a state of neutrality. As stated in above comments, humans make these decisions because they are not yet totally sure of their standpoint and what is right or wrong to them, what they find to be their reality. I truly think that it all depends on two stems of one emotion, desire to live for one's own benefit (evil) or desire to help others (good). They will go down either of those paths depending on which is more prevalent in the personality of the individual. For example, in both A Separate Peace and The Kite Runner, Amir and Gene seem evil because they are more self-centered than the more friend concerned Hassan and Finny. But it is possible to change anything including one's reality as Gene illustrates so well when he deceives himself into thinking he doesn't envy Finny. So all in all, we are all born with the capacity depending on our reality and environment but it is possible to get past that and do what is the true, absolute right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, people are neither good nor evil by birth, rather, they are affected by different places they live or come from. If a person grows up in a place full of crime they will most likely turn to be bad themselves, or on the other hand If someone grows up in a nice place with little crime they will most likely become good in the long run. This concept is indeed something you learn as you grow up. But there is always the chance that people are good their whole lives and then when they start hanging out or becoming friends with the bad people they change themselves. This is shown in Lord of the Flies when all the boys start getting corrupted by Jack and are eventually lead to violence themselves.

Mike R

Anonymous said...

I beleive there is some evil in everyone. No matter how good you are there is so in everyone. Gene is naturally a good person. But when his instincts and feelings for Finny get the better of him he does something evil. He jounces the limg of the tree Finny is on and causes himto fall. Finny is horribly injured and cannot play sports for a long period of time. After Gene realizes what he has done and regrets it. He tries to tell the Finny the truth but Finny doesnt beleive a word he says.

Anonymous said...

I beleive there is some evil in everyone. No matter how good you are there is so in everyone. Gene is naturally a good person. But when his instincts and feelings for Finny get the better of him he does something evil. He jounces the limg of the tree Finny is on and causes himto fall. Finny is horribly injured and cannot play sports for a long period of time. After Gene realizes what he has done and regrets it. He tries to tell the Finny the truth but Finny doesnt beleive a word he says.

Pat M. p.6

Colin, Period 4 said...

In my opinion, people cannot be pigeonholed so easily into the categories good and evil; therefore, I think that people are born neutral and can be swayed either way. Throughout history, we have seen people do good and evil deeds alike, sometimes one after the other. Many people look at morals differently anyways; one person’s evil might be another’s mischievous. The way we are raised also affects how we act; a victim of child abuse or sexual assault it more likely to become bitter than someone who led a happy, care-free life (if that is possible in today’s day and age.) The resentment that some people harbor can grow in time, and turn into something darker and more sinister, thereby creating someone who thinks nothing of extinguishing a life because someone looked at them the wrong way.
A perfect example of this would be from the novel Lord of the Flies. When the boys first arrived at the island, order was in place, and no one misbehaved. After a while though, and some of the misfortunes visited upon them, some of the boys started to turn astray (specifically Jack.) This resulted in a chain reaction catalyzing in the boys degenerating to a primitive form of life. Those boys would never have even thought of doing the acts they did if they had not been forced to endure the darkness of the island. Their experience at the island stained them, and swayed them toward evil.

Jostlyn per.4 said...

People aren’t necessarily born “good” or “evil”. All of the people and things around them are what makes the person “good” or “evil”. Everyone has a choice to be good or evil. Most people can control their evil side and they can produce good out of it. While other can’t control their feelings as well and the evil gets out for everyone to see. The people that are evil have trouble holding in their feelings. Those feelings that we see are what we think makes someone evil. The may not be evil but the one thing that they can control their feeling they are perceived as evil.
The people that are perceived as good are good at controlling their feeling and they can produce some thing good out of a situation. The thing that makes someone good is how they were raised and they people they were brought up around. If a “good” and “evil” person were put in the same situation they would handle themselves differently and one person may be seen as a jerk and the other as some one who can control themselves.

Anonymous said...

In my humble opinion, humans are born to be good. We all are born without sin and do not commit sins our first few years of life. We go about life trying to be good, helpful, and happy. I do not try or aim to be evil; that is just wrong. But, that is just me. I’m sure others have the same viewpoint on this and agree with me. However, humans are capable of committing sin. Temptation is all around us and comes on many levels. Whether is be stealing a cookie before dinner or drinking underage, temptation can lead to many things. It can destroy a life like committing murder or hurting someone by rape. It’s so easy to commit sin that we don’t even realize what we are doing is bad! Like when we tell our little white lies, we don’t think we’re evil necessarily. It’s just a part of our everyday life. We learn about lies, sins, and temptations as we grow up and watch our friends, family, and others ease through life with these evils.

I can relate to sinning, all people have lied or sinned at one point or another. I try to my hardest not to and be a good person. Most people live on religion-based schedules and committing evils goes against all people are taught. (Like breaking the Ten Commandments.) The human race is generally good but there a few hateful people who get all the limelight from the media and make the human race look bad. The great people in this world are overlooked even though they do such wondrous deeds. It’s not fair that those few bad people have people shaking their heads in disgust and say to one another we’re such a bad race!

In A Separate Peace, Gene goes back to Devon and reflects on his life and his time at Devon. On page 10, Gene looks back and says, “Looking back now across fifteen years, I could see with great clarity the fear I lived in, which must mean that the interval I had succeeded in a very important undertaking: I must have made my escape from it. I felt fear’s echo, and along with that I felt the unhinged, uncontrollable joy which had been its accompaniment and opposite face…” Gene realizes that humans make mistakes when dealing with everyday pressures and temptations all around. He knows he is a good person but he gave into sin and made a few mistakes. But what person hasn’t made a mistake? We all live in fear at one point or another and are faced with temptation to make it better, even if it’s a sin. And it’s the same thing with joy; the benefits that come with it may cause someone to sin. So the author has Gene exploring his good and bad times and his sins/evils in between.

Jenna G. Period 6

Anonymous said...

I think that people are born nether good or bad. Through experience in life learns and sees what good or bad can do to people. I think that a good person will come from either living in a good family or seeing that violence or being mean that can really hurt them and others and they do not want to hurt another person. Or a person can see that evil everywhere and that’s how they will treat other people the same as he saw. In the Separated Peace Gene was acting on jalousie and I do not think it was an act of evil when he jounced the limb.

Andrew per. 4

Anonymous said...

I don't think that people are born evil or good. As we grow older and become more mature, we develop thoughts and feelings on life. We are responsible enough to make our own choices, and these choices make us good or bad. I think that the environment in which people are brought up in determines how a person will be when they grow up, although this is not always the case. Sometimes, bad people come from good a environment and good people come from a bad background, but these are exceptions. We have exceptions because people can choose to be who they want to be. I don't think that bad people want to be bad, I think that they just make one wrong or selfish choice and it starts an ongoing chain. In the case of Gene and Finny, I don't believe that Gene wants to be a bad person. Jouncing the limb purposely so that Finny would fall out of the tree was a bad decision, but it does not necessarily make Gene a bad person. I think Finny sees that and that is the reason why he hasn't stopped being friends with him.
Colleen p.4

Anonymous said...

I think that all people are born good, but can change to evil depending on how they grew up. Ideas you grow up with and that are around you can make you be evil. In Animal Farm, the characters start off as good, but then decisions made by other animals make them question themselves; they have to use their conscience. Some people choose to listen to their conscience and some people don’t and that is what makes good people and bad people. The people who listen to their conscience, don't do bad things because they know better and that there could be consequences, and bad people who don't listen to their conscience, don't care what their conscience says and do whatever they want.
Megan H. per. 6

Mike P. P-4 said...

In my opinion, I think that people are generally born good. I think that we have to assume that they are good becuase that child doesn't commit wrongdoings or bad actions becuase they are unable to do so until they get older. In this world no two year olds are out to conquer the woeld and make another holicaust, they are just living there life the best they can.

Overtime people are changed by there parents and by there real life experiences. If a person is raised with no parents pretty much on his own, it is almost certain that he will be bad because he was never taught morals and never knew the difference between right and wrong.But if a person has a very structured lifestyle with great parents that teach them good morals then there is a better chance they will be good. Also people are changed by there real life experiences. As Colin p-4 said, " a victim of child abuse or sexual assault it more likely to become bitter than someone who led a happy, care-free life" This is definetly true and shows how real life experiences change people prospective on life.

I think that this shows in the novel The Kite Runner when Kamir is faced with a situation while watching Hassan almost get raped. He can either take the bulllying and help his friend or let his friend get all the punishment. After kamir does not do anything to help he feels like and knows he is a bad person. He was generally a good person before he let that happen to kamir than instantly he became a bad person becuase of his bad actions. But that is not set in stone because he would be able to become a good person again which he does by the end of the book.

Sujata per.4 said...

Human minds are like a blank page. If you write good stuff in it, you might become a great writer. If not, then it's no use. Similarly, if you are raised in a good environment, you get influenced from good characters and good develops within yourself. Whereas, if you are raised in a bad environment, you get bad attitudes. Sometimes, people might not get influenced by their environments easily. It might take a long time to get that into yourself. Peer pressure may come into a great role. Your character often depends on who you are friends with and spend most of your time with. Gene, for example, had Finny as his best friend. Slowly, he became influenced by his character. Then jealousy aroused inside him. He started to envy his qualities. Sometimes, peer pressure can result into good. It doesn't always have to be bad. You might actually learn something from it. If you have good friends, they might force you into doing something really amazing. Again, your good and evil depends upon how you look at things. In A Separate Peace, Gene was at first grateful for Finny. He had saved his life when he was about to fall from the tree. Then again, he thought he wouldn't have been there to risk his life, if it wasn't for Finny. So, your perspective comes into a great role when it comes to your actions. There is also a thing called "human nature" that comes into play in your actions. All human being possess selfishness. I truly believe so. No matter what big of a deed they do, they want good to happen to them. They always think of themselves first, then others come second. If you are hungry for days and you finally find something to eat, you eat it first then the leftover goes to others. Anyways, my point is that it's normal to possess such qualities. But sometimes, it goes overboard and comes out in a form of violence. Evil can destroy you sometimes. In conclusion, I think that everyone is born with good and evil. It just depends on which one dominates which.

Kevin p4 said...

I believe people are naturally born with both good and evil, but not necessarily neutrality. Humans are the most advanced life forms on Earth; the number of various emotions we have is magnitudinous in comparison to all other life. The black and white ways in which people regard this topic is nothing but typical. No one can be strictly "good" or strictly "bad". It's completely nonsensical. The shelter of the world and its inhabitants exist within pulses; everything has its opposite. Everything needs change, living or not. People only recognize these "sides" of good and evil, so to speak, because some people emit them more prominently, all due to living and nonliving environmental influences that effect them each and everyday without restraint. The boys' thoughts and actions in the Lord of the Flies only support my philosophy. There were vaguely two age groups on the island; one of single digits and one of double. With ease, one could tell that Ralph was essentially a good person and Jack was essentially the inverse. Throughout the story, from beginning to end, the former's conduct was based upon a foundation of righteousness, while the latter's was based upon one of malice. Ralph was seldom evil, but nevertheless was when he assisted in the killing of Simon, whereas Jack was seldom good, but nevertheless was when he facially implied a regretful complexion when the naval officer finally came for his rescue. Ralph and Jack's types of emotions were merely more prominent because of past influences before they landed on the island; Ralph was mostly good because it was "who he was", along with Jack and his evil. The younger age group was apparently in the process of specialization or becoming something closer to neutrality. Roger didn't seem to represent good or evil until Jack took him under his wing; afterwards, he became a monster. What are morals anyways? They are but products of evolution in order to keep the species from extinction. The real question is: Why would a species want to avoid extinction?

Kristina Period 4 said...

I think people are generally born good. I think this because when people are born they are brought up with good intensions. Things in their lives could turn them into a bad person. An example would be in Lord of the Flies; Jack was a leader of his choir and started out to be a good person. Towards the he became an evil dictator and was influenced by living on an island with no rules or parents and his attitude was changed.

Ashley period 4 said...

In my opinion I think people are born good, but depending on their enviroment and there friends and or family, this can change in a heartbeat. In this case Gene is a good kid, but because of some of the actions of Finny, this has changed. Finny has made Gene into the type of kid that hates his best friend. In the beginning of the book, Gene was thrilled to be pushed off the branch by Finny because he had gotten over his fear, but by chapter four, from the competition that Gene was dealing with from Finny, Gene thought that since he pused Finny off the branch that they were equal now.

Ashley Per.4

Anonymous said...

Kendall Milles
Period 6..


In my opinion I think people are natually good. When someone is born they arent just automatically evil. Everyone has good in them when they first start off. People chose what they do to become evil. I think that everyone is good and its there decision to become evil, because your supposed to be raised and trained to become good. No one wants anyone to be evil so it's obviously someone's decision to become evil.

Anonymous said...

I think its genetic - I can see evil in some young children and it seems to be nature - they have anger inside - its to do with the mix of parents - if they are two good positive and sucessful social people there should be no problem - however if the chemical reaction is universally flawed there could be some issues - luck of the draw - may the fight between good and evil continue on planet earth - Its pretty even keel - greed is of course winning right now.

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about actions, motives or the individual overall? My motive could be good but I can do evil things to reach that goal, and my motive could be evil but by accident I could do good things. I think children are naturally evil due to their complete selfishness and self-centered perspective of reality. Through maturity this is a phase we humans Can grow out of but some people internalize negative experiences and solidify their childish perspective to varying degrees in different ways.
JJP

Mr.Domenico said...

In my opinion, people are naturally evil. If you took the government of America away, voided the laws, and set the criminals free I'm definitely sure America would turn into a hell hole. Even if you kept the criminals in jail, and even jailed the criminals that aren't in jail, something is bound to happen. I believe in original sin.

Written by, some random guy who happened to see that picture of the good and evil smiley faces on good images. lol

Mr.Domenico said...

Google Images, sorry not good images

Vincent Cifra of UST, Philippines said...

On the controversial idea of whether man is by nature good or evil, my stand is that man by nature is both GOOD AND EVIL. I got two basic arguments to prove my point. First, religiously speaking, God, or in general term the "Supreme Being" made man, and man conceived the idea good and evil the same way as man conceived the idea love and hate. Thus, God created good and evil to exist in hosts such as human beings. If God created man then God created man's mind that functioned to create the thought of evilness and goodness, if God created man's mind then God created the system that dictates how the mind should work, if God created that system then God therefore created all the system's products and two of them are goodness and evilness, so generally, God, who is the "uncaused cause", caused evilness to coexist with goodness for everything in the world, came from Him and him alone. Directly or indirectly, everything still came from Him. My Second point is on Logic, imagine this; if man is naturally good, meaning 100 percent good, where could have evil come from? We cannot say that man conceived of the Idea evil anymore due to the fact that if we say that man is naturally good, we declare that man is 100 percent good. But if man is 100 percent good, man should have not conceived of the idea evilness for man is 100 percent good and evilness is evil in itself and a 100 percent good human being can't possibly have evilness to dwell on his thoughts. Thus, man is both naturally good and evil for both gave way for each other in the minds of men.

Obeid said...

In order to settle a debate of such contrasting perspectives, one must shy away with anything that is postulated and deals with the metaphysical world or religous beliefs. A debate of this magnitude can only be settled by providing evidence and logical reasoning that is efficient and accurate. In my personal and highly debatable opinion, human nature in and of its self, in its state of nature is good.
One can make the assumption that humanity is evil after viewing and analyzing the evils of certain infamous leader such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh. Contrastingly, the vast majority of the population has never murdered nor commited such atrocious sins the likes of which only the aforementioned personas provided.
Have you ever seen a young child or animal being beaten, harrased or subjected to some other form of injustice only to find yourself feeling empathy and pity towards the above subject? It is this feeling that provides the most absolute evidence that we are good by nature and only develop evil intents through our environmental and social sorroundings. No one is taught emotions. Love, hate, anger, pity and empathy are all part of a broad spectrum of emotions hidden in the innate nature Man. The fact that we can feel sorrow towards someone or something that we have never met and probably will never meet again clearly begs that we are good.

Anonymous said...

Obeid...

If one sees a young child or animal being beaten or harrased, i agree they will feel empathy and pity towards the child. I also agree that one can not be taught feelings (love, hatred, sorrow, jealousy, etc.) The feelings one gets toward the young child or animal in this situation are natural feelings.And yes it is amazing that we can feel sorrow towards someone or something that we have never met and have no relation to them.But when one sees a young child being beaten or harassed don't they have natural feelings of hatred towards the person or thing that is hurting the child? In order to feel as though you want to help the child or feel sorrow towards them you must feel you wish the subject to stop and feel a hatred towards them when they dont.

You seemed sure that if one feels the emotion of sorrow towards the child that we as humans are naturally good... but if we also feel a sense of hatred in the same situation. doesn't this mean we are naturally evil?

-Victoria M

Anonymous said...

I believe that people are born good, but the evil of jealousy and anger greatly influence the consciousness of man. In the novel "Lord of the Flies", the island was peaceful and calm, untouched by the threat of man. As the story goes on, the evil that the boys had brought to the island shows tremendously. At the end of the story, the island is left full of flame, ironic to both the title of the story and the ideals of the author, William Golding.