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Do you think humans are naturally born good?

If never subjected to evil or bad, would a child grow up to be good simply because they had never heard of evil? Or are we all born with both good and evil capabilities and if so, will one naturally trump the other or does environment and society always factor in?


Asked by IhartU at 12:10 PM on Dec. 11, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (31)
  • I don't believe that anyone sane can look into the face of a newborn and see evil present. In fact, I believe that the evil people see in the world is a direct reflection of the evil they fear or believe exists within themselves. The same way perverted people see perversion everywhere they look...

    I don't see evil in the world. I see confusion. I see anger. I see hopelessness and despair. I see people trying tremendously hard to get their needs met, often the only ways they've ever thought of as possible --but I don't see evil. I see sad, hurt people lashing out in the same way an injured animal attacks the caring hand...

    I do not believe it is possible to become Charles Manson or Ted Bundy without a history of outrageous abuse. 100% of violent criminals were abused. Not even half of the abused children will become abusers. Some kill themselves instead. Some overcome their past, like The Horse Whisperer did.

    Answer by LindaClement at 12:51 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • not all people are born good, but i think most people even without laws/religion could tell you whats wrong or right....but some people are born without empathy/sympathy and you cant really learn those things.


    Answer by necro1134 at 12:13 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • yes , and then they are corrupted by the world.. I think environment and society always factors in. Babies are a blank slate,.they can grow in many different ways. i think it is society and experiences that lead people down the wrong path. Being evil is a choice. Everyone is capable of doing bad things. to be good is to chose not to do them. you may want to be mean to someone , choosing not to makes you good. i believe babies are born innocent and good and then through life they learn that they can choose to do bad things, the more bad you do then the more evil you become.

    Answer by TaiM at 12:15 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I think we are all born with good and bad in us.... some just exhibit some of those traits more than others. (Which I suppose brings the old nature vs nurture debate up)

    Answer by saphire_eyes802 at 12:15 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • This is a tough question. I think humans are animals, and are capable of doing things we would consider "evil" for our own survival.( This is without society or societies influences.)
    Within society, I think it's influences will most definately help to define what we inherently already are. I think some people are born more "adventorous" and therefore take more risks. Maybe that means someone who robs houses, or simply driving dangerously. But these are all considered "bad" by societies standards.
    So who is to say what is truly good or evil? We have all been shaped by societies definitions of these words. I think it's impossible to really ponder this, because of our society.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 12:16 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I believe people are born good, but with the capability to be bad. I think environment has a lot to do with it, and the way they are raised. But some people turn out good who were raised in bad situations and visa verse, so maybe it is more than just the environment they are raised in. I don't really know. But it is interesting.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:17 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Ppl are born neutral. Society determines what is right and wrong. And labels of good and bad come from fear of not understanding.


    Answer by sugahmamma at 12:21 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I think we're all born...I dunno, neutral I guess. We are animals that are capable of higher thought. We can plan and replan and hold grudges and get revenge. Say ten kids were born on an island and grew up together. (Work with me here LOL!) A leader would eventually emerge from the group. Along with that, inevitably someone would emerge as the "bad guy". It's just human and animal nature. As higher intelligence animals, we have the capability to do tons of good and tons of evil. So I wouldn't necessarily say that babies are born one or the other. Being good and being bad are foreign concepts to babies. It's how they grow up that counts, and how their personalities bend and shape their environment.

    Answer by caitxrawks at 12:24 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I believe that we are born "with the knowledge of the correct path " and then the enviroment can have an influence on us for the better or the worse, but also believe that whatever happens to us is what is fated for us.

    Answer by zanzeebeel at 12:28 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • There are medical cases of children having anti-social tendencies without being exposed to unhealthy enviroments. Sadly for some, it can be a part of brain chemistry.

    But for the majority, I think we all are born with some natural tendencies, like shyness or mischief. Our environment then molds or alters these.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 12:30 PM on Dec. 11, 2009