Debate and Discussion

Are human beings EVIL by nature?
Tantz Aerine at 7:09AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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A human infant (just like any infant) is born with a propensity to positive emotions and feelings. There is no aggression in the baby and if the environment is friendly enough the urge of the infant is simply to explore- not destroy or do anything negative. Negative acts ensue after interaction with the environment force the baby to do them.

Seeing what adult humanity does in terms of negative/evil acts is not an attestation to the inherent evil of humans as individuals.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
kyupol at 8:28AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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There really is no good or evil is all preception.

On the brutal army thing. There really was no true ‘dehumanizing’ thing that has been done to me in training. There is the ‘breakdown’ which teaches you that you must listen to your leaders (drill sargents in this case) but nothing like beatings or drinking peoples spit. Theres always ‘smoke sessions’ they use to teach you your place. They make you do push ups or whatever other physical exercise they can think of until your in alot of pain or until you just can't keep doing them.

At least in the US army that is. I know in other armies (look up russian army hazing for the extremes) you get the ever living shit kicked out on you.

And the breakdown process is still needed. Because you will be told to do some crap that every part of your body will tell you ‘don’t do that you will DIE!' But it needs to be done. Kicking in a door when you know there is a machine gun on the other side for instance, or driving down a road fully knowing that you will be blown the hell up. No one off the street will think ‘thats cool I can do that’. Its drilled into you for a reason so you will do without thinking.

The US army sounds more humane than the Philippine army. As part of the citizen army, we were told that our training is easy shit compared to the real soldier. And the Musang's (our elite unit) training is rumored to be 10x more difficult than the regular soldier.

I wasnt sure if that was only told to us just to ‘humiliate’ us in a way. You know, implying you're a bunch of wimps for finding it hard while real soldiers have much harder training.

But I remember that time when they starved us for 12 hours. 5am -5pm NO FOOD. All the while while doing pushups, situps, running, and the usual military stuff. I remember a dude in my platoon fainted and I volunteered to bring him to the clinic. lol at least that was a good 30 minutes of rest for me. I was able to eat some bread and drink some water. lol

Do they starve you in the US army?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
crazyninny at 2:37PM, Nov. 19, 2007
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
Phantom Penguin at 4:33PM, Nov. 19, 2007
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There really is no good or evil is all preception.

On the brutal army thing. There really was no true ‘dehumanizing’ thing that has been done to me in training. There is the ‘breakdown’ which teaches you that you must listen to your leaders (drill sargents in this case) but nothing like beatings or drinking peoples spit. Theres always ‘smoke sessions’ they use to teach you your place. They make you do push ups or whatever other physical exercise they can think of until your in alot of pain or until you just can't keep doing them.

At least in the US army that is. I know in other armies (look up russian army hazing for the extremes) you get the ever living shit kicked out on you.

And the breakdown process is still needed. Because you will be told to do some crap that every part of your body will tell you ‘don’t do that you will DIE!' But it needs to be done. Kicking in a door when you know there is a machine gun on the other side for instance, or driving down a road fully knowing that you will be blown the hell up. No one off the street will think ‘thats cool I can do that’. Its drilled into you for a reason so you will do without thinking.

The US army sounds more humane than the Philippine army. As part of the citizen army, we were told that our training is easy shit compared to the real soldier. And the Musang's (our elite unit) training is rumored to be 10x more difficult than the regular soldier.

I wasnt sure if that was only told to us just to ‘humiliate’ us in a way. You know, implying you're a bunch of wimps for finding it hard while real soldiers have much harder training.

But I remember that time when they starved us for 12 hours. 5am -5pm NO FOOD. All the while while doing pushups, situps, running, and the usual military stuff. I remember a dude in my platoon fainted and I volunteered to bring him to the clinic. lol at least that was a good 30 minutes of rest for me. I was able to eat some bread and drink some water. lol

Do they starve you in the US army?

Theres something called a “spur ride” that you do if your in a US cavalary unit, which is three days of being constantly run around dead, push ups, pull ups, ruck marches, obstacle courses, ect. But you only get one meal a day during the Spur Ride. It sucks, but its only a one time thing. But do they starve us during training and stuff? No, because if your soldiers are starving they wont fight as well as they would with something in their stomach, it doesn't make any tactical sense. And no matter what we will always have water, because letting anyone get dehydrated is a sure way for them to get hurt.
But things like Army Ranger school and Special Forces selection are insanly hard and brutal. But that the green berets and shit.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
Djeinus at 7:30AM, Nov. 20, 2007
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I say like Rousseau: (probably not straight from the book, but has the same meaning)

The man is in his nature good, but because of society he has turned bad
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
kyupol at 3:49PM, Nov. 20, 2007
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But do they starve us during training and stuff? No, because if your soldiers are starving they wont fight as well as they would with something in their stomach, it doesn't make any tactical sense. And no matter what we will always have water, because letting anyone get dehydrated is a sure way for them to get hurt.

The point of starving though is part of conditioning for a guerilla war or something. As part of the civilian unit, we only got a taste of it. I could just imagine what the regular infantry and elite units have to go through.

In Philippine history, we've been doing guerilla warfare against Spanish, American, and Japanese colonizers. Guerillas need to keep running around and fighting and there is no guarantee for food. The point is to train you how to fight properly even when hungry.

If you can fight properly when hungry, then what more if you're not.




Anyway going back to the topic, I've always asked the question why there are CERTAIN INDIVIDUAL humans who just arent capable of causing harm to other living things. As in no matter what environment factors around them will turn them into ‘evil’.

Is it genetic makeup? Is it the shape of their brain? what?

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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
cartoonprofessor at 4:11AM, Nov. 22, 2007
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I truly believe no man intentionally does ‘evil’.
Humans always do what they think is best for them, or for their country, or race, or whatever.
Every man believes himself a good man doing thier best.
Even Hitler truly believed his ideologies were for the better of his ‘true aryan race’… mind you, the evidence is that he himself was not true aryan ‘blood’. Matbe he really hated himself for this so much that it twisted his mind so much.
The man was incredibly insane and constantly high on amphetamines after all.
I mean, geeze, even Bush Himself believes he is doing ‘what’s best' for christian americans… sheesh… (or at minimum, what's best for himself and his oil-rich family and friends)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
ArchibaPews at 6:14PM, Nov. 22, 2007
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Evil is just something we made up anyway.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:01AM
Paranoid Android at 5:15PM, Jan. 5, 2008
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in regards to people in service not wanting to talk about their war experiences passed the grissly details making them not “evil,” I'd have to say that's a bad marker. For one, mere silence does not alleviate past trangressions in morality. Perhaps one of the things they don't want to tell you is the rush, and the desire to do it. My father, who was a gunship gunner in Vietnam, told me once about how when everything is happening, you don't feel guilty. In fact, you feel angry, and every day you want to kill more of them. Your feelings turn to hatred for everyone you're fighting. He said it had become like killing rabbits. You may know this as “bloodlust” and it's something that overcomes all of us at one time or another, just in war, and not just through physical violence. We all find ourselves clouded by anger and even when are feelings become irrational or even consciously suppressed, we want nothing more than to destroy someone else, to consume and irradicate them or some part of them. Is this evil? Yeah, I could see it being evil, the unneccesary destruction of other things. And we can all be considered evil, in those regards. But to stop there is merely pessimistic and dissapointing to perspective.

For all of the wicked things that we do, much like the rest of our universe (Mother Nature seemed to raise us as her own), we are also just as capable of creation versus destruction, or, being “good.” The beautiful things we produce as a whole and as individuals, as will as the way we sometimes treat each other and the moments we share, to call us inherently evil is to call us nonhuman, just as it would be to call ourselves inherently good. We are both sides of the coin, and though I say in many ways we should aim for the good, we will always dabble in destruction, as well the universe. Through destruction we find creation, through being evil we find being good. Vice versa.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
Priceman at 11:02PM, Jan. 6, 2008
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I saw an anime once called “The wind of Amnesia”, in which the entire human population completely forgot everything. They reverted to savage, slobbering, manical, killing brutes.

I believe that while we may be born with the capacity for good and evil, we instinctively would choose to be evil due to that fact that it's easier. Without the rules of society, the teachings of our parents, or the threats of pain; our consciences would stand little chance against our desire to be bad. Proving that you're stronger or smarter than another person by forceful or hurtful tactics can be the biggest ego boost of all.

That being said, I also believe that everyone loves to be praise for doing something good or right (which is usually the same thing at times). The thought or feeling that you've done something for someone other than yourself that may have benefited someone other than yourself fills one with joy and peace. I think we has human beings reject our instincts in the fact of consequence, and thus act in a way that is unoffensive to society.

In short: are we born evil? No. However, without the boundaries of rules, teachings, and consequences there would be nothing to keep it from looking that way.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
ozoneocean at 5:37AM, Jan. 8, 2008
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You know… One aspect of “evil” is when a person lacks empathy. I think it's a common trait for psychopaths; they don't look on people or other living creatures as being as “worthy” as them, or even as “real”, or being capable of thinking and feeling. All that matters are their own needs and emotions.

I don't know why they turn out that way… You could be born like that if you had something wrong with your brain, you could become like that if you had a brain injury, or some emotional trauma, or maybe you could even grow up that way if you had a shitty childhood.

Those kinds of people will be more likely to steal from you or con you, because you aren't as important and them and they don't care how it makes you feel. On the more extreme side they're more likely to torture and kill animals for fun and that usually leads to doing the same things to humans.

So, watch out for people like that. Lack of empathy –> leads to dangerous behaviour.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
mlai at 6:11AM, Jan. 8, 2008
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The ironic bit is that the -paths are the people that are subhuman, and need to be stamped out, eliminated. Well actually no. A very minor percentage of them in the population may actually make society function better as a whole.

It's like a show where a bunch of innocent defenseless sheep are being invaded by aliens, and it's up to the evil badass wolf to step up and fight back.

The immediate aftermath in Wind Named Amnesia is not a good indicator of human nature. We're talking about adults who in an instant forgot everything. That's a huge physical and psychological shock. Humans don't function that way. Babies aren't born fully adult with adult brains.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Loud_G at 7:20AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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Evil is not human nature.

I think humans are inherently good. Love is a very natural thing for a child and I think love is the thing we start with, but we learn the rest. We learn to be selfish and learn to accept selfish acts as ok. But we don't start that way.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:46PM
RabbitMaster at 9:27AM, Jan. 14, 2008
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Human beings are a fallen race, and they certainly act the part.

“Perhaps you would care to try your villany on a less defenseless opponent?”–Kung Fu Rabbit
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:57PM
TitanOne at 8:52AM, Jan. 17, 2008
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I think humans are inherently aggressive.

Aggression comes in many forms, not just violence, but Greed, Verbal Cruelty, Arrogance..and most things that Governments do to Individuals.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
kingofsnake at 8:20PM, Jan. 19, 2008
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I started watchin Heros, and I was talking to a friend at work about it who's watched it all the way through already. I said I loved the policeman character who could read minds because he's a perfect example of the dichotomy of this universe, pairing people up with powers that by their nature they may not be able to use to their fullest potential. He's too nice of a guy to use his powers to really manipulate other, a villin character would be far better suited to them. My friend's response was “just wait till second season, human nature.” This kinda pissed me off on a philosophical level because he accepted as a fact that human nature would be to abuse such a power. I think more likely human nature would be to not use it in fear that one might abuse it. Many people are genuinely good and wouldn't want to take advantage of others. My example? I asked my friend (fully aware of the answer) if he would ever cheat on his wife if he was absolutely certain she'd never know about it. The answer was no, because HE'D know about it.

There are really great, bulletproof philosophical arguments for both man is basically good and man is basically evil. This is one of those situations where neither answer is the whole truth. Nothing is black and white. Every human naturally has some both good and bad traits. How far a person is to one side of the spectrum or the other depends on environmental factors, and to which traits they are initially predilicted.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
mishi_hime at 10:39PM, Jan. 19, 2008
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We are evil, and not worth saving.

i think everyone of us in the right situation, can become an absolute monster.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:03PM
freefall_drift at 9:43PM, Jan. 24, 2008
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… We learn to be selfish and learn to accept selfish acts as ok. But we don't start that way.
I disagree.
I don't think humanity is born evil, but I do think they are born being extremely selfish. And that's mistaken for evil. It's MY toy, it's MY food, they are MY parents, this is MY stuff. Sure a little kid will hug and be gentle to a smaller kid, but wait a second and that same child will rip the toy out of the hand of the smaller kid, simply because they want to play with it now.

We train and socialize our kids to share, to care about others, to be good, through example, through encouragement and through discipline. Some better than others. Some pick up on the benefits of being good. Others never get it.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
ozoneocean at 9:25AM, Jan. 25, 2008
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My friend's response was “just wait till second season, human nature.” This kinda pissed me off on a philosophical level because he accepted as a fact that human nature would be to abuse such a power.
You're right and your friend wasn't. We get in situations ALL the time where we have move power over someone else. It's more common than you think. There's a lot of less obvious ways where it happens and if you were to abuse it, it'd be quite bad for another person or a group of people…

But we don't. The ones who DO are notable as the exceptions: we call then antisocial, -against society. Con-men and criminals of all colours (from the petty, to white-collar, to murders, rapists, and paedophiles etc).

So, generally, if there is such a thing as human nature, it's more directed towards “the good of the community” than “the wilful abuse of power for self gain”…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
UltimaXG2 at 9:42PM, Feb. 4, 2008
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We are not evil or good. We are neutral. Just like any other animal, we will take what we want. Just like any other animal, we will prove our dominance by dominating others. It's a primal instinct to want to be at the top. Evil and good are perceptions. They are viewpoints, frames of reference. There is no definite of either one.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:36PM

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