Is Human Nature Intrinsically Good or Evil?

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Is Human Nature Intrinsically Good or Evil

Saint Louis University

Jennifer Creek

Eng 190 B3

Instructor: Elise B. Aasgaard, PhD

I believe that everyone is essentially good, and born that way. Everyone is born as a miracle from God, and God is good. When everyone is born they have yet to be corrupted from the evil of the world, and this is why I believe that everyone is essentially good. Unlike what Hsun Tzu says: "He is born with feelings of envy and hate, and if he indulges these, they will lead him into violence and crime, and all sense of loyalty and good faith will disappear." Children are protected from their parents from the bad things out there in the world until they are at a certain age to where they are able to understand bad things that occur and why. Until then, I believe all humans are pure, good, and innocent creatures when born.

Culture and society eventually has an impact and influence on humans starting at a certain age. Ruth Benedict (1934), who played a huge role in the development of cultural anthropology, believed that culture and society is what determined if someone was good or evil. Benedict believes that "the vast proportion of all individuals who are born into any society always and whatever the idiosyncrasies of its institutions, assume, as we have seen, the behaviour dictated by that society" (1934 p. 135). I too believe that society, culture, and family is what shapes someone as to whether they are good or evil, and for the most part "take quite readily the form that is presented to them" (Benedict, 1934, p. 135). Benedict also states that "most people are shaped to the form of their culture because of the enormous malleability of their original endowment.