Some philosophers, like Immanuel Kant, contend that human nature is indeed good. Kant is believes that an understanding of the human rational is essential to proving that humans are naturally good. Kant explains that humans are the only creature on earth that have reason and that our rational separates us from the other creatures of Earth. This reason enables us to distinguish what is moral and what immoral. Our reason means that we have a duty to follow what is morally correct. Kant elucidates, “to be beneficent where one can is a duty” (Kant 11). If being beneficent, or good, where one can is a duty, than humans must be naturally good. Humans are naturally good because their duty to be good, according to Kant, is actually derived from reason. A Human’s reason will distinguish whether or not the human’s actions are morally correct or not. If the action has moral content, than this action is a duty. “An action done form duty has its moral worth” (Kant 12). Kant illustrates that humans have an obligation to fulfill their duties. If this is true than they are indeed naturally good.
Other philosophers, like Thomas Hobbs, believe that humans are naturally evil. Hobbs view towards human nature is the opposite of Kant’s view. Hobbs explains that humans naturally, or in a state of nature, act without beneficence, or evilly. The state of nature is a way for Hobbs to describe how humans would act naturally if there were no society. For Hobbs, humans who inhabited this state of nature would be characterized as very irrati...
... middle of paper ...
...e is able to use his reason in order to discern what is moral and immoral. Man also has to fulfill his duty, which is guided by his reason, because if he does not he will feel guilt. This guilt is recognition of his failure to achieve true happiness, which all men strive to achieve. Men are also inherently (naturally) good because they go about attaining happiness without harming others. Those who might do evil and harm others are out of “the loop” and can be corrected.
In summation, many philosophers have studied the nature of humans to try to understand whether humans are good or evil. After examining the works of Immanuel Kant and Thomas Hobbs, I find that men are naturally good because of their ability to use their reason to discern what is moral and immoral and because of their ability to use their reason in order to achieve happiness without harming others.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Human Nature: Good or Evil. Many things can be said about the gallons of blood, miles of entrails and seemingly endless array of bones, muscles and other fascinating odds and ends that we call our human bodies. For instance, as you break down the body into different categories each part can be examined endlessly. Such can be said about a very intricate part of the body. This is the most important part and without it the rest of the body would have no direct, this part is the brain. The brain contains many chambers, ones that trigger memories, hunger, sexual arousal, and so forth.... [tags: essays research papers]
891 words (2.5 pages)
- Past cultures often showed the dualities of humanity in their stories, their scriptures, and their deities; they all expressed the good and the evil sides of humans. By reading and analyzing these literary works, one can start to understand the true intentions of humanity. William Shakespeare, an English playwright, understood these characteristics that all humans possess, and used his plays show this understanding to the audiences. Shakespeare used the characters of his plays, and their actions to represent the dual human nature of good and evil.... [tags: good, evil, incentives, human nature]
1151 words (3.3 pages)
- Good and Evil in Human Nature in Lord of the Flies and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde The novels The strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde written by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lord of the Flies by William Golding both portray a very similar message. In both novels there are characters, which represent both good and evil showing the contrasts, which occur throughout the whole storyline. Both novels can be described as an allegory as they both show different levels and meanings e.g.... [tags: William Golding Robert Louis Stevenson Essays]
3306 words (9.4 pages)
- Society believes that when something is good or evil it is immutable, which is highly incorrect. A few characteristics society portrays as a clue of good can actually be greatly deceiving. Such as, appearance, reputation, and human nature. Many sources can support this, including: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, “Serial Killers, Evil, and Us,” and the interview with Philip Zimbardo titled “Why Do Good People Do Bad Things?” Appearance tends to mask what a person’s true personality really is.... [tags: appearance, reputation, human, nature]
829 words (2.4 pages)
- The question of human nature and the facets of evil present itself numerous times in the captivating movie, “The Good Son”. This psychological thriller exceeds an audience’s expectation to the portrayal of childhood psychiatric disorders. The main antagonist is Henry, a manipulative and conniving thirteen-year-old boy, who exhibits myriad symptoms and characteristics of the DSM-IV-TR standards of conduct disorder with callous unemotional traits. Henry’s conduct disorder is exhibited through his age-inappropriate actions and attitudes that violate family expectations, societal norms, acts of vandalism, and aggressive acts that involve inflicting pain on others.... [tags: Movie Analysis, Human Nature]
2451 words (7 pages)
- Hsun Tzu, Chinese philosopher, argued Man’s nature is evil; goodness is the result of conscious activity. As Tzu writes, “Man is born with the desires of the eyes and ears, with a fondness for beautiful sights and sounds”(100-101). Through life though, one is able to decide what path to take; continue to be evil or become a better person. In a Ted Talk, Stephen Pinker discussed ‘Human Nature and the Blank Slate.’ Pinker made several strong reasons why one should doubt “Blank Slate”: one being children and another being people being born with certain instincts.... [tags: Human, Good and evil, The Blank Slate, Religion]
1074 words (3.1 pages)
- There is always a debate between whether human beings are born essentially good or evil. Though some may agree with one or another, good and evil are one thread; they are just the same line viewed from different sides. Environment may be one of the major factors that create different perspectives within each person. According to the article “A Debate over Good and Evil” from World History, William J. Duiker and Jackson J. Spielvogel mention how there are two sayings of the human nature: good versus evil.... [tags: human nature, Xunzi, Mencius, Confucius]
949 words (2.7 pages)
- In the novel, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson explores many views on human nature. He uses characters and events in the novel to present his stance on the major theme: “man is not truly one, but truly two” (125). Branching from this major theme are many more specific views on human nature divided into good and evil. One of the major ideas presented in Jekyll and Hyde is the need for both good and evil to live in coexistence within an individual’s conscience. Jekyll’s experiments prove that a balance between the two sides of nature is crucial to be content in the world.... [tags: theme, good, evil, coexistence]
1411 words (4 pages)
- Curiosity is part of human nature. The urge to know and to discover one’s purpose and identity is what drives most of us to wake up the very next day. This curiosity dates back to Adam and Eve’s fall from the Garden of Eden when they ate of the fruit of good and evil. Although there is no way for a creation to fully understand its creator nor can individuals believe they are the almighty and therefore create their own religious pathway. After surveying over all the religions this course encompasses, it reveals much controversy because people stand divided instead of in unity.... [tags: God, Religion, Good and evil, Islam]
1242 words (3.5 pages)
- In this essay I will look at the ways that Shakespeare has contrasted evil with good in his play Macbeth. The play revolves around the bad and wicked qualities in human nature, but Shakespeare also contrasts this evil with the power of good. This contrast between good and evil is a recurring theme throughout Macbeth. These contradictions start in the very beginning of the play, with the witches. In Act one, Scene one, line 12, the witches say, “Fair is foul and foul is fair.” This is interesting as they are suggesting good and evil as being one.... [tags: evil, good, macbeth, shakespeare,]
1653 words (4.7 pages)