Humans Are Inherently Good Or Evil Essay

Humans Are Inherently Good Or Evil Essay

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When discussing human nature, we often debate whether humans are inherently good or evil. Yet what we don’t consider is if human nature exists at all. When asked about what human nature is, many of us would cite different sets of characteristics that vary depending on our upbringing, environment and culture. There are some concepts, such as rationality, ability or predisposition to use of language, formation of complex social structures and self-consciousness that pop up again and again, but are these ‘universals’ enough to be used to define the entire population of Homo sapiens? And are these characteristics unique enough, that when used to characterized the human population, no other close evolutionary relatives will come to be defined as human as well? In this paper, I will argue that there is no such thing as human nature because there is no set of fixed traits that can be used to define it. I will argue that human nature changes with differences in culture and environment and changes through time. As human nature should be unchanging in order to be the basis of human behavior, the variable and temporary nature of human nature makes its definition and hence existence purely theoretical. There is no such thing as “human nature” in practice and reality.

Environmental Influence on Human Nature
Like Dupré stated in his article On Human Nature, I also believe that human nature is the result of a complex interplay of our genes and environment. So, human nature is then essentially individual nature, as each individual’s experiences and histories are different. Even more than just that, our environments during our formative years of development would be different as well, contributing to the variability that we see in the personali...


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...h as the Navajo, operate on a matrilineal basis. As well, the self-oriented western thinking is distinct from the community thinking which is prevalent in East Asia to this day. When we look to the world now, there is still such variability and conflict between the norms and practices between groups of humans, such as women in sub-Saharan Africa who victimize their daughters through female genital mutilation because it is the cultural norm versus the those in the western world who detest and aid in the prevention of FGM through multinationals such as the World Health Organization. With such a degree of conflict between ‘normality’ for the discovered and uncontacted cultures, how can we even come up with one set of characteristics to define human nature? The lack of ability to include all humans into one set dissuades me from believing that human nature exists at all.

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