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Old 12-13-2013, 12:38 PM
 
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When people refer to human nature, why do they usually discount the good, kinder, and more compassionate part of humanity?

For example: human nature is oftentimes variously referred as "evil", "sinful", "wicked", "fallen", and similar negative terms. However, human beings can also, if they are willing, have the capacity to do great good -- hence the more positive terms such as references to the "human heart", "the human thing to do", etc.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:32 PM
 
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Likely due to same principle we do not go see a doctor, or a dentist, until it really hurts.
Also, part of it is mass media. Back in my g'ol USSR, MM was ONLY positive. In lying or not manner, but POSITIVE. Here - it's fear tactics for reasons various. Nolense volens you start seeing bad side only.
But you are right. A lot of good can be and is done by humans. As it's been said, that it's the deeds of the virtuous few, that outbalance the evil deeds of many, to maintain the proper balance of universe.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:41 PM
 
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interesting...I never thought of "human nature" as "evil, sinful , wicked or fallen".
I tend to think more along the lines that it's human nature to cry when we're hurt...or laugh when it's funny, or have compassion for those who need help...empathy might also have something to do with "human nature".
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Not.here
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When people refer to human nature, why do they usually discount the good part of humanity?

I don't think we discount the good part of humanity altogether, but we do seem to be more intrigued and possibly more interested in those things that we consider wrong in society. Regarding some of the words that you used in your opening post, like "evil", "sinful", "wicked", "fallen," etc., they have their origins and are found often in religious scripture.

The emphasis on those adjectives by religions cannot be taken lightly because they have been stressed over and over again for a long time now. So we have become almost like programmed to being on the lookout for so-called sinful and wicked behavior. We even get a vicarious enjoyment reading or listening about someone else's pain, unhappiness and suffering. And where our judgmental nature (another part of our nature) is concerned, when we come across this type of behavior it gives us a chance to condemn and make us feel better about ourselves. Anyway, I think that may be part of the psychology involved.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Sto'Vo'Kor
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The irony. I was just pondering something similar when I read a touching story about an animal friendship between a stray dog and cat. I thought to myself..."Would the average person love a scruffy, beat up looking fellow human?" I'm still pondering, but mostly, looking around at our selfish me-me-me-me society, I'm leaning towards nope. I think the nature of many animals (including us) depends somewhat on environment. If we were living in the wild sans technology, our expectations would be very different. I think most of us (myself included) are simply ugly beings at our core. Selfish and egotistical. Savage even. We judge others left and right, we destroy the environment for our own short sighted needs, we think 'we' as humanity have the right to take and take because we are 'human'. Other beings live here too. I think what we have done to Earth is as ugly as hell...destroyed how many species? And, we are working on destroying many more. Some animal specimens exist only in zoos. We think our silly politics and carnal needs/wants are the only things that matter, and that much is collectively evident. If we were truly a conscious species, we would not be so brutal. Animals truly love. I don't think many humans are capable. We are too quick to war and hurt and strike out of malice the moment ego says "you need more".
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight2009 View Post
When people refer to human nature, why do they usually discount the good, kinder, and more compassionate part of humanity?

For example: human nature is oftentimes variously referred as "evil", "sinful", "wicked", "fallen", and similar negative terms. However, human beings can also, if they are willing, have the capacity to do great good -- hence the more positive terms such as references to the "human heart", "the human thing to do", etc.
Because then they'd have to think about where the "good" comes from and many people are atheists and for an atheist there is no good and evil. We're no different than monkeys or cockroaches and no one cares if a monkey clobbers another monkey to steal a banana.
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomed_Shroom12 View Post
The irony. I was just pondering something similar when I read a touching story about an animal friendship between a stray dog and cat. I thought to myself..."Would the average person love a scruffy, beat up looking fellow human?" I'm still pondering, but mostly, looking around at our selfish me-me-me-me society, I'm leaning towards nope. I think the nature of many animals (including us) depends somewhat on environment. If we were living in the wild sans technology, our expectations would be very different. I think most of us (myself included) are simply ugly beings at our core. Selfish and egotistical. Savage even. We judge others left and right, we destroy the environment for our own short sighted needs, we think 'we' as humanity have the right to take and take because we are 'human'. Other beings live here too. I think what we have done to Earth is as ugly as hell...destroyed how many species? And, we are working on destroying many more. Some animal specimens exist only in zoos. We think our silly politics and carnal needs/wants are the only things that matter, and that much is collectively evident. If we were truly a conscious species, we would not be so brutal. Animals truly love. I don't think many humans are capable. We are too quick to war and hurt and strike out of malice the moment ego says "you need more".
That was probably not always a stray dog. Dogs will kill cats unless they are socialized with cats. In this case, the dog was probably once a pet dog that lived with cats and the cat reminded the dog of a better time. Same with the cat, cats fear dogs unless they are raised with them.

My neighbors are in fact at war because one neighbor's dogs dug under the other's fence and killed her 3 beloved cats. My dogs would never do that because they are raised with cats.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:23 AM
 
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something else that's definitely part of "human" nature......the way we laugh when someone cracks a fart..what other species does that?
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:33 AM
 
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This pertains to, or at least reminds me of my axiom:
Humans are just glorified primates with delusions of grandeur.

Oh man, I spent so much time and energy agonizing over people's behavior over the years; "why does he/she/they do something like that," etc, etc. I agonize no longer since I discovered my axiom of human nature. My life is now so much more calmer, content and even happy now that I no longer worry or experience anxiety over those kinds of question. They just are what they are.
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:39 PM
 
13,515 posts, read 14,746,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight2009 View Post
When people refer to human nature, why do they usually discount the good, kinder, and more compassionate part of humanity?

For example: human nature is oftentimes variously referred as "evil", "sinful", "wicked", "fallen", and similar negative terms. However, human beings can also, if they are willing, have the capacity to do great good -- hence the more positive terms such as references to the "human heart", "the human thing to do", etc.
As a generality I don't find this to be true. Most people I hear, or read on C-D forums for example, are quite adamant that mankind's essential nature is good.

I see no reason to believe that it is essentially good or bad myself.
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