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Are we born neither good or bad?

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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    No I don't enjoy pain and suffering. Now explain to me why genocide is objectively wrong.
    You've just answered it for me.
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    We are all born innocent. Simple as. Babies don't have a sense of bad/good when they first birthed the only thing that changes that is of course surrounding stimuli and upbringing (many other factors too).
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    Exactly. Explain to me objectively why human survival is a good or bad thing.
    I was wondering this the other day. People say 'we're only here to reproduce' but I don't get why our survival is important. The human race is the current product of a few gazillion years worth of random events. We serve no purpose, and I couldn't give a monkeys whether humans are around in 200 years or not.
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    (Original post by ROYP)
    I was wondering this the other day. People say 'we're only here to reproduce' but I don't get why our survival is important. The human race is the current product of a few gazillion years worth of random events. We serve no purpose, and I couldn't give a monkeys whether humans are around in 200 years or not.
    The nihilism of youth!
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    We are born completely self centered: an unborn baby is in biological terms a parasite - good for the child.

    But we still love them.
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    (Original post by 1mum)
    We are born completely self centered: an unborn baby is in biological terms a parasite - good for the child.

    But we still love them.
    Parasites tend to kill their hosts.
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    (Original post by ROYP)
    I was wondering this the other day. People say 'we're only here to reproduce' but I don't get why our survival is important. The human race is the current product of a few gazillion years worth of random events. We serve no purpose, and I couldn't give a monkeys whether humans are around in 200 years or not.
    It just means that our purpose is entirely subjective, which I think equates to freedom. Some might call it selfishness, but that's like comparing 'jealousy' and 'equality'. What's wrong with being jealous of others? Each instance of jealousy is something set up by humans, although indirectly.
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    Neither. It's all about nurture.

    Unless we suddenly find people are either born with a "good" gene or "bad" gene.... which is highly unlikely.
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    It just means that our purpose is entirely subjective, which I think equates to freedom. Some might call it selfishness, but that's like comparing 'jealousy' and 'equality'. What's wrong with being jealous of others? Each instance of jealousy is something set up by humans, although indirectly.
    You think there is something objective, outside of human experience, by which to judge these things?
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    (Original post by Kibalchich)
    You think there is something objective, outside of human experience, by which to judge these things?
    Well I just think that if someone cannot argue objectively against mass murder then it leaves our opinions, such as describing it as 'wrong', to be a dominant theory. Scientists believe things based on fact but if this is our opinions then what legitimacy should they have?
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    The terms 'good' and 'bad' are subjective and mind dependant.
    If you're talking about whether people have a genetic disposition to do things that are 'good' and 'bad', you have to first have your own moral beliefs.
    I personally believe that morality and all meaning is man made, and that there is no inherent right or wrong.
    So for me everyone is born as non-moral beings, and we stay that way, as does everything else in the universe.

    On a side note:
    Genetically, all our actions are based on sex and aggression, and those motives themselves are based on continuing the species and reproducing. Society and our parents stamp the norms and 'morals' into us so that we don't commit murder and rape and pillage etc.
    Generally serial killers have had their mind, for lack of a better word; ****ed up, at some point along their upbringing or in their adulthood, ie it was a LACK of nurture, or in some cases abuse that caused them to commit such actions.

    (i just reread this and it sounds like i am condoning rape and murder. note; i am not conding rape and murder)
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    I think we are all born good.. You don't see babies trying to bite their mothers nipples off during breastfeeding (Crazy example) but I think its down to the upbringing.. Personal experiences in someones life will define who they are later in life.

    I know a boy who used to be the nicest of kids, would do anything for anyone and then he was bullied in secondary school, he's now been in prison twice for GBH and something else which I can't remember. It shows how good can turn to bad based on nurture..

    Good thread though.
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    (Original post by Kibalchich)
    Just because something is a social construct, doesn't mean it doesn't have an existence.
    It only exists when and where society wants it to exist. "Bad people" who commit petty crimes become scapegoats and are marginalised from the rest of society, only to distract attention away from the capitalist class who commit white-collar crimes that are all the more damaging to society.
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    (Original post by walkhms)
    Neither. It's all about nurture.

    Unless we suddenly find people are either born with a "good" gene or "bad" gene.... which is highly unlikely.
    Some people view gays and obese people as "bad" for not conforming to societal norms and values.
    However research suggests that a gay gene ("bad") exists and also a ("bad")gene that makes people more prone to gaining weight and thus becoming obese. Although, some illnesses who symptoms can manifest themselves by weight gain, so perhaps it isn't entirely nurture as you suggested.
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    Well I just think that if someone cannot argue objectively against mass murder then it leaves our opinions, such as describing it as 'wrong', to be a dominant theory. Scientists believe things based on fact but if this is our opinions then what legitimacy should they have?
    We don't need to argue "objectively" about it. This is a nonsense argument.
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    (Original post by captainaesthetic)
    The terms 'good' and 'bad' are subjective and mind dependant.
    If you're talking about whether people have a genetic disposition to do things that are 'good' and 'bad', you have to first have your own moral beliefs.
    I personally believe that morality and all meaning is man made, and that there is no inherent right or wrong.
    So for me everyone is born as non-moral beings, and we stay that way, as does everything else in the universe.

    On a side note:
    Genetically, all our actions are based on sex and aggression, and those motives themselves are based on continuing the species and reproducing. Society and our parents stamp the norms and 'morals' into us so that we don't commit murder and rape and pillage etc.
    Generally serial killers have had their mind, for lack of a better word; ****ed up, at some point along their upbringing or in their adulthood, ie it was a LACK of nurture, or in some cases abuse that caused them to commit such actions.

    (i just reread this and it sounds like i am condoning rape and murder. note; i am not conding rape and murder)
    You might want to back all that up.
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    I think all kinds of people were born neutral. The circumstances, people in there and upbringings - especially in childhood - make us to a "good" or "bad" human. The first impression is the most important one in our life, because it remains for a lifetime in my opinion.
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    (Original post by Simple Symphony)
    Some people view gays and obese people as "bad" for not conforming to societal norms and values.
    However research suggests that a gay gene ("bad") exists and also a ("bad")gene that makes people more prone to gaining weight and thus becoming obese. Although, some illnesses who symptoms can manifest themselves by weight gain, so perhaps it isn't entirely nurture as you suggested.
    Wait a minute. How on earth is having a "gay gene" a bad thing? It's just a characteristic... like having genes for brown eyes and blonde hair. It's not a bad thing. It just makes the person who they are. A "fat gene" is bad but is only superficial and can be defeated through nurture (exercise and healthy diet).

    You went off topic there. When I said "bad gene" I meant a gene that strongly makes the person evil/bad... etc and is part of their personality. There is no such gene as far as we know and I'm sure there isn't.
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    (Original post by shyamshah)
    Basically, i was wondering what everyone thinks about this question 'are we born neither good or bad?' I consider this to be true for most people but on some occasions not, for example some serial killers, or can you argue that they only commit the crimes they do because of their upbringing etc?
    Innocent until proven guilty.
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    (Original post by lizolove)
    I did an extended project on this and found it was a mixture of the two. Scientifically, it has been supposedly argued that the brain composition of a serial killer for example is different from that of an 'average' person, so to some extent, perhaps it is natural. Also, a lot of serial killers have supposedly been affected by mass loads of testosterone (supposedly encouraging raging behaviour), which is also natural, so to some extent, I suppose so. Although at the same time, I did notice that in the case of Harold Shipman for example, he administered 'lethal injections' to the early, just as he had once seen his mother receive daily when she was dying of cancer, obviously showing some form of psychological harm and repetition later on. In the case of John Wayne Gacy also, himself and his father were both alcoholics and his father was abusive, whilst Gacy was sentenced for his abuse and killing of children. This is true of the Jamie Bulger (a 3-year-old boy being killed by two 10-year-old boys) case too. Venables, one of the boys involved in his murder, has now been convicted by paedophilia, which you could argue is not related, but at the same time, it could just not be a coincidence, and could be something that stemmed from his younger days.
    Has this been proven for all serial killers though? Because i know that some as you have said have had bad childhoods etc. but even then is that an excuse to kill many people and even on some cases 20-30 people? I saw an interview yesterday with John Hughes who accepted that if he was released he would kill again and doesnt feel any remorse for what he did. Surely this cant be normal? Most serial killers who i have researched have shown remorse to the victims family but this guy is completely different.

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