Are human beings basically good or evil

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Africa » Tanzania » North » Arusha
July 9th 2008
Published: July 10th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

Did a morning run, found a very neat path leads right to Mt. Meru, almost no traffic, got huge trees on each side, passed by a fancy club called Gymknaka, it's a private club for members only, they even have 2-3 tennis court, very neat, but apparently drop in is not allowed. on the otherside is High Court, pretty cool too.

Aziz took us to the central market to practice bargaining, which is quite useful, since all the numbers becoming making sense now, we had a list of stuffs to buy, got all of them with a decent price, I bought four Avocado for a buku (80cents), really good deal. stop by a local history museum in the afternoon.

Running into a good article on the newspaper

Are human beings basically good or evil --- Michel Pireu

Sigmund Freud had this to say about human nature: "Men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved and who at the most can defend themselves if they are attached; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments are to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness.
As a result, their neighbor is for them not only a potential helper or sexual object but also someone who tempts them to satisfy their aggressiveness on him, exploit his capacity for work without compensation, use him sexually without his consent, seize his possessions, humiliate him, cause him pain, torture and kill him."

In contrast, Carl Rogers contended that man had a basic propensity towards goodness or socially constructed behavior.

"Given the right circumstances, a growth-facilitating environment, man's reactions can be trusted to be positive, forward moving, creatively purposeful, rational and trustworthy. We do not need to ask who will socialize him, for one of his own deepest needs is for affiliation and communication with others.

"As he becomes more aware or open to all of his impulses, his need is to be liked by others and his tendency to give affection will be as strong and stronger than his impulses to aggressively strike out of or seize anything for himself."

How do we assess the truth of each of these famous views on human nature?

Do we have a strong inclination to evil as Freud contended, or is our deepest longing to be socially attuned and connected to other people in loving ways; or do both views have validity - do we have the potential to be both good and evil?

Viktor Frankl, a psychologist who survived the Nazi concentration camps, thinks so, and had this to say about human nature: Our generation has come to know man as he really is. He is the being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz. He is also the being who entered those gas chambers with a prayer on his lips."

Frankl believed that as human beings we have freedom of will which we are called on to exercise responsibly; that our choices will determine what kind of person we become and prove to be, good or bad.


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