The way ppl are and the way ppl think about themselves

Poppy

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Do you think people are...
Mostly good and think of themselves as mostly good...
Mostly good and think of themselves as mostly bad...
Mostly bad and think of themselves as mostly good...
or
Mostly bad and think of themselves as mostly bad?


I think people are mostly good and think of themselves as mostly good...

except religious people
 

TheTrisagion

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Because we are made in the image of God, I would say that people are mostly good. I suppose most people think of themselves as mostly good as well.
 

Volnutt

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I guess it depends on how you're defining it. In the absolute sense, people are mostly bad- James 2:10 says that to break a single Law of God is to be guilty of breaking the entire thing (I don't know if there's an equivalent passage in the Qu'ran, though I seem to recall there being one). But in a more everyday sense, we're more just "mostly weak" I think. We express love and kindness to people who are close to us but we often tear apart others through envy, harsh judgments and lack of empathy, dehumanizing them with lust, etc. and those relatively minor things constitute the bulk of most people's sins. Of course, Jesus had some words about that as well.

Then again, people are also capable of extraordinary acts of kindness toward strangers so there is a sense in which I think we can be called "mostly good."

I do agree that most people consider themselves mostly good.
 

Volnutt

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TheTrisagion said:
Because we are made in the image of God, I would say that people are mostly good.
I agree with this as well.
 

Cyrillic

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People probably have a tendency to be bad, but believe themselves to be good.

Most people are kept on the good side because of the law and the few of social disapproval.

Ask yourself: what would happen if people would have an invisibility ring?
 

Volnutt

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Cyrillic said:
People probably have a tendency to be bad, but believe themselves to be good.

Most people are kept on the good side because of the law and the few of social disapproval.

Ask yourself: what would happen if people would have an invisibility ring?
I don't think the Ring of Gyges proves (if a mythological story can be said to really "prove" anything) that people are mostly bad, just that they're corruptible. There's a difference.

Yes, someone with a ring of invisibility might use it to peep at naked people, it would be a tough temptation to resist for a lonely loser like me. But they'd quickly grow bored. You still need other evidence if you want to say that they'd turn into an absolute monster (remember the word "mostly"). For all I know, someone would use the ring for altruism.
 

FinnJames

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I'd say most people are a jumbled mix of good and bad but tend to think of ourselves as good unless taught otherwise by religion. Regardless of religion, we tend to be good/better where people in our immediate group (family, tribe, religion, nation) are concerned but bad/worse to those outside that group (strangers, foreigners, those [like M(r)s Jenner] who reject our cherished cultural norms). The 'march of civilization' has, in large part, been a creeping extension of the boundaries of those we're good to: acceptance off left-handedness as normal rather than punishable, abolition of slavery, prisoners of war rather than killing war prisoners,  equality of men/women, decriminalization of homosexuality [though many here would disagree with that], 'ethical' treatment of animals, etc.)

I'd say almost nothing is only good or bad in itself. When slavery was the only alternative to starvation it was no doubt a 'good' institution. 'Being fruitful and multiplying' is good, until the population is greater than the amount of resources that can sustain it. Etc.
 

Volnutt

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LenInSebastopol said:
We think to much, to often and a lot of ......
::)
Others of us like to show how holier-than-thou they are with passive aggressive humblebrags .....

::)
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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I think most people are basically good most of the time. It's the times when we're bad that cause all the hell in the world. I also think one of the greatest evils in life is the apathy and indifference to the injustices around us. We tend to think that we are good simply because we are not doing the evil that we see others do. But if we aren't intervening to stop it, then we are just as responsible. I tend to think of myself as a generally good person. But then I realize that unborn babies are being hacked to pieces in my city, and I do nothing to stop it. So I am no better than the citizens in Nazi Germany who watched the ashes rise over their heads while they went about their daily business. So I guess it really comes down to how we define "good." If we define "good" by politeness, kindness, and basic human courtesy, then I guess most people are pretty good. But if we define "good" by sacrificial opposition to injustice and evil, then I think most of us are pretty bad.

Selam
 

LenInSebastopol

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Volnutt said:
LenInSebastopol said:
We think to much, to often and a lot of ......
::)
Others of us like to show how holier-than-thou they are with passive aggressive humblebrags .....
::)
So you too know of that which we are made!
SBlud, and I thought to keep it The Inner Secret of The Universe!
 

William T

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We are Created fundamentally and essentially good, even though we are fallen and we are capable and free of twisting that goodness to almost unrecognizable corruptions and distortions of God's Image and Likeness in our humanity and even the goodness of His  Created order... it is nevertheless impossible to get rid of completely or obliterate the Image of God in us.

How people think about that, I don't know. I guess I don't find that question interesting in the astract.  It's probably not most of our jobs to tell other people what they think, that seems a bit hubristic.  I don't get the logic of how being kind to someone you are familiar with is any less difficult than relating to any other person...that seems like a kind of dodge, undermining, false dichotomy or simplification of things.  We need not rationalize or overintellectualize things in that way, that's probably a trap.

As to the thought that law is some kind of restraint to keep people at bay: probably also false, if that was the case law wouldn't work and would be self defeating.
 

LenInSebastopol

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William T said:
We are Created fundamentally and essentially good, even though we are fallen and we are capable and free of twisting that goodness to almost unrecognizable corruptions and distortions of God's Image and Likeness in our humanity and even the goodness of His  Created order... it is nevertheless impossible to get rid of completely or obliterate the Image of God in us.

How people think about that, I don't know. I guess I don't find that question interesting in the astract.  It's probably not most of our jobs to tell other people what they think, that seems a bit hubristic.  I don't get the logic of how being kind to someone you are familiar with is any less difficult than relating to any other person...that seems like a kind of dodge, undermining, false dichotomy or simplification of things.  We need not rationalize or overintellectualize things in that way, that's probably a trap.

As to the thought that law is some kind of restraint to keep people at bay: probably also false, if that was the case law wouldn't work and would be self defeating.
So if there were a law that required shot guns in every car, then repealed the law on murder, all would be well?
 

William T

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LenInSebastopol said:
William T said:
We are Created fundamentally and essentially good, even though we are fallen and we are capable and free of twisting that goodness to almost unrecognizable corruptions and distortions of God's Image and Likeness in our humanity and even the goodness of His  Created order... it is nevertheless impossible to get rid of completely or obliterate the Image of God in us.

How people think about that, I don't know. I guess I don't find that question interesting in the astract.  It's probably not most of our jobs to tell other people what they think, that seems a bit hubristic.  I don't get the logic of how being kind to someone you are familiar with is any less difficult than relating to any other person...that seems like a kind of dodge, undermining, false dichotomy or simplification of things.  We need not rationalize or overintellectualize things in that way, that's probably a trap.

As to the thought that law is some kind of restraint to keep people at bay: probably also false, if that was the case law wouldn't work and would be self defeating.
So if there were a law that required shot guns in every car, then repealed the law on murder, all would be well?
my main point is that a random dude can't just throw out arbitary laws and expect them to stick or to condition men all that well, no matter where it comes from on the social hierarchy.  We aren't pavlonian dogs, and that's not the nature of any complex human or cultural institution.
 

Volnutt

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In fact, Romans 7 would seem to contradict the idea of the Law as a restraint.
 

William T

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Volnutt said:
In fact, Romans 7 would seem to contradict the idea of the Law as a restraint.
I think one of the most sublime thoughts of all time is the secular thought of  presumption of innocence, and I'm pretty sure most people value that ethic highly.  That view of law is probably the polar opposite of a dog eat dog / the leader (or the rich) can make rules on a whim. If one holds that view law is more than a mere restraint but a positive offshoot of human cooperation.
 

Volnutt

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Yeah, I think so. I also tend to view law as aspirational. It (ideally) convicts us of what we should do, based on the best of human conduct in an orderly and just society.

The Old Testament Law was put in place to leave humanity without excuse for sin and thus lead them to Christ, who not only saves them from their own failure, but also fulfills the ultimate in human behavior.
 

Charles Martel

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I think the ancient Greeks figured this out a long time ago.

“We men are wretched things.”


― Homer, The Iliad
 
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