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Are Humans Fundamentally Good Or Evil?

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Do you really know whether you are good or bad since you are born? It is always a question that whether human is good or evil. However, another Chinese philosopher, GaoZi, believed that human nature is neither inherently good nor inherently evil but rather a “blank slate” that could be conditioned in both directions. Humans are fundamentally good because of what human actually is, the education they have, and the society they are in.

Basically, human is a creature that evolved from the apes. We are not different from animals after getting rid of the factor of culture. Apes are animals that hunt for living. We are more advanced than apes but still have a similar motive as our nature. We were born to hunt to survive like other animals. It is us whom have evolved in such a manner that we have created society. Cultures are all based on if we can get enough food to support us for survive. As a type of animal, it is instinct that human will try to get enough food with anyway they can. In the ancient period, people had a concept that some animals represent evil, and they always kill other animals. But nowadays, the concept is changed comparing to the past. People started to understand those “crimes”. “Wolf Totem”, which is a book that describes a story of a Chinese student who lived in Inner Mongolia. Those wolves in the story were smart, cooperative, and brave. They are very similar to human. In the book, those wolves were forced to kill sheep that villagers raise because of the cold air wave. While those villagers hated those wolves, they also understood those wolves. Every time someone died, they put the body on the grass outside for wolves. In addition, the Chinese student in the book also got a baby wolf from their nest. The baby wolf was intelligent and pure. It kept its docile under enough meat the student provide, and he never bites any sheep or dogs. Throughout so many years, some people believe they are different from animal, but this is not the fact. There is not any evil animals, and human is not an exception.

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What caused the big difference between Jack and Piggy is the different education. In the book “The lord of the fly”, William Golding did not elaborate on jack’s family history. Jack didn’t mention his parents or relatives like Ralph and piggy, but we can guess what his family life was like in England. Jack is an entitled person who argued to be chief simply because he was the head of the choir, he claimed to be the leader. Jack is also aggressive and selfish. But what causes that was jack’s family education. Jack’s characteristic suggested he may have been respected by his parents and grew up in a household where he was largely “the boss”. Jack’s parents might not be very strict on him, and they allowed him to do everything he wants. To comparing, Piggy seems to be more timid. He grew with his aunt and received good education. His aunt told him many truths of life and mentioned his diseases like asthma. Under that kind of family education, he become a rational person with timid. Although in the beginning, jack seems still had his human nature. He already changed a lot comparing what he really was since he born, and in that situation he shows how he was changed. He killed Piggy and Simon, and he also tried to kill Ralph. On the other side, piggy mentioned his aunt and when will they get rescue a lot. He wanted people to remember the truth society, and He tried to pull Ralph towards reason and logic. Overall, the reason why Jack became evil and Piggy kept good is the education. They were both good since they born.

The society is also a big determinant of why people may change from good to bad. In the book “The lord of the flies”, most people were not evil. They followed Ralph and trust they can be rescued. Even when they joined Jack’s group, they only killed pigs which is not actually a bad thing. We can say they changed since they killed Simon randomly because the storm. They trusted Jack and did everything he wants them to do. There are basically two reasons they started to do that. The first one is, there are already most of people joined Jack’s team. Psychologists have spent decades studying the power of social influence and how it affects people’s opinions and behavior. Specifically, social influence refers to the way a person change itself for suiting the whole society. Most of us often got social influences in many forms. For example, a student could change his selection when he found that all other people chose another option. The second reason is, they found that Jack already became the only leader on the island. His cruel let not only Ralph scared but also other people. They are scared of being punished and killed if they stop follow Jack. The pressure and the fear they were having making them bad people. There is another example of fear causes obey. Luke in “The Society” acted the same as Jack’s followers. When other “Guard” followed Campbell, Luke still trust his girlfriend and Allie. He did not want to follow Campbell for revolting, but he had no choice. They will beat him if he refuse, which is what Jack also did when he caught the twins. He beat them first then let them to be the guard of the turf.

To conclude, human which is a type of animal is good,but it may be changed by acquired factor like education and society. This shows how important for people to have a good education and society. No one is bad originally but how they changed.

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Are Humans Fundamentally Good Or Evil? (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 25, 2023, from
“Are Humans Fundamentally Good Or Evil?” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022,
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Are Humans Fundamentally Good Or Evil? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 18 [cited 2023 Sept 25]. Available from:
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