Are Humans Good or Evil Essay

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction to the Innate Goodness of Humanity
  2. The Natural Goodness of Humans and Society's Initial State
  3. Society's Role in Transforming Good into Evil
  4. The Compromise of Morals for Societal Acceptance
  5. Conclusion: The Duality of Human Nature and Society's Influence

Introduction to the Innate Goodness of Humanity

‘We are fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self destruction.’---(Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games: Mocking Bird) The book ‘Lord of the Flies’ written by William Golding tells a story about a bunch of British kids experienced an air crush during the Second World War. The story was mainly about the events they been through on the deserted island they landed on at the first place. But, to my opinion this novel is more likely to be a discussion about the original state of humanity and society. At the end of the reading, I got the conclusion of: Humans are born good, but the society makes them corrupt/evil.

The Natural Goodness of Humans and Society's Initial State

First, we are going to talk about the subject of are human and society naturally good in the very beginning of their birth. Well, although somebody insist on that some people are born evil or at the very first of the creation of a society it is evil, I choose to believe that people and the society are good in the first place. For example, the time all the boys who experienced the air crash gather around near the lagoon by Ralph’s conch, they decided to choose a chief(as in a leader) to command and lead to boys for making their further decisions about their actions on the island. When it is time for voting, all the choir boys seems to be afraid of Jack s they got no choice but to vote for Jack. But all the other boys who was not under his terrorization seems to consider Ralph a better choice for the leadership selection. So, in that reason all the other boys voted for Ralph and they out numbered Jack’s supporters during the vote. At last, Ralph became the chief. This shows that most of the boys on the island still has reasonable senses and clear minds for correct decisions. It also shows that most boys are good when they just arrived on the island. The boys who supported Ralph was good because they made to right decision for voting because their judgments of people’s personalities are very accurate, they can sense the natural good and intellect from Ralph but they can’t sense those from Jack in this reason they selected Ralph which is literally a better choice for their future. The choir boys who voted for Jack also can be considered to be good at the beginning. Because they only voted the opposite choice influenced by the fear of their head boy. But, by that time those choir boys and even Jack are not capable of harming and being evil. To be precise, even Jack was good in the beginning. He was not capable of hurting and being evil yet, because he needs a transformation where the little society they created pressures him to to make him capable of harming and even killing. As for the first state of the society, I think they are created for the good of humanity and mankind, but somehow they can influence some people in the society to turn evil because of some rules it maintains so that those people will be forced to became very extreme and that is when they start doing evil things without boundaries or bottom lines. We can’t say the society was evil but in some kind of ways people do turn evil because of the society, but its nature was good. For instance, the first society Ralph created was good and it is very likely that he copied the ways how most western countries works- democracy. By using the conch to make orders, decisions, and announcements. He created Parliamentary system in his little society. So, with his leading, the society was created with good wills and kindness to all the people in it and it also sets rules and orders to restrain people. In all, we can see that human and society are naturally good, but by the formation and influence of all kinds of people in the society society makes people evil.

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Society's Role in Transforming Good into Evil

“The joy of seeing another person in pain, frustrated or angry is a delicacy only for the most wicked.”― Robin Sacredfire. The quote I used showed the most evil state of humanity, but in what kind of way they transformed from good kids in to those evil beings. Well, society pushed their transformation in some ways because a society that is not liked by individuals will cause them to rebel and do bad things to change it. We can see a perfect example from the Second World War. When Adolf Hitler slaughter the Jews and do experiments on them in concentration camps, most people can not really understand why on earth would he be capable of doing such horrifying things. It is a terrible thing to do, and despite I am not looking excuses for him, but the society really did make a great effort on influencing him to become an extreme nationalist. Antisemitism is an age-old phenomenon in European countries. Hitler him self did not invent the hatred of Jews. Most of the Jews in Europe had experienced being victims of discrimination and persecution since the middle ages, most because of religion problems. Christians saw the Jewish faith as a sin that had to be assimilated. Jews were forced to convert from time to time. Otherwise, they were not allowed to do certain jobs or professions. Hitler was also influenced by the several Austrian extreme nationalists who blames everything to Jews. But the most important source of Hitler’s hatred to Jews are because of the lost of World War I. The German defeat was hard to swallow for most Germans, and also as for Hitler. In nationalist and right-wing societies, the ‘stab-in-the-back legend’ became very popular. According to this kind of saying, they did not lose the war on the battlefield, but by the betrayal at home. The Jews and Communists were responsible for the defeat.The prejudices about the Jews in the war were false. An investigation by the German Government proved it right. Over hundreds of thousands German and Austrian Jews had fought for their homeland. Also, we can see an example from the Lord of the Flies. When they first arrived the island, even Jack is not capable of hurting. But the failure of being the leader and the not accepting of the ‘normal society’ leading by Ralph drives him crazy that forced him to find a way out by hurting, threatening, and even killing. We can blame the three deaths on the island on the change of society which is because of the transformation o Jack and the increase of his followers. In all, we can summarize that if the state of society is not liked by individuals, they will rebel against it and some may have the ability to change it or influence it to let it run in their own way. Which confirms the fact that the society corrupts and turns people evil.

The Compromise of Morals for Societal Acceptance

In the last paragraph, we are discussing about people are willing to accept bad values in order to be accepted by the society. The most perfect example person of previous fact is Jack. When they first arrived the island, the society was formed by Ralph’s which represents the good side. They formed a parliamentary society which every one had a chance to speak and express their own opinion thanks to the conch and Piggy’s advises. But, Jack and several others are too aggressive and when the kids were building and working they were busy playing water and hunting the pig. That makes them self not acceptable by the good group of people, and that caused the sense of crisis for Jack. So, Jack decided to change and turn the society in to their own way so that he will be the one that fits the most to the new society. In order to do that, he started hunting, and terrorizing kids by the unknown fear for the ‘beast’. But, because that one day he finally succeed of killing a pig, even Ralph and Piggy can’t resist the meat. So, Jack’s first step succeed by bringing interests to the kids so that he can slowly isolate Ralph and Piggy. We are all men of interests after all. What Jack was doing was slowly lure the other kids in to his trap of desires and in order to gain power and control. On the other hands, he created the fake figure of the ‘beast’ and he used the fear of unknown the rule the kids by fear. That is how Jack accept evil and bad rules and make him self acceptable of the society. Another example is Roger. He is described in Chapter 1 as “a boy who kept to himself with avoidance and secrecy.' Roger carves the torturer who plays an important role in dictatorships, and participating the role of a killer. From his point of view on top of Castle Rock, it is described as'Ralph was a shock of hair and Piggy a bag of fat'. Mentally Roger has fear to show him self, to express his true feelings to other people. That makes him being more lonesome and autistic. Which causes his discomfort in a normal society, and that leads to his cruelty to others to force him self in to the society and force the society to accept him. He feels 'a sense of delirious abandonment' when he releases the rock to kill Piggy. We can see that although he made his way in the society, forced his way in the society by accepting values he did not have before, his humanity will not be complete again. He creates his own destruction by blocking and expressing feelings he should have felt and also forced by the not-accepting by the society. And that turns him in to a monster. To summarize them, they all are willing to accept bad rules in order to get accepted by the society. But eventually, they all paid the prize of turned evil and corrupted by the society.

Conclusion: The Duality of Human Nature and Society's Influence

From all three paragraphs above, they have different thesis but they are all revolving at the fact of ‘Humans are born good, but the society makes them corrupt or evil.’ Well, to my opinion there are not many difference between individuals and society. Because maybe sometimes they are relying and connected to each other. But at most times the people are born good, because that is the nature. What humans have are the potentials of turning bad. When they run in to some of the extreme situations, the potentials turns into facts. So, sometimes the influence of the society to corrupt or turn people evil is a catalyst. At last, I want to say that Humans are born good, but the society makes them corrupt or evil.

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