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Humans: Good Or Evil?

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There are many things scientists and philosophers can’t answer one being whether humans are born into the world good or evil; a concept that has been around since the wonders of human origin. In the novel The Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding the theme of human struggle between good and evil is highlighted throughout, as well as how we change within the environmental factors we are each given. Humans are not born good nor evil but rather into a clean slate because the nurture they receive growing up as well as the environment they are set in heavily affects who they become in the future.

How a child is nurtured and taken care of growing up as well as the social factors in one’s life plays a major role in creating ones day to day thoughts as well as personality. Steven Pinker a known speaker on the subject of good vs evil origin supports “The Blank Slate” concept as he states ,”The human mind is a blank slate and that of its structure comes from socialization, culture, parenting, and experience.”(Pinker, 1) Thus no one is born with a set mind of how they are supposed to act and what they are supposed to believe in but rather how you are raised and your socialization experiences give you your own opinions and outlooks on life.

The biggest factor that creates one’s morals and outlooks on life comes from one’s environment. Weather one is born into a struggling family or a wealthy one makes each life different. With different life experiences come different shapings of opinions and morals. If one does not have experiences and needs they lack ability to be considered good or evil.

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Nigel an author who writes about the functions of good and evil gives a counter argument supporting the idea of “the Blank Slate’’ concept stating,”It is quite implausable that people would be born with a fully functional genetically-determined brain..”(Nigel Barber, 1). Implying we aren’t born with the understanding of what makes good and evil but we develop it through interaction.

In a scene of The Lord of the Flies where Jack, one of the main characters has fully been exposed to the isolated environment Golding describes, ”Jack himself shrank at this cry with a hiss of indrawn breath, and for a minute became less of a hunter than a furtive thing, ape-like among the tangle of trees.”(Golding, 49) Thus implying Jack’s savagery and animalistic evil side as he has no remorse for the animals’ killings. Once Jack was put into a chaotic environment without rules to influence morals he later becomes savage as he loses touch with the importance of civilization.

In all, at a young age people are easily influenced. Through experiences, opinions and morals are formed creating what society conceives as good or evil. No one is born to be good nor evil but both are incorporated through one’s understanding of life.

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Humans: Good Or Evil? (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from
“Humans: Good Or Evil?” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022,
Humans: Good Or Evil? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Sept. 2023].
Humans: Good Or Evil? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 18 [cited 2023 Sept 27]. Available from:
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