human nature - inherently good or evil?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by IowaGuy, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    I've been pondering the inherent nature of humans. Rasied as a Christian, I was taught that humans have an inherently evil/sinful nature (selfish, wicked, greedy, deceitful, etc) and need divine intervention (God/Jesus) to redeem us and make us "good".

    I recently have been reading some of Dalai Lama's writings. He believes humans are inherently good (non-violent, gentle, truthful, affectionate, etc), and thinks this belief allows him to be more compassionate to his fellow humans.

    Some Native American pantheist beliefs that I have studied seem to suggest a neutral human nature; one with nature, nature is indifferent, etc.

    Question to the forum: in your religious/spiritual belief do you think human beings are inherently good or inherently evil? Or neutral? Or does it even matter?

    How does your viewpoint of human nature factor into your day-to-day life and actions towards others? How does it affect your poilitical views of modern violent conflicts in the Middle East or the political/class struggles we see here in America?

    Thanks,
    Iowa Guy
     
  2. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    I think people are inherently good but it has to be realised. Our true nature is one of goodness. That doesn't mean it's not a constant work in progress.

    Fall down six times, get up seven. :)
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Agreed, inherently good. Unfortunately there is thousands of years of folks that have been slapped in the head by reality and developped blame (started in the Garden....she made me eat it) and then that whole original sin perverted much of our world...so we have perpetuated a dog eat dog mentality...

    So our original state gets tainted quite quickly in our youth....and realization requires a different perspective on each level of maslows heirarchy...

    But we've had many examples....shame we think them a rarity...and call them Buddhas or G!ds and make it seem unattainable.
     
  4. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    I agree you have to find your own god or goddess self , the good aspects of yourself and others.
    However a god doesnt raise himself about his goddess he protects her and its equal. Each of us has only one perfect mate and the true anatomy of each opposite is perfect. There was oneness and from that oneness came the two who are also one as well.
    That oneness always existed but so did the two within the oneness. So each has an opposite and its always opposite sexes which is why anatomies are comparable.
     
  5. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    I agree but there is an order of anatomical things that also have to do with spirit as well. So each has only one true mate created from the original oneness. Because of original sin you wont find it in your immediate family instead you find the progression of that sin. So how do you set things right if something like the half dolphin and half whale they have in hawaii doenst have a mate there has to be one. This is how is all works. Once something exists its spirit doesnt change so its needs its opposite to be good.
    Thats why taking or trying to take something that doesnt belong to you is wrong. However its about repair.
     
  6. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Sorry not trying to be rude with more than one post. However it is always opposites. Trying to cut stuff off or out or grow things that dont belong on the body is wrong. Its not true evolution its deevolution. So repair is union of true opposites. As long as your not doing it intentionally god forgives if your doing it intentionally you have to ask for forgiveness.
     
  7. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    If humanity can at least help the future generations then that will be one way of showing goodness.

    I was thinking about humanity's tendency to adapt to the various environments and then to specialize. Past generations started wearing shoes and clothes instead of toughing it out in the nude. Now we depend on shoes and clothes to protect our hairless bodies. Some of us with asthma and other degenerative problems continue to live because of technologies like new medicines and machines. Eventually all humans may have asthma and early onset Parkinson's and all manner of inherited problems that we will manage with tech, unless of course we can somehow alter our genes to eliminate the physical ailments.

    Suppose you grew up in a world where everyone always breathed through masks and had to float in vats of gel to stay alive. Does that future seem like an evil future necessarily? Its interesting, because when you discuss evil you're often talking about inflicting suffering upon others, so the question of whether humanity is good may depend upon a positive outlook for the future. It could be a question of how we treat the people that will come after us.
     
  8. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Thats why there is progression. Remember each of us has only one opposite. There is a number in the cells that in unchanagable and unbreakable keeps us binded to our opposite. It tells you what kind you are and where you belong and who with those cells are in the hair. I will place a crown above your head. Each has its own place. They tell what your origin is and where you belong. Sometime big things are contained in little packages. And sometimes big things are really big as they seem but that all comes to light when you get the codes in the hair cells. Even if the hair was damaged by hair dye ect it still contains that number. Simular to starman movie and fifth element movie.
     
  9. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Just remember it really is GOD who opens the package, speaking of the actual body. and unites it with its opposite by way of who the true opposite is. So it reallly all about the men
     
  10. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Concepts of good and evil are entirely learned, so how can we be inherently something we have learned? We have taken the experience of a few people, what they have decided we should and shouldn't do and taught our children to behave a certain way. These people had divine insight, but much of what we see as bad in the world today has actually come about by the repression we have instilled in society as a result. We have said "don't do that", and like we see in children, the very instruction creates a curiosity. We need to create a global society of awakened ones, we need to stop emulating the experiences of those humans have decided to cling to. We need authentic people, for the more you fight against bad the stronger it must become.
     
  11. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Yes, good/evil is a form of learned judgment. But the judgment is what is learned, not human nature itself. We can inherently be something which is judged by other humans to be good or evil.

    Humans have congenital instincts and emotions which may be neutral to a non-human bystander or Mother Nature, but which most humans would judge as good or evil.

    For example, the instinct for survival. This is not a learned instinct, you can see it in the young of species across the animal kingdom. The urge to reproduce is another human instinct that is not learned. Human babies have numerous primitive instincts from grasping reflex to nursing. Some would argue that greed/selfishness is another human instinct, perhaps stemming from evolution and looking out for our clan's survival. Or the need to belong to a group. Or the desire to better ourselves. And the list goes on.

    We as humans have tendencies and instincts that cut across history, race, and cultures. These inherent tendencies and instincts could be perceived/judged as being either good or evil. And some religious traditions have a strong opinion one way or the other.

    Do you judge human nature to be good, evil, or neutral? And how does your opinion of human nature affect your views of world events taking place around us and/or your attitude towards others? i.e. social attitudes toward prisons, military, homosexuality, poverty, conflict in Middle East, etc.
     
  12. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I am merely saying that the very concept itself is irrelevant, good and evil are projections, illusions we cast onto existence. We go on separating authentic behavior, choosing one side and repressing the other. We do not realize that good is merely the other side of evil, that the very nature of evil is that it isn't good and the nature of good is that it isn't evil. They are not at all separable, but by trying to push towards one and rejecting another, we create an obsession. We cannot understand why what we are trying to reject remains because we do not see it is the same as that which we value, we create a civil war inside ourselves. This is why celibates are so prone to sexual deviance, avoiding it consciously has pushed it into the unconscious and the result is utter perversion. From what I have read, the Catholic Church has finally acknowledged this, but most people don't seem to be able to make the connection.

    You can rationalize all you want, but know that by doing so you are only confirming your own delusions. Good and evil simply are not real things, they are actually the very foundations of the ego we build from birth. We identify with the conclusions we have personally reached, and so we form the "I".
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming then you were raised in a post-Reformation tradition?

    The original Catholic/Orthodox line is quite different — human nature is inherently good, but brought low by pride and envy.

    I regard people as good by nature.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    OK ... but then if that is so, then so is your concept of 'bliss', which stems from the idea of the good, for which you argued for so forcefully — that too would be an irrelevant concept, a mental projection.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  15. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    You are perfectly right, I use a word that conveys something close to the experience but the word is not the experience. For all I know, what you conceive when reading the word can be completely different from my intent - herein lies my point: it is a projection, you are not seeing reality as it is.

    Difference is that bliss is conveying something, it doesn't separate anything. The Christian will spend their entire life sorting reality into groups, saintly and sinner. Your reaction seems to stem at least in part from ego, this is the result: you have concluded that the Bible is correct and thus are against all that oppose your understanding of it. Thing is, every religion and every culture has different groupings and entirely different concepts of these different ideas.

    The bliss I try to convey is the result of the dropping of all false identification, in the destruction of the ego/self/soul there is a great ecstasy felt - you are home, you have reached the Kingdom of Heaven.
     
  16. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    I have six children my oldest son I asked god to save some years back and he did. I have two sons and four daughters and possiably one more. Things sometimes are not what they seem.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Such is the case with all words ... word are not the things they signify ... but language seems quite competent at transferring ideas.

    Nor should one underestimate the power of words.

    But my point is your reality is your projection.

    It's still your subjective construct.

    That's your subjective opinion ... and might I say a very superficial one.

    Ah, the ego! I am aware of the ego, that is why I listened to the wisdom of the sages, and follow a tradition ... whereas the ego will say 'do your own thing! No-one knows better than you about you ... ' it's a very modern dialogue, actually.

    But, in your own words, it's all a subjective construct, isn't it?

    I'm sure a competent spiritual director would have pointed out to you, the first thing above all is to ignore all phenomena, it is the ego playing games with the mind.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  18. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I am not sure what you are trying to convey here...

    What did you have God save your son from, if you don't mind me asking? Children are naturally rebellious, it is only through fighting this natural tendency or through desperation that the child will really lash out. As the child matures into its 20's it will usually repent and enter into the space the rebellion has provided.

    Do not forget that Jesus himself was a rebel - this is why the Jews had him killed. The priests were the establishment, he has died for what he believed was right but it was still something against the established tradition.

    If you look, every religious leader has rebelled against something. Always, man will begin to change meanings of words as soon as the teacher has left, when this happens it is necessary to bring about the original nature of the teachings through a new voice. It is the same with children, you have projected your desires onto the child and considered the child your possession. The child has to rebel to come back to a certain authenticity of his own, to depart from the desire you have for his life and enter into his own path.
     
  19. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I cannot disagree more, it is perfectly good when speaking from mind - they are a construct of mind - but when you talk from a point higher than mind they are quite impotent.

    Would you agree if I said it is possible to remove object/subject distinction entirely, and thus attain a clarity not filtered through such constructs?

    This is the mistake many make though, now the ego will identify with a given sage. This decision based on avoiding the flaws of ego can become a subtle egoistic pursuit. You begin to gain knowledge about that particular sages teaching and many become very fanatical. This is bound to happen, it is not your own experience so you are convincing yourself in the dispute with another. This experience, though, is only accessible through the death of ego - it cannot be otherwise.

    This experience is exactly the type of thing words are impotent at conveying though, I will say it as Jesus has worded it: entering the Kingdom of God before you taste death.

    This is incompetence, rejection is a repression and is deeply unhealthy. Instead, you are to avoid identification with anything impermanent. Phenomena is very real, you must interact with it whether you reject it or not, and phenomena is not just physical - all thought is a phenomenon too, a temporary occurring.

    Ignore a wall and you're going to end up with a bruise, it might not seem like a temporary phenomenon but it certainly is.
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Ya got that right.... this post reminds me of the fellow next to me, who asked the bartender if she had any children....she said, "none that I know of"....I almost fell of my stool.
     

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