Is Man Naturally Good or Evil
All men are equal by nature, are we not? We all have the same faculties, all needing the same provisions. From this equality and needs comes the survival of the fittest. One could go to any length just to attain his ends, ends such as dominion over the majority. Now, dominance can only exist if there are people you can dominate on. If one feels that his companion is a threat, there is a possibility of him subduing this companion, or maybe looking for another company he could dominate over. The existence of these competitions could be attributed to the principle that man is inherently evil. With these competitions, comes diffidence and glory.
Man is constantly in pursuit of these three, whether we are aware of it or not. Man exists in the external world as a reactive creature that senses objects and is driven to act by the constant motions of the world. These constant motions lead to man’s constant and insatiable desires and wants, which in a state of nature pits everyone against another in a perpetual state of war. Here men are equal in that anyone can kill anyone else, and as such men live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. Humans live to survive. This goes way back to our very beginnings as cave people who, would hunt and do anything to live and keep on living.
Now, living consists of more than just eating and not being killed. There are ones that live in the lap of luxury, and ones that live with much lower standards. As so, selfishness also has different levels depending upon lifestyle and what makes you ‘live’. So, technically, selfishness is something that we as humans are born with, but it’s perceived differently usually depending upon how the person was brought up as a child or has learned over time. However, overtime, it can be proven that everything we do will always lead back to one point: We do it for ourselves.
Man is basically good since it is a fact that man is a social animal whose existence depends on the continued physical and spiritual relations between human beings, these relations must be based either on affinity, solidarity and love, or on hostility and struggle. If each individual thinks only of his well-being, or perhaps that of his small consanguinity or territorial group, he will obviously find himself in conflict with others, and will emerge as victor or vanquished; as the oppressor if he wins, as the oppressed if he loses.
Natural harmony, the natural marriage of the good of each with that of all, is the invention of human laziness, which rather than struggle to achieve what it wants assumes that it will be achieved spontaneously, by natural law. In reality, however, natural Man is in a state of continuous conflict with his fellows in his quest for the best, and healthiest site, the most fertile land, and in time, to exploit the many and varied opportunities that social life creates for some or for others.
For this reason human history is full of violence, wars, carnage (besides the ruthless exploitation of the labour of others) and innumerable tyrannies and slavery. If in the human essence there had only existed this punitive instinct of wanting to prevail and to profit at the expense of others, humanity would have remained in its barbaric state and the development of order as recorded in antiquity, or in our own times, would not have been possible.
This order even at its nastiest, always signifies a kind of mitigating of the despotic spirit with a minimum of social solidarity, indispensable for a more civilised life. But fortuitously there exists in man another feeling which lures him closer to his neighbour, the feeling of sympathy, of love, and, thanks to it, mankind became more civilised, and from it grew our idea which aims at making society a true gathering, all working for the common good.