The Latest News
Connect with Us

Notable Releases
From the Store
Game of Thrones Westeros Map Phone Case
Game of Thrones Westeros Map Phone Case
HBO US
Featured Sites
License Holders

Jump to content


Photo

Human Nature: Fundamentally Good, Evil, or True Neutral with Chaotic Tendencies?


21 replies to this topic

#1 Sci-2

Sci-2

    The 11th Little Indian + SJWarrior/Mage

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,919 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 12:32 AM

Spinning off from the discussion in another thread.

Basically the positions of inherent good/evil were touched on, as was the influence of society and genetic predisposition.

Personally I think people do have some tendency toward good at the local level and a tendency toward indifference when asked for compassion toward those outside whatever they consider their in-group to be.

#2 Sansa_Stark

Sansa_Stark

    blank

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,168 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 12:48 AM

True neutral cannot have chaotic tendencies. Its better just to be honest and call it chaotic neutral. Also we are fundamentally terribad. Despite what people say, US society is the best its ever been. Relatively little prejudice among different groups, no slavery, gay rights improving. And yet it is still this awful.

Edited by RandSedai, 22 September 2013 - 12:58 AM.


#3 Sci-2

Sci-2

    The 11th Little Indian + SJWarrior/Mage

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,919 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 12:56 AM

True neutral cannot have chaotic tendencies. Its better just to be honest and call it chaotic neutral.


What is it in a man's heart that makes him neutral?

Seriously though, check out the 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendium. Pretty sure some entries have the main alignment with a tendency alignment in parentheses.

#4 thecryptile

thecryptile

    cryptic reptile

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,065 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 01:23 AM

I'd go with "Lawful Evil" being the most common alignment... people are often dicks who will screw you over, but most can do so in the bounds of the law.

ETA: On second thought, that might just be TV. In my personal life most people could be described as some flavor of Good or Neutral.

Edited by thecryptile, 22 September 2013 - 01:26 AM.


#5 Castel

Castel

    Tactical Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,664 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 01:29 AM

I...really don't know. I've said it before, but people have the infuriating tendency to defy easy categorization. They're dicks like that. You can see great acts of altruism...then terrible, terrible fucking crimes or just plain callousness or idiocy. Trying to seperate between these things and declare one set of behaviors representative of "True human nature" (after you've determined what's right or wrong of course)seems terribly difficult, and I'm lazy.

Edited by Castel, 22 September 2013 - 01:31 AM.


#6 Littlefingers In The Air

Littlefingers In The Air

    wave 'em like you just don't care

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,087 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 02:13 AM

I think people have are basically True Neutral. People don't really care about whether their actions are good or bad, so long as it feels good for them. They're not out to hurt you and they're not out to help you. People just want to be left to their own vices.. This is all general, obviously.

#7 S John

S John

    2012: Ottergeddon

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,195 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 02:31 AM

On an individual level people are good, not everyone, but for the most part. The day I change my mind about that is the day you can go ahead and put me down.

In a larger context its hard to care about others because it becomes abstract once it stops involving people that you know. I don't think that makes anyone a bad person, it just means we can't cope with the reality of a global society and the crazy availability of information it entails. I hear about horrible human tragedies every day and don't bat an eye, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't put forth an honest effort to help someone for whom it was within my power to help in a meaningful way. And I think most people are like that.

People have self interested motives most of the time because often that is what survival takes. But I do not want to be the kind of person that believes that is true for any other reason than the fact that it is a necessity. People get caught up in what they see on TV and fail to see the everyday decency of all kinds of people around you. I think it pays to remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. We all notice the bad while the majority of us live a quietly decent existence.

#8 Liffguard

Liffguard

    Turbo ice-pigs

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,192 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:38 AM

i posted this on a similar thread a while ago but it still holds true IMO

“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”


To elaborate, I don't think humanity as a whole can be thought of as inherently one or the other. I don't even think terms like "good" or "evil" are particularly useful to the discussion. We've evolved with these competing physical and psychological urges and then thousands of years of culture have imposed their own compulsions over the top of that. I think morality should be about addressing the needs of our psychology with an aim to minimising overall harm.

#9 Penguin king

Penguin king

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,418 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:50 AM

It kinda has to be good doesn't it? I mean, ideas like good and evil are defined by the society we live in. What counts as "good" behaviour is determined by the prevailing moral consensus. As this consensus shifts over time, so do our ideas of what classifies as "good" or "evil". The majority is always going to to favour "good", as they're the ones who collectively decided what "good" is...

#10 Lany Cassandra

Lany Cassandra

    Layers, like an onion

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,454 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:59 AM

I think we would have to define the terms a little better first.

Is good simply: "doing for others and self" or is it more "doing for others to the exclusion of self"

is evil "doing deliberate harm" or is passive harm (not helping) enough for evil "All evil needs to exist is for good men to do nothing"

Is neutral "I take care of myself/family and no concerns whether I help or hurt others in doing so"

Also, what is meant by "fundamentally"...how we behave in our current time of plenty, or how would we behave in an apocalyptic situation.




I would say that most people are between neutral and good...take care of self, do for others sometimes, try to not do harm.

I think in an apocalyptic situation though it is neutral for the majority of people (where self includes the small group/family)

Edited by Ser Lany Cassandra, 22 September 2013 - 07:07 AM.


#11 WinterKing

WinterKing

    Greenseer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,254 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:06 AM

I think that men is fundamentally selfish.Not Good, nor Evil, but trying to get advantage to hisself and to his group.Pretty much the explanation from Dawkins in his The Selfish Gene .

#12 Happy Ent

Happy Ent

    Godfather of the Weirwoods

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,439 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:41 AM

Humans are animals. What you call morals are just phantasms, instruments of control, rationalisations. Would you call the alligator evil? The spider neutral? The whale good?

Our behaviour towards others is well explained by kinship altruism. Some individuals, possibly because of changes in their genetic make-up or cultural programming, will be able to extend their altruism to bigger groups, others to lesser. Our cognitive facilities endow us with empathy in order to better manipulate people, which can be misunderstood as kindness.

But that’s all there is.

#13 Ser Scot A Ellison

Ser Scot A Ellison

    My children's daddy and Social Justice Warrior!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 42,739 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 08:22 AM

Sci,

Human Nature: Fundamentally Good, Evil, or True Neutral with Chaotic good


Yes.


#14 Castel

Castel

    Tactical Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,664 posts

Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:45 AM

Meh, nvm. I'll deal with it later.

Edited by Castel, 22 September 2013 - 11:56 AM.


#15 Solmyr

Solmyr

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,643 posts

Posted 23 September 2013 - 09:32 AM

Depends on the point of view we assume. If we judge ourselves from the point of view of a human being - the only way we can judge anything, since we're all human beings - then we're mostly on the good side (both the mean and the mode).

If we were to judge ourselves from some metaphysically abstract point of view, one which we're not really capable of perceiving, it is reasonable to assume our actions are probably neutral in the grand scheme of the universe and beyond.

#16 Leap

Leap

    Social Justice Prole

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts

Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:08 AM

I think, as you say - on a local level people are generally lawful, and good. It's only when these ''spheres'' interact that there's much chaos or evil.

#17 Weeping Sore

Weeping Sore

    Anima or Mineral

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,368 posts

Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:14 AM

Not enough Chaotic Goods out there, to be sure. Whenever I see "Lawful Evil" I picture Antonin Scalia.

#18 Leap

Leap

    Social Justice Prole

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,490 posts

Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:23 AM

Not enough Chaotic Goods out there, to be sure. Whenever I see "Lawful Evil" I picture Antonin Scalia.


What's so evil about him?

#19 Castel

Castel

    Tactical Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,664 posts

Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:31 AM

If we were to judge ourselves from some metaphysically abstract point of view, one which we're not really capable of perceiving, it is reasonable to assume our actions are probably neutral in the grand scheme of the universe and beyond.

Just the grand scheme?

Edited by Castel, 23 September 2013 - 11:40 AM.


#20 Horus Ex Machina

Horus Ex Machina

    Laughing Man

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,402 posts

Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:35 AM

True neutral cannot have chaotic tendencies. Its better just to be honest and call it chaotic neutral. Also we are fundamentally terribad. Despite what people say, US society is the best its ever been. Relatively little prejudice among different groups, no slavery, gay rights improving. And yet it is still this awful.

I'd probably agree with this statement. I'd refer anyone interested to this fine essay by The Korean attesting to this and giving little to no credit to the people ourselves of this accomplishment. It's rather the result of having lived in a country that has served as a natural nexus of so many different interminglings of people that has accomplished the feat almost by accident.

You can't overcome human nature, but it can be forced to adapt to changing circumstances. As much as our more primitive impulses come to the fore, the very nature of our changed world has civilized humanity rather than the other way around. The harsh nature forced the first groups of primates to form communities to protect themselves against more dangerous predators. Even survival caused an apex predator like the wolf to evolve a subspecies that saw it's own survival tied to us. Barring a major catastrophy, human populations will likely never be isolated again as they have been in the past. Thus our differences are perceived under more familiar circumstances rather than the here-say of a relatively privileged group of "learned" people who have their own agendas.

http://askakorean.bl...y-in-world.html

I don't tend to believe in such things as "good" and "evil". But our nature towards one another is more indifferent than anything which can result in actions that might be perceived as evil to an outsider. It's hard to humanize people whom you've never met or associated with and are loathe to learn more about. They may as well be animals for all that one knows about "those other people".

Edited by Horus Bergeron, 23 September 2013 - 11:43 AM.




Reply to this topic