Friday, August 27, 2010

Good Bad Stupid and Brilliant

I caught part of a radio conversation on the way home this evening. I've been working Over There again but not always spending the night. Anyway, there was some discussion about whether people are innately good or not.

The lady said, "the heart of man is dark". For those of you who have become too caught up in the world of categories, she meant people in general, not just men, or a man. So, she doesn't think people are, by nature, good. She said that keeps her humble. ???

I think CF once accused me of believing people are generally good. Probably due to one of my rants about how we'd be better off with no laws than too many. I haven't changed. There is a need for a few, but most preemptive strikes on the part of The Man are nothing short of immoral and oppressive.

So, this brought a few things to mind. One is that the woman's view is in keeping with many religions; you are born a miserable sinner, unworthy, etc. The other is that I don't think people are evil by nature. I think instincts get skewed and perception of how best to survive gets distorted. Mostly I think people are tricky and confused, but not basically bad.

I think the obviously bad, harmful, no good people should be erased. Why keep a serial rapist or multi offense child molester alive? Not on my dime, thank you.

That raises another issue; benevolence and charity with other people's money. It is all the rage. I think You can afford to help group X with your money. So be it decreed. Always these things are cloaked in Good. That covers up the immoral aspect. You are the rightful owner of your own life, and the fruits of your labors. The two actually follow. For me to dictate how the rewards for how your hours are used is spent, is akin to taking ownership of part of your life. Same mentality as that which would permit slavery. Involuntary servitude.

Check with Walter Williams for an in depth explanation. He makes a good clear case.

Anyway, I think good or bad is a choice in most humans. I'd define bad as causing harm to others or limiting their opportunity to make their own choices. People who would steal life, property, ideas, who would manipulate through lies and deception, half truths, etc. are evil-doers; bad people. All of it is a theft.

I think most people have good in them, but they also have that herd instinct. It is part of the survival mechanism. That makes them easily led astray and allows group insanity to snowball.

Many of us have a knee jerk reaction of patriotism and support for the military no matter how it is used. Gonna bring democracy to Islamic countries. I don't think it will happen or is wanted in the way we view such things. Cloak it in good. Or what has become accepted, due to repetition and herd instinct, as good. Anyone who knows a little knows that pure democracy is tyranny. No matter, we accept it as a good thought. Have to respect the military people because you have to follow orders in that game, or your army would suck and be useless. I do not have to like how they are used, when or where they are used. And I don't. Not since WW2 can I say I have been 100% behind much that has been done. I think we should have taken Cuba, but don't feel like arguing it.

Many of us think socialism is wonderful. Mostly people who think they will do the allocating and planning, and those who are hurting and figure they stand to gain. Some of that first bunch are filthy rich and have no intention of actually living like their subjects. And that is how we are viewed. Unless we speak up against them. Then we are "angry", ignorant, racist, and any other derogatory term in the book.

I've heard more in the last five years or so from people who seem to hate their own species than I have heard in my entire life. Got no idea how to address that. Maybe if you think humans have no right to live, you should do you part and jump off a high cliff, or drink a bottle of draino.

If people weren't good they never would have invented the air plane, air conditioning, The Pill, or the tube amp. There are some bright people who've walked the earth. They generally had to put up with a boat load of people who were trying to go with the crowd by being obstacles to brilliance, but that is how it goes.

There was a point to this but I think I'll leave it with the observation that every racist, sexist, non-idea based group lobby actually perpetuates and creates their own stereotype while playing victim to being stereotyped. And it is all predicated on a tacit approval of theft of property, and, to a degree, of slavery.

Are people by nature courageous? That one is rather iffy. I think maybe some are and some aren't, and others possibly can attain a degree of courage if they choose. Most aren't unless they have peer group support, which is really not the same thing.


  1. I am trying to recall the conversation but cannot. I think most people will do fine if left alone (and with the ability to deal with the transgressors in the group) and do I not think there is a moral basis in most laws (speed limits, for example), but we do need a way to protect us from the bad/stupid things other people do. Drunk driving is a huge issue up here and you will get folks with 13 or 15 convictions who finally kill someone. Then they go to prison. They should have been removed from the roads long before they actually caused harm.

    I do not think people are naturally altruistic but I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. If everyone took care of himself, we would all be better off. Sharing should not be forced, but I do think parents have a responsibility to their children - they chose to bring them into this world and they should care for them.

  2. I think people are inherently generous, and most will do well even when there are few laws governing their every step. It is the few who screw things up for the many.

    Many/most people will surprise you -- in a good way -- when given the chance. I've seen it. They may, however, surprise you in a bad way when forced to do good things.

  3. I wonder though...I distinctly remember being taught not to be giving. I was taught to disregard charities and I was taught how to look the other way so that I did not have to say no. Had I been left to my own devices I would have given away the farm 20 times over by now. I do wonder, had others also been left to their own devices would I have received a farm 20 time over? In a perfect world, hell yes.

  4. CF: I recall the conversation, partially. It wasn't a disagreement about people taking responsibility for their actions, but more on how to cope with those who think their right to be on earth trumps yours. Tactics of law enforcement was the subject.
    Others have told me I have unrealistically high opinions of the potential in humans.
    I'm all for removing the elements which demonstrate disregard for life. If the state wasn't in the business of raising children and adults, perhaps the peer pressure and intolerance of those in the neighborhood would keep them a little straighter. Have to keep the sleazy class of lawyers away


Can't make comments any easier, I don't think. People are having trouble--google tries to kidnap them. I'll loosen up one more thing and let's see. Please give it a try

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