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Human Nature: Good, Bad or Both?

Are human beings good, bad, or a combination of both? Give reasons for your answer. Do you feel that living morally is a natural and easy process, or a hard and arduous task?

Answer the above questions in terms of the following:
Present your opinion. Establish a position while referring to ideas and arguments from belief systems that you read about in lesson presentations or textbook readings. Ensure that you include at least three reference points.
Do you agree with any of the belief systems? If yes, which one and why?
How does your personal belief system affect your approach to morality?
Do you believe that a moral system should be structured and clear or permissive and flexible?

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Hello, the solution below should get you started in the right direction. Always remember that when faced with questions like this, what is expected of you is to present a narrative that is based on the materials you are currently learning (i.e. ethics, philosophy) but at the same time ought to present a personal view so as to show application in personal life. Good luck & thank you for using Brainmass.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Good, Bad & Morality

I believe in the idea that infants are born as clean slates - granted we have genetic predisposition based on our parent's DNA towards objects and ideas. This, however are just that - pre-dispositions that are not assured of being activated or displayed in personality the infant upon growth and membership in society will develop upon reaching adulthood. I am of the belief that ethics, philosophy, morals, virtues - these are all socially learned by experience, observation, education, assimilation and enculturation. Why so? Society is made up of people - our social agencies, groups and interaction create an artificial, not natural sense of organization. Machiavelli portrays the state of nature as pre-civilization, when man was no better than a beast. Are we really prior to social organization no better? Man, on his own, in nature will be in competition with other animals, other species, without language, without culture - his senses ...

Solution Summary

The solution is an 869-word discussion of the nature of human beings - are we good are we bad or both? It discusses morality, ethics and social standards using philosophical and sociological perspectives including the ideas of Machiavelli & Immanuel Kant. References both web and print are listed for expansion. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.