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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blank Slate Blog Post (V.2 because blogger is not the champ of all champs)

For the third time today I am re-writing a blog post that decided it was going to vanish.

Here is the chunk from our discussion

Statement #2 - Mankind is basically good but society corrupts him/her - this one was a lot tougher to decide upon b/c students could agree w/ part of the statement but disagree with another part.  It seemed that a group of people ended up in the "I Don't Know" category.  This concept has been influenced by the discovery of the New World and the comparison of the Native Americans to Europeans.  The Europeans, in their conceit, couldn't understand how the Native Americans seemed to live in relative peace and harmony (compared to the Europeans and their religious wars), and many philosophers and writers felt that it was a lack of civilization, society or religion that kept the Native Americans conflict-free.  Pinker states that this concept is called the Noble Savage.  Mankind is good, but that society or complex structures and forms, according to Jean Jacques Rousseau, are what finally corrupt mankind. 

 - However, many of you were focused on the romanticized version of sociopaths (Dexter, Hannibal Lector) when discussing good or bad.  Do our actions make us bad or are there just bad people?  Is selfishness bad?  What about self preservation?  In many ways, the phrase, "the apple doesn't fall from the tree" could apply - we follow our parents' lead when we're young until we actually forge our own value unique system

For this question I went to the undecided section in the classroom.  I had mixed feelings because I believed that the statement was only half true.  I do not agree that mankind is basically good, because good is just what we percieve it to be, and it is diffrent to every person.  The crazy person down the street building a bomb may think that he is doing "good" because he will cause chaos and destruction, while to many others that is considered evil.  But I do agree that society corrupts people.  Eveery day people strive to reach social norms and fit in with the crowd, thus corrupting them and making them do things that they might not normally do.  So as you can see I have mixed views foe the statement.

Now on to the second part of the questions|

I do not think that our actions make us bad, because "bad" just depends on the interpritation, and everyone does things without thinking about them at some point in time.  I do not think though that selfishness is bad.  Is it frowned upon, yes, but we are built to protect ourselves not others, so we always strive to have the most of everything, and be the best at everything.

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