• Sarah Del Prado

Are people inherently good or bad? Good, and here is why:

There are many existing types of people nowadays; good, bad, neutral; however, how can people be so different when we are all born the same? The answer to “Are people inherently good or bad?” goes beyond philosophical matters. For example, if humans face easy ethical scenarios, they usually choose to be good instead of evil. Humans’ desire to help starts very young when still babies. For example, studies have shown that children are not motivated to help by any rewards; in reality, it is a baby’s intuition to help the other, as Felix Warneken, a researcher from the University of Michigan, has researched and stated.

Humans naturally love physical touch, especially with another human. Humans are said to need physical contact and company in their lives. Studies have shown loneliness to lead to a 50% higher chance of early death in a person’s life. Moments of connection have a significant impact on people’s well-being and actions. Pavel Goldstein, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, wrote an article stating that physical contact is a communication of empathy, which as a result, gives an analgesic painkilling effect on the person. This fact is not impacted by society; this is a natural fact. The feeling of being socially connected is crucial for a person’s longevity, which shows humans’ genuine regard for each other. For example, when hugging a loved one, the bodies involved releases hormones such as oxytocin, which improve social interactions, decrease anxiety and fear, and naturally bonds humans.

As over millions of baby are born every year, they are bound to be influenced by society and their actions. Society affects a person’s development in many ways, such as the place’s culture, values, and knowledge can all play an essential role in the development of a persons identity. Essentially, the establishment of norms are what usually influences a person’s ability or ideas. The environment is a good example. Depending on the way a person was raised, if they are looking for a house to buy and come across a small and uninviting place, they will not want to buy it, nonetheless, if the person comes across a comfortable-looking house, it will be more inviting, therefore, more likely to sell. This example clearly shows how the environment of a place can influence a person’s attitude towards the situation, and a person’s attitude depends on the environment they were raised in and the type of people they were surrounded/raised by.

Humans are not naturally selfish. A study done by a senior lecturer in Psychology from the Leeds Beckett University showed that humans aren't inherently selfish. We are, in fact, hardwired to work together. Traits like altruism and cooperation have been present in our society for millions of years. This shows that people are more interested in honesty, forgiveness, and helpfulness, which are coincidental, all considered traits of good people. Humans are naturally giving as it is a basic human instinct. We are enhanced with the capacity for empathy and a level of concern for others. This can be seen in the first example given about children, as a study has shown that rewarding children for good behavior will make them less likely to do it again. Their “pre-cultural” brains have expectations on how people should act and prefer to help rather than hinder.

In conclusion, humans are inherently good because of our natural instincts. The fact that we are all born good and with the same instincts changes later in life clearly shows how society is the one who changes it. Negative traits in people appear to develop over the course of life, as the “good” side of people’s nature is way more deeply rooted than a person’s “evil” side, meaning that even the youngest have a sense of right or wrong, an instinct to prefer good over evil, which further proves my claim. Later developed morality is built.

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