Monday, January 6, 2014

The inherent goodness of people


“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I have always been fascinated by the debate regarding whether people are inherently good or bad. Is it more natural for mankind to be cruel or to be kind? When we look at some of the atrocities that have occurred in mankind’s history, it’s easy to conclude that we are inherently cruel.

But is this really so?

I personally believe that the good in this world far outweighs the bad. Just as firmly, I also believe that there are far more good people in the world than bad. Just look at the overwhelming kindness that occurs following any natural disaster. People come out in droves to help. It’s very inspiring to me.
I think that the reason there may sometimes appear to be more bad than good in the world is because it’s the bad that makes headlines. Why can’t the good make headlines??

What are your thoughts? Are people inherently good? 

153 comments:

  1. I don't think people are inherently good, but I don't think they're inherently bad either. I think people are just born neutral and their surroundings influence them greatly.

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  2. I think we are born good, but things can go wrong to make a person go bad. Or perhaps negative is a better word? I do believe in the good in people, because in the beginning, that's how we started.

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  3. The older I get and the more I write, I'm learning that people are people - "good" people sometimes do "bad" things, "bad" people sometimes do "good" things, and all the reasons why vary.

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  4. It is one's upbringing and surrounding makes his or her good or bad :)

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  5. Welcome back Keith and I do believe there is much more good in the world than bad but I agree the bad gets more press which is such a shame. Take care. B

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  6. Depends whether or not you believe the Bible is true, or just a "good book." ;) It tells us that no one is righteous, but through accepting Christ's work we can all be justified and use our lives to bring God glory. I believe everyone is born with what is called a sin nature (we start off inherently bad), but if we accept His offering, our lives then become a journey toward becoming perfect in Heaven. :)

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  7. It's so hard to see the good in the world when the media and society focus so much on the bad. One of my goals for 2014 is to focus on the beauty of the world.

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  8. I believe people are inherently good unless they prove me wrong.. most people rise to the occasion... especially if that's what you expect from them♡

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  9. I agree and hope it is always so. If the bad overtake the good, humanity will cease to exist.

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  10. its not an easy question...it seems people will swing toward the dark pretty easy...i would like to think we are inherently good...that we will make decisions for the whole that are good...but often we seem to be selfish and i dont know if that is something that developed or was always there....

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  11. I think we are born neither good or bad (except for the few born with a kink in their brains) and how we turn out depends on our environment and how we are treated and taught.

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  12. First of all I must start by saying that I am a big Mahatma Gandhi fan, partly because I am an Indian, but I loved his non violet method of getting us freedom.

    Then I think everyone is inherently good, they are forced to do bad because of the situation/ circumstances they are or have been under. Abuse during childhood, case of ragging, violence at home, peer pressure, natural disaster, financial stress, bad relationships, umemployment etc... are all factors that might induce someone to behave bad so as to take 'revenge' or 'give back'. That is human nature.

    I also think that no one is born bad, no one is bad... it's just labels from society. If ethics and societal norms says that what you did is wrong then you are labelled as bad.
    For example, in Japan suicide is considered 'okay' or I should say 'tolerable', but here in India if someone commits suicide then that person has committed a sin and is 'bad'.
    So by far, the terms 'bad' and 'good' are decided by society.

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  13. I believe in the goodness of men, irregardless of the evil we see around us.

    Thanks for reflections Keith ~

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  14. I think babies are born neutral but from that point they can be molded either way.
    It's good to see you are back.

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  15. Good, for sure, people are mostly good. Societal "norms" can be confusing though. "Crack" cocaine can get you 15 years and the powdered variety can get you a promotion!




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  16. Good is there in all, there is just a line a line one won't cross no matter what, for some people that line goes further out depending on situations and surroundings from birth. And most don't know what that line is until they get it.

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  17. I do think there are more good people in the world than bad. And I've always believed that the good should make headlines. One of my idealistic visions years ago was to have a newspaper that only reported good news, but that's probably not a realistic idea!

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  18. I agree that the media plays a huge part in what we hear about. Perhaps it's like good writing. It has to have conflict and drama for us to pay attention. Otherwise we get bored. Isn't that ridiculous? I'm much rather read inspiring stories about heroism and overcoming tragedy. Good thoughts to ponder, Keith. I struggle with this issue all the time.

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  19. I think that there is some good in almost everyone. I think that the environment in which a child is raised goes a long way in determining how the adult will turn out.
    Good to see you back posting Keith!

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  20. we are good. and bad. and everything in between. depends on who we choose to be at any given time.

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  21. Interesting point, only the bad gets highlighted. Welcome back Keith!

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  22. I think most people are good, but I've known a few when I was working that were evil to the core. I'm also thankful that the list was very short in that 25 years of working.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  23. Definitely. People are inherently good.

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  24. I believe that there is no such thing as a person who is 100% good or 100% bad. Everyone has a balance between the two and to me it seems like it's a constant battle. Sometimes the bad can be more powerful than the good and sometimes it's the other way around. But in the end good always wins even if the bad keeps creeping back.

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  25. There are a lot more good people than bad, it's just that the bad makes the news, but we don't hear much about the good ones, a line here and there. Sometimes the bads can be turned good if given half a chance, but there are those whose conscience is too far down to reach, and they hurt us the most.

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  26. I don't believe in good and bad. To me we all have shadow and light. To me it's all about love. When we move away from love we harm and we move closer to love we heal.

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  27. I think overall there are good people in the world. The times that there are people that have trouble usually suffer from mental illness. It would be great if those people could get more help. I think they to have good in them.

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  28. I agree with you: people are inherently good. I need to have that hope!

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  29. I too, would like to see more good news in the media. As far as good deeds. I think many people just try to treat others as they'd like to be treated, you know? This is a wonderful thing. :)

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  30. I'm with you. There is far more good out there than evil- we need to draw it out of each other for it to truly shine.

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  31. I believe most people are inherently good too. Just look at babies...that's all it takes for me. :) Happy New Year to you!

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  32. Keith, I couldn't agree more with you on that! There is so much good in the world. And I have no idea why headlines focus on the bad stuff... Focusing on the bad stuff fosters more bad stuff :(

    I try to remind people (and myself) of their goodness, because it fosters more goodness in them and in their lives.

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  33. It is a very thin line between good and bad just as it is between love and hate

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  34. Yes, there are really good people.

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  35. I believe that love and goodness will always win, even if it doesn't seem that way in the short term. Bad things--crime, tragedy, disasters--make the news, but we do need to remember all the goodness that surrounds us every day.

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  36. I think of the saying: evil triumphs when good people do nothing. I do believe there's more good however that good is all too often silent. Responsibility and good should go hand in hand.

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  37. Yes. ;)

    I think the bad is often easier to see--or at least, the aftermath is much more pronounced. In my experience, the good is quieter, and often desires anonymity--but I would LOVE to see more headlines that promote the power of human generosity.

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  38. the bad and salacious sells. happy that the newscasts are including regular features like 'making a difference' in their schedules.

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  39. Definitely...it's just that people sometimes lose their way and so are easily led.
    I agree with Joe...evil can only triumph when good people do nothing.
    And yes, PLEASE let's have many more headlines of acts of kindness! :)

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  40. I agree that the news is full of bad stuff and negativity but there are more good people than bad. Even the 'bad' people take care of their own and have goodness deep down inside them ;)

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  41. I am pretty sure that people are inherently good. Some times it is the atmosphere they grow up in and /or circumstances they go through that make them kind of bad, but once encountered with good they are sure to start seeing good and eventually become good.

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  42. Back to the age old question of nature vs nurture. In the end no one really knows.

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  43. I totally agree - there is more goodness and kindness in people than we think!

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  44. Very inspiring post! :) I believe that love runs this world. It would stop without. And I believe all bad comes from not being able to truly love ourselves first thing of all things....and then all those bad feelings creep in and grow. Our society fails miserably at teaching the most important lesson of being able to love.
    I truly believe with all my heart that all people are inherent good and loving. But it's their daily choice what they want to express - the good or the bad. It's sad to see that especially something as powerful as media chooses the bad over the good and teaches people wrong.
    It makes me appreciate those people even more that are willing to see the good in everything :)

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  45. I believe most people are inherently good, but the fly in the ointment comes when you consider sociopaths, born to that path and not nurtured that way. Sociopaths have a genuine lack of remorse and regret. I personally think it's something to do with brain chemistry or the structure of the brain… some sort of neurobiology. In any event, if a person's brain is working right and they haven't been raised to have a cruel bent, then yes. People are inherently good.

    I think the reason "bad" makes headlines is because, against the backdrop of inherent human goodness, bad is so easy to see. It's the thing that sticks out, the flaw in the tapestry. Unless an act is especially altruistic or noteworthy, people don't notice the good because it's normal. Someone holding a door open for another person. Picking up something the person in line ahead of you dropped. Doing your spouse's or children's laundry. Etc. The good is "mundane", but the bad is gasp-worthy. Also, have you ever heard of someone oppressing millions with a regime of kindness? Not so much.

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  46. I believe that people have the propensity to be good. Plug in the social elements, experiences, etc., and then it is down to choice.

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  47. The news seems to favor the sensational, and good efforts just don't seem to bring much news coverage.

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  48. In basic terms I agree Keith that people are inherently good. However, I've noticed through life, that some people have to work harder than others at being 'good'. I've oft wondered if each of us is born with a ratio of good v bad and through circumstances we do with it what we will.

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  49. I think that there is an element of good in most people - in some you have to search a bit more than in others.

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  50. I think people are everything. Every quality is in all of us, but some of us - for whatever reason - tend to act "naughty" more than others.

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  51. I think we are inherently bad. I'll be the first person on your post to totally think that. :) I grew up Christian so obviously that's something we believe but then, after studying Psychology in college, that cemented it more for me. We are selfish by nature and we are self-serving. We do good things but I dokt believe for one second that we embody any sort of pure goodness. We lie, cheat, steal, kill, live in denial to suit our needs, etc. It is such a learned and applied thing to be good all the time. Because of this ugliness we all have, I believe that love, healing, and salvation are so much more beautiful and it's a really beautiful love story between humanity and God. I'm not always a great or even sort of good Christian all the time or even a good person but all a matter of opinion. :) the good acts shine in the darkness and give us hope and motivate us to continually keep on working towards this.

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    1. As I said, people are people, we all have the same primal instincts. Some of us admit we are more of those things than others, eve, so it would seem we are different. But the fact that we admit it just means we know we're human, it can't be good or bad. Another thing I say is, everybody lies. Good? Bad? Perception will tell you it's one or the other, but a lie is a lie. I like your train of thought.

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  52. Ja też myślę, że na świecie jest więcej dobrych ludzi niż złych. Wierzę w ludzi i w ich dobroć. Pozdrawiam.
    I also think that the world is more good people than bad. I believe in people and in their kindness. Yours.

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  53. I believe good and bad are just labels we place on things to try and make sense of life. People are just people, we all have the same instincts, but some manage them differently or not at all. People are people, I say it all the time.

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  54. I think are really good people but others not and sometimes you see the best and others the bad part believe me.!
    Im absolutely christian (im catholic).and sometimes I see terribles things.
    Always I try to be quiet and when happens some things only I think Im in God's Hands

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  55. I think we're inherently good. The Buddha said, "All tremble at violence; all fear death. / Putting oneself in the place of another, /one should not kill nor cause another to kill." I think we are all human and vulnerable. At least I think that's how we all start out. I think it resides in us, even in our darkest moments. If you remember that your enemy is human and fragile, it helps to change the way you see him or her. But, I tend toward my inner liberal Buddhist hippy. You know that.

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  56. I do believe that people are inherently good. I think circumstances cause good people to do bad things sometimes and it's very unfortunate. But I think deep down people are good and good always prevails!

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  57. I think that whatever we believe, is the truth for us. So in saying that, I believe people are good.

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  58. While not everyone has a lot of it, humans have empathy. Sometimes other feelings can overcome empathy. Those in charge of military forces are good at killing off their soldiers' empathy.

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  59. Thankfully there is always kindness and goodness to be found in people, but I agree, the news always seems to Be awful. I call it the bad news. But it's the good things we remember isn't it, the small kindnesses, the nice people. I try to anyway.

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  60. ohhh i love this. people are so, so good!

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  61. I use to think people were born good but could be taught to be bad and for the most part, I still believe that. I do remember however a cousin I once shared a crib with during a visit. She beat me to a pulp and she was only a toddler. She bit me, yanked my hair and poked me in the nose for no reason.(yes I can remember that far back). That makes me think bad seeds are also possible. But on a whole, I do believe we out number the bad by a huge margin.

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  62. I do think that people are inherently good, although some are misguided. We live in a world of polarity, so we are always going to find good-evil, light-dark, etc. If people took more responsibility for their actions - realizing they are only hurting themselves in the end - we would have much more balance. I want to believe everyone wants to be good, but some are weak-minded and fall prey to addictions, vices, and various personality disorders such as narcissism, sociopath tendencies, and passive aggressive behaviors. So maybe I want to believe people are inherently good, but I have seen too much of the opposite to be sure. xo

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  63. I DO think good people far outnumber the bad.
    Unfortunately, the bad get more press.

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  64. My thinking is that thinking in terms of good vs evil or good and bad leads to an unhelpful debate. One of the barriers to communication is that of positioning "myself" on the side of good and the "other" on the side of evil. That's bound to end in stalemate or outright aggression and violence. Mind you, having said that I believe we must all strive to find the goodness in ourselves and in others. Thanks again for a thought-provoking post Keith.

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  65. Keith,

    I would like to think that humans can be generally good and kind to each other, most of the time. Sadly I believe its actual reality, less and less. Too much evil and violence, seems to have edged good intentions into a corner...Northern Ireland is an ongoing example of that perception.

    Eileen

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  66. I'm not sure. I think that human nature wants to be good. But under harsh circumstances, some are outrageously evil. Others are incredibly giving and resilient. So, yeah, for the most part I think we're more good than evil.

    Be well,
    xoRobyn

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  67. I do think there are more good people in the world than bad.. I agree the "bad" does get a lot more press.. Have a happy week!

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  68. Happy 2014 dreamer! I too believe that human nature is inherently noble but that it can easily become "bad" if there is no spiritual education. I don't believe in the noble savage. To be good one has to constantly make choices that are not always easy. I do believe though that good always wins in the end even though there may be a lot of casualties. Hope this year is one where Good dominates ALL. Have a great week!

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  69. I think most people in general are good. Its the bad that gets the most attention. Its like the rotten apple in the bin, all the ones next to it get rotten to!
    There are good parents that have bad kids, and bad parents that have good kids. Morals, its all about teaching our children morals.
    Have a beautiful Monday.

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  70. That question is more difficult to answer than it initially seems to be. The nature of people is extremely complicated and it's difficult to catagorize them as all good or all bad. Basically, I believe that people are born good and often get corrupted along the way.

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  71. I don't think people are born either way. it is a product of their surroundings. That being said, I think we see so much bad these days mostly because it is in the news more. But people are selfish and it is a "me" mentality. I'm always surprised when I see people being nice to each other on the airplane because we are so used to people being jerks. In November I had a lady apologize to me for being rude to me and I was shocked. Mostly because I had no idea what she had said to me...we are used to it and it goes in one ear and out the other. I was touched that it bothered her enough to apologize.

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  72. I believe there is more good than bad in the world ... but I also was raised in a very biblical home and believe that we all have free will ... so if you choose good, you will be good. if you choose bad, you will be bad ...

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  73. I've never really thought about this but now I'm going to be thinking on this all night. Thanks for inspiring me!

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  74. We are born as demanding complaining little psychopaths, since we can not fend for ourselves, this has to be. We are then slowly socialized and taught what is right and what is wrong. Some people do not receive very good instructions.

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  75. I think everyone is born a good-leaning neutral. Though I wouldn't say there's more good than evil in the world, that's two one dimensional. Even some of the worst people have redeeming qualities, and vice versa.

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  76. I do believe there are really evil people in this world, but I also believe they are the minority. There are so many wonderful people in this world, unsung heroes. But we don't hear about them because good news just doesn't sell as well in the media.

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  77. I agree with the first comment made by Mark. Surroundings and upbringing are a huge influence. Some of my cousins have proved this to me.

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  78. I agree...good shadows the bad. And sadly the good never does make as much headlines as the bad.
    some people are bad..and some are good. I think...that if people are good then they should let it shine. Yu know?

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  79. I believe that we're born with a sinful human nature but that we have the choice to make what we will with our life and I think that a lot of people choose to do good. Unfortunately there are a lot of people that choose not to, but I hope that there will continue to be people who strive to do good in the world. And I think we're fortunate to see a lot of people that do. Welcome back to the internet!

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  80. I think circumstances define whether you are inherently good or bad. I think I am a hybrid...I am both good and bad..

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  81. People have both the good as well as bad qualities in them ... the key is to work towards the good and suppress the bad :-)

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  82. I just wrote this on Manzanita's blog because she mentioned your question:

    Are people inherently good? That's a question I've often wondered about. I saw a study recently that showed that some children were more moral than others. I always thought children were taught to be good or bad. It seems that it's 50-50. Part nature, part nurture.

    I do think children are socialized in many ways to behave in certain ways. We have to teach them good manners and behaviors. As a former teacher I have to believe we could do that.

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  83. Great question! I suppose it depends on how one defines 'good', but yes I think people are inherently good - or that there is certainly more 'good people' than there are 'bad people'. The press, and various social and political groups tend to emphasise the badness (for lots of reasons) and it is very easy for us to develop a very negative picture of humanity which then exacerbates the issue as we then tend to look for the worst or react negatively. One of the things that I find wonderful about the internet is the number of sites that promote good news - it is really important to keep things in balance and perspective.

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  84. That's a really good question. I think there are good and bad people but are they inherently good, I can't say that I believe most people are. But I do think there are a lot of nice, good people who would do the right thing if they had a problem dropped in their laps.

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  85. I think it depends on what you mean by good. Good for whom, or what? Family? Children? Self? The Environment? (well, that last one is a no!)

    So, can the same behaviour be good in one circumstance and not good in another - and if that is possible, how can we be inherently good, when "good" depends on circumstance?

    Who knows - but at least we can try!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: just think, when you take you Christmas decorations down, you will be able to start counting the days until you can put them back up again!!

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  86. We're born with the capacity for good and evil in our hearts, and we have been since the Garden of Eden. But most of us have been taught to be good. We grow up learning to live by a moral code until we can hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. There are a precious few who seem to have always been filled with light, like Gandhi, Mother Teresa. The rest of us just quietly live our good, honest lives. We give to charities, adopt stray pets, donate blood. We're the first to ask what is needed after a disaster...and our bleeding hearts break at the news of what is happening in Russia, Africa, Korea.
    Then we have children who we bring up to hopefully have the same moral code.
    So yes, I agree, I have seen and experienced far more kindness in this world than not. I think there are more kind people than not.
    I don't know how I feel about the news. I think we should know about what's going on in Russia and Africa, yes. I just think maybe we should be reminded that there are also great acts of kindness being committed around the world at the same time...

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  87. I agree with you - there are absolutely more good people in this world than bad. I think you might like this magazine I subscribed to when we lived in the US. It's called 'The Intelligent Optimist' and contains good news from all over the globe. You can find their website here: http://theoptimist.com/ That magazine was such an inspiration to me, and one of the reasons I chose to move abroad again!

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  88. the good always makes my headlines...bad stuff goes on page 2 :-)

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  89. I like the very first comment here from Mark we are born neutral
    our learned behavior, our surroundings, what influences us is what makes us good or bad-in the end though each person decides the outcome.
    I always wondered why children in school are so mean to each other-they really are-down to the youngest age-if you watch children play there always seems to be a bully or a mean one--so the answer is not easy

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  90. Good and bad are in each of us. The one we pay the most attention to is the one that becomes most dominant. While we all can be and are mean and ugly at times, I believe that the majority of us react in a good way when we see people in genuine need.

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  91. Must confess, I don't know the answer to this. I can only comment on myself, and I know that I'm far from perfect. I like this, which highlights the point:
    The Times newspaper in 1908 asked a number of authors to write on the topic: “What’s wrong with the world?”. G.K Chesterton’s answer at that time was the shortest of those submitted - he simply wrote: “Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G.K. Chesterton”.

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  92. When the chips are down, I would like to think that most people are good at heart.......
    Happy new year Keith .......how is your depression now that Christmas is over?
    X

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  93. Happy New Year, Keith! I believe that there is a lot more good in the world than evil. I don't believe that people are either inherently good or inherently bad at birth. I believe people are born with a blank slate & that their heredity and their environment can influence them one way or another. I also believe that people DO have the potential to change...in one direction or another well into adulthood.

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  94. I meet more good people in my day then bad people....but all it takes is a run in with just one bad person to taint the whole week.

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  95. Close your eyes and make a wish ... goodness and evil will always be there ... it's a matter of choice to be made fresh every day ...

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  96. This is a tough question. Based on the Lord of the Flies though, it just depends on the person

    Tallia
    trendinginfashion.blogspot.com

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  97. Most people are inherently good and want to do the right thing. It takes a lot of dark twists to remove the innocence children are born with and all morals to create a truly bad person.

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  98. More good than bad but oh so much damage is done by violence and ugliness displayed on television/movies/video games, shaping the activities of younger people who begin to think that this is how people really SHOULD and DO behave. Kids always want to learn how to fit in and so more bad begins to emerge...less politeness and care for others.

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  99. I often wonder if we had predominately positive news casts would we get people copy-catting the good deeds? (Instead of all the doom and gloom). I do agree that good outweighs the bad I just worry about how the upcoming society is being conditioned between the bombardment of negative media and the graphic violence in all of the video games (and, yes, I realize I sound like a prude).

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  100. I think people are capable of unspeakable greatness. And I devote my life to encouraging its emergence.

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  101. I think most people are born good, but also have been around narcissistic people and even though its chemical, they truly are another breed... Everything they do is self serving.

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  102. People are inherently altruistic. It's the reason why we've been able to survive as a species for this long.

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  103. its true. bad stuff makes headlines. good is boring...
    but great is exciting. lets go for great!

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  104. Why does it have to be one or the other? That's like asking whether people are beautiful or ugly - and the answer to that is the same. Some are, some aren't! But maybe that's my opinion because I'm an each-way-bet kind of girl!!

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  105. I think more people are good but for some reason people like to read and hear about bad. Isn't that a shame?

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  106. I like to think most people are inherently good, Keith. Although there's a worrying trend of the fortunate targeting the unfortunate. We have some very evil politicians in this world.

    I like to think I'm very good. I'm altruistic and work discreetly in the background, with little publicity, to be there for others in the most challenging of times.

    Welcome to a hopeful, better 2014, Keith.

    Gary :)

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  107. I think there is more good then bad. It's just that the bad people and bad things seem to always get more attention. You are going to hear more "bad" news all day on the TV verses the good. Just the way of the world. I don't watch TV/news for this reason. :) It's just poison.

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  108. I'm currently reading If This is a Man and The Truce by Primo Levi, and the amount of good he found in people even amidst the worst of the concentration camps is quite amazing.

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  109. Hello Keith:) Happy New Year, I hope it's full of all the things you love.

    I do believe there are more good people on earth than bad Keith, but as you say, unfortunately bad gets more press.

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  110. I thinks folks are mostly good. Bad definitely happens, unfortunately, but that makes us appreciate the good even more...

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  111. The old news industry saying of "if it bleeds, it leads" shows how Bad is given more time than Good.

    But, Good is far more prevalent than Bad.

    Absolutely.

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  112. Definitely more good! Sure, there will always be a few bad apples in the crowd, but I think we are mostly programmed to want to do good.

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  113. In my view, cruelty is something that is taught, not inherent.

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  114. for some reason we glorify bad. look at the news...it's 90% bad stuff then the last two mins is all the right in the world. wish we could focus on the good and maybe we will all start doing more of it!

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  115. Thanks for writing in such an encouraging post. I had a glimpse of it and couldn’t stop reading till I finished. I have already bookmarked you.
    ip

    camera in balangir

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  116. I think you nailed it. Good news doesn't sell newspapers.

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  117. Dostoevsky wrote a lot about what is good and bad in human nature,
    why people are more attracted to the badness and less than of goodness.
    Although I believe that the person is more inherent goodness.

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  118. sometimes i believe people are inherently good, and sometimes bad. but it's true that people, e.g. in the news, too often focus on the bad. x

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  119. I think about this every time I see a headline about yet another shooting. I believe that there is more good than bad, but that the bad is more "interesting" and therefore gets more attention.

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  120. I love your blog
    followed
    http://minimaysi.blogspot.co.uk/

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  121. Are we inherently good are bad - we have the potential to be either. Nature v nurture? Nurture has a lot to answer for!
    But (hopefully) goodness reigns!
    Anna :o]

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  122. I sure know that people are quicker to cast up your faults far more readily than the good and positive things you've done. But good generally prevails - however you were raised!

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  123. Agree with Helen....sadly I always tend to be a bit negative and hoping people don't view me in that light. My neighbour always says (about parenting weirdneses) we're all just trying to do the best we can. Think compassions makes you more positive.

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  124. I honestly believe that people are inherently good. Most of the ones I've met have been so. But, I also believe that there are some who are inherently bad. Good news? Good FAR outnumbers the bad. It's a shame that the bad are usually armed.

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  125. It is always better to give than receive!

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  126. Lol! That's a major philosophical discussion, Keith.

    I would say that inherently, it's easier for people to do wrong and there is a lot of shading in *wrong* from the little, 'the dog ate my homework' to true pitch black evil. It's harder to do the right thing consistently.

    I do agree that the good outweigh the bad and the proportion of true evil is small and the majority of people abhor evil. Unfortunately, while small, evil actions still send out tendrils throughout the world and we feel those icy tendrils. Today, we’re more aware of dangers to our families and community.

    Like Gandhi said, it's easy to despair but even the seemingly invincible do fall. The bright spots are those who are generous and caring.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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  127. Sadly there are way too many bad people and I feel like they are getting more and more. But I do think that there are still more good than bad people.

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  128. Reminds me of the line from the play, "Ah have always depended on the kindness of strangahs." ("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", maybe?)

    Yes, I believe the good outnumber the bad. Always have, and always will. I hang my hat on that premise... and call it hope.

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  129. Difficle d'imaginer que les hommes naissent mauvais. Je pense le contraire. Leur entourage, leur famille, dans un premier temps, leurs rencontres, leur propre choix, le mauvais hasard fait qu'ils peuvent basculer comme tout un chacun du mauvais côté. Le pessimisme ne peut sauver le monde. Soyons optimistes et croyons en la bonté intrinsèque de l'homme même si cela est difficile à croire.
    Bien amicalement.

    Roger

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  130. I think people are good, but once we start growing up we develop a competitive edge and many people think they can't still be good. Great article.

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  131. No one is born as a bad person..Its always the situation that made them good or bad. I also believe there is evilness in a saint and there is kindness in a criminal. It depends..No one is perfect.

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  132. I believe there are more good in the world, too. Except for the few born to be bad, most bad people are taught that way.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  133. Nurture over nature.
    Nice to have you back. Hope your getaway was marvelous.

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  134. Hi Keith - I'm sure we're better people than bad .. it's just we don't advertise normal people going about their daily lives, where helping people is part and parcel of life's journey .. small things - a smile, opening a door for someone, helping with some shopping etc ... sadly just not worthy of the media.

    The thugs make the headlines, but on occasions the leaders and fighters for a better, peaceful life make their mark into a journalists view and we hear about them ..

    Inherent goodness, yes I'd agree ... have a very happy New Year - Hilary

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  135. Great quote, as usual. I think the good outweighs the bad too. They say we want to hear bad news all the time, but I don't believe it. In fact, I don't even watch TV news because I'm so overwhelmed with the grief of it. I think people love a good news story too. :) That's probably why we read blogs, where we get to hear the great elements of people's lives.

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  136. I absolutely agree, OE! This world is full of amazing and wonderful people. Happy 2014!

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  137. I believe that it is our duty in our lives to make sure that the good outnumber the bad. But, man...it gets close sometimes, yes?

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  138. I have been trying to be good since 1949. I have succeeded, mainly, but have not gotten rich.

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  139. Hello Keith, it's an interesting question.
    I just had read an article yesterday what makes marriages hold forever and the theory is, that as long we are more willing to give instead of take partnerships will hold and everybody is happy.Unfortunately many people forget that and are only searching for there best .... in the end they don't achieve it are unhappy or bad.
    If we keep that in mind and only think of the others, we will receive even more and we are all on a good path,

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  140. I think there is a bit of nurture and nature to both. I feel that we have to potential to overcome the bad, but if we constantly surround ourselves with the bad and those who give in to it we can't help but give in ourselves.

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  141. I do believe that people are inherently good, that life happens, and people make choices, and sometimes circumstances don't help.

    Whenever I visit my uncle, he feels compelled to tell me all about the bad news he hears about on television. It can be draining. I once asked him: "don't you have any good news to tell me." That's how I felt. It's always nice to have a balance.

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  142. Yes! Yes! Yes! We are children of our Heavenly Father; we are inherently GOOD. We do have our agency, and can choose to be selfish and bad, but we don't have to be; we are inherently good... :)

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  143. I hope 2014 proves to be a good year for you and yours!

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  144. Tricky question. To me good and bad are human concepts. Something we have defined culturally so it's almost impossible to say if someone is inherently good or bad. One culture might see suicide bombing as a 'good' action, the person who takes this on could be a hero. Following orders could be seen as being good but being an independent thinker is also good. We commit actions all the time that are good for one person but bad for another. What we define as good or bad usually depends on how it affects us personally. I think I believe in shades of grey.

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  145. If we recognize we have a shadow and don't repress it, we can deal with it so it doesn't try to make itself known in a negative manner.

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  146. I agree, and I think some tend to naturally focus on the bad and not the good.
    Cortne

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