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Are People Capable Of Goodness?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

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Are people capable of goodness?

Yes, they can be perfectly good
3
18%
Yes, they can be good sometimes
12
71%
No, they can be evil sometimes
0
No votes
No, they are always evil
2
12%
 
Total votes : 17

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Kowani
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Founded: Apr 01, 2018
Democratic Socialists

Postby Kowani » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:38 am

Given an incentive, people will do good.
Last edited by Kowani on Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Diahon
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Founded: Apr 01, 2020
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Diahon » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:42 am

Yes.

It is up to them to choose to do good, however.

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Cameroi
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Founded: Dec 24, 2005
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Cameroi » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:53 am

completely capable of, just as apes and wolves and even cats.

just not by hating logic, or equating aggressive inconsiderateness with freedom.

and goodness IS consideration, it also takes logic to avoid causing harm. logic in the service of consideration.
but it doesn't take rocket science to be logical or considerate either.

nor does the existence or nonexistence of self aware nonphysical beings have anything to do with it.

i define goodness as the avoidance of causing suffering and harm though, because any other definition seems to me rather pointless.
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-Ocelot-
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby -Ocelot- » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:08 am

All humans can be good, you just need to give them proper incentives.

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TRIEADMORE
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Founded: Oct 09, 2019
Democratic Socialists

Postby TRIEADMORE » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:12 am

Oh yes.People are always capable of good, even totally or really really good.Everyone is always capable of being very very bad too.Some exist in a grey zone where every thing is not simply black or white. It’s not bad to be good.It’s not bad to be bad sometimes.

I’m saying this in 2020,when nothing’s going right.I try to keep a smile on my face this year in public and society but deep inside I cry.But I’m trying to move on to a brighter future now,if nothing else goes wrong this year.
Last edited by TRIEADMORE on Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Nuroblav
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Founded: Nov 13, 2019
Ex-Nation

Postby Nuroblav » Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:25 am

To answer the title: Yes, people are capable of doing 'good', depending on what standards we're talking about here.

To answer the question posed in the OP: I don't think 'entirely good' is really an ideal standard to set - I have never heard of, or come across, someone who is entirely perfect (although some have arguably come close). I think everyone is capable, but it would still be extremely hard, albeit a tiny bit easier with incentive.
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Echellia
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Founded: Oct 22, 2020
Ex-Nation

Postby Echellia » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:44 am

Yes
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Geneviev
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Founded: Mar 03, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Geneviev » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:48 am

Kowani wrote:Given an incentive, people will do good.

If they need an incentive, are they really good?
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Noahs Second Country
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Anarchy

Postby Noahs Second Country » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:52 am

There's the argument that pure altruism doesn't exist - effectively everyone will do an action for some greater incentive, whether they are conscious of it or not.
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Echellia
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Founded: Oct 22, 2020
Ex-Nation

Postby Echellia » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:53 am

I remember many years ago, there was an incident right here on NS when a user posted that he was going through some rough times and implied that he was thinking of committing suicide. Instead of people trolling him and trying to make him feel worse (which I have seen happen on this site a couple times), a very large portion of the community came together to track him down and reach out to his RL friends and family to help him. The mods even allowed a DoS to come back to help, and help they did. It was beautiful. If this isn't goodness, I don't know what is.
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Latvijas Otra Republika
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Founded: Feb 22, 2017
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Latvijas Otra Republika » Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:37 am

Neither good or bad, just people.
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Dogmeat
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Founded: Apr 01, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Dogmeat » Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:10 am

Yes.

But I may be biased because they feed me, and then follow me around with a plastic bag to recollect my food.
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Major-Tom
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Major-Tom » Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:18 am

Are people capable of being good? With such a broad question, the answer is yes, of course. Are people always good, and do they always act altruistically? No.

Humans are neither inherently good nor inherently evil, we're social animals who care for one another, but factors such as external environment, a need to attain status in a competitive world, and even genetic and biological factors in some ultimately determine who is more altruistic and selfless than others.
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Northwest Slobovia
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Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:30 am

The poll needs more categories, since there's a big gap between "sometimes" and "always".

[x] People are good most of the time, but can be led into evil. :p
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Northwest Slobovia
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Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:35 am

Geneviev wrote:
Kowani wrote:Given an incentive, people will do good.

If they need an incentive, are they really good?

Does it matter? If somebody dives into a river to save a drowning person because they believe it will get them their five minutes of fame, they still have taken on a great risk to save a life. That seems good by itself.
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Ethel mermania
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Ethel mermania » Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:43 am

Can we do good? Yes
Can one be good by nature? I would say yes
Can one always be or do good? I think not.


And that is before we try and get to the definition of what "good" is.
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Post War America
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Post War America » Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:46 am

Dogmeat wrote:Yes.

But I may be biased because they feed me, and then follow me around with a plastic bag to recollect my food.


Yeah but like don't they load you down with junk to carry? and expose you to raider gunfire?
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Kowani
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Founded: Apr 01, 2018
Democratic Socialists

Postby Kowani » Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:26 am

Geneviev wrote:
Kowani wrote:Given an incentive, people will do good.

If they need an incentive, are they really good?

The incentive-rational or not-is the motivator for all action.
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Geneviev
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Founded: Mar 03, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Geneviev » Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:50 am

Northwest Slobovia wrote:
Geneviev wrote:If they need an incentive, are they really good?

Does it matter? If somebody dives into a river to save a drowning person because they believe it will get them their five minutes of fame, they still have taken on a great risk to save a life. That seems good by itself.

It's a good action, yes. But I don't know if the person is good if they're only thinking of themselves.
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West Leas Oros 2
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Ex-Nation

Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:50 am

Capable, yes.
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Northwest Slobovia
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Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:09 pm

Geneviev wrote:
Northwest Slobovia wrote:Does it matter? If somebody dives into a river to save a drowning person because they believe it will get them their five minutes of fame, they still have taken on a great risk to save a life. That seems good by itself.

It's a good action, yes. But I don't know if the person is good if they're only thinking of themselves.

True, thinking only of themselves isn't good, but in my example, they are thinking another person as well. They always have the option of just walking away, which seems indefensible.

Obviously, people who can't swim, or who know that they can't rescue a drowning person -- I've read it's dangerous, because drowning people tend to pull their rescuers down in their desperation -- shouldn't jump in, but there are other things they can do (throw them something that floats, call 911, etc). Which, again, even with fame in mind, seems good... and that's what we see people doing.
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Torisakia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Torisakia » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:12 pm

No. Everyone always has an ulterior motive.
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Geneviev
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Founded: Mar 03, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Geneviev » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:32 pm

Northwest Slobovia wrote:
Geneviev wrote:It's a good action, yes. But I don't know if the person is good if they're only thinking of themselves.

True, thinking only of themselves isn't good, but in my example, they are thinking another person as well. They always have the option of just walking away, which seems indefensible.

Obviously, people who can't swim, or who know that they can't rescue a drowning person -- I've read it's dangerous, because drowning people tend to pull their rescuers down in their desperation -- shouldn't jump in, but there are other things they can do (throw them something that floats, call 911, etc). Which, again, even with fame in mind, seems good... and that's what we see people doing.

Considering things like that isn't wrong. But I still don't believe that thinking only of yourself and fame, of all things, is good.
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West Leas Oros 2
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Ex-Nation

Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:08 pm

Generally though, most people are assholes.
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Old Tyrannia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Old Tyrannia » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:24 pm

Not by themselves, no. I follow the Augustinian view that man is held in bondage to sin, and incapable of true goodness without the intervention of God.
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