Are people good or evil by nature:
“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly,
While bad people will find a way around the laws.” Plato.
It Is a question that is asked repeatedly throughout ages- Are human beings fallible, defective, faulty, and flawed. Or Are we perfect, good, flawless, and spotless? The world is divided on this ambiguous question. In fact, it is not easy to answer this question.
For Suppose, Aristotle argued, morality is something we learn. And that we are born as amoral creatures where as Sigmund Freud a renowned psychologist is of the view that new-born a moral blank slate. Babies have innate goodness. However, Paul Bloom, author of a book of just babies:
The Origins Of Good and Evil- says, babies can judge good or bad –even before they learn to talk or speak. In religion, ethics, philosophy, and psychology; good and evil is a very common dichotomy. These are considered as two opposing principles; only good can exist, and evil will be defeated.
According to western philosophy, good and evil do not exist by nature. They are related to the one doing the judging. What does it mean by good? It means what we judge as useful to us. What does it mean by evil?
Certainly, which we certainly know hinders us from possessing anything that is good. These are philosophies of Pyrrhonism and Spinoza. Hobbes didn’t really think that we are naturally evil. We are not political animals like insects. What leads us towards evil is the standard of living, reputation, and material well-being. If we want peaceful living, Hobbes says, we must bury our hatchets and enforce laws under a single leadership. Rousseau argued in opposition to Hobbes's saying we are only interested and competitive now because that modern societies have developed. For Rousseau, everything began with wrong, inequalities, economic interdependence, and social divisions are destined for man. He said once human nature gets corrupted chances for redemption are vanishingly slight.
World Religions And Nature Of Man:
Indeed, evil is no exist as a shadow has no reality, forgetfulness lacking memory, and ignorance the lacking of knowledge. Is poison of snake for evil-doing? Nap! this for defense. As poison is hidden so is the evil. In Abrahamic religion, evil has no reality.
In Christianity, evil is an attitude contrary to the will of God. In the old testament, evil is understood to be an opposition to God as well as something unsuitable or inferior such as the leader of the fallen angel sattan. Evil is that which keeps one from discovering the nature of God. One should avoid evil to return to God. As for as Christian science is concerned, evil takes birth from misunderstanding good of the nature. Evil is the result of mistaken viewpoints .
God gave the children of Israel the Torah as a guide to fight out evils from societies. This religion argues, people who do good deeds will be rewarded in Olam Haba. Judaism teaches evil comes from man's bad actions.
Islamic Point Of View About Nature Of Human-Beings:
Knowledge of good and evil is inherent in man and not imposed outside his personality. Let us have an overview of the Islamic view on the nature of man in detail.
Belief In Oneness Of Allah:
Belief in the Oneness of Allah is a prerequisite of Islam. Morality is based on this belief. Prophet Hazrat Muhammad said, belief in Allah is the best act. After acknowledging this belief, the believer has to avoid sin and evils. One comes to know that one day my creator God would ask me about my deeds in the world. If I commit misdeeds, how could be I able to answer my creator? Hence, this apprehension leads him towards virtues and good deeds.
Good And Bad Inherent in Man:
Good and bad are inherent in man. Allah has endowed the knowledge of good and evil in human nature. Even though almost all philosophers view, the man was born with a clean slate. Whatever man does in his life whether good or bad is the shadow of his surroundings. Evil breeds from running after immodest desires. Allah has bestowed man with an understanding of good and evil as His bounty.
“Have we not blessed him with two eyes and a tongue, and two lips and guided him on the two highways of right and wrong.”( The Holy Quran-90:8-10).
Among philosophers, Aristotle’s views are nearer to the Holy Quran. According to Aristotle, ’there is a divine spark in man’ .In Quranic words, breathing of the Almighty’s spirit into man. Islam says faith is in man’s nature but it is the nature of human beings to forget it. For remembrance, Allah has been sending His messengers.
Conscious Indicator good And Evil:
Consciousness plays the role of a guard which indicates and reproves him on acts of vice and virtue. It is nature of man to forget avoiding miss-deeds in getting leisure of world. Therefore, the holy Quran says man is prone to evil. Whereas man’s soul leads him towards the virtues, it impels him to follow the path of virtue.
Teachings about the day of judgment remind him in the mind avoid falling to prey to the desires. One who understands the belief of doomsday possesses a contented soul by avoiding evil deeds.
Free Will To Human Beings:
Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains. These chains are chains to avoid bad and do good. The major difference between man and animals lies in differentiating right and wrong. Animals are slaves of instincts while man is bestowed with a mind to do whatever he deems good. He possesses free will. well, man is not bound to do anything without his will. He can do whatever he likes. It is in his hands to live on directions of Allah and demands of religion or to disobey. Free will is given to him.
Reason Of Temptation To Evils:
Having knowledge of religious injunctions not to commit mistakes. Why man is fallible? Why he could not avoid disliking Allah? The majority of people, get into evils just to acquire desires and distract from the right path. Those who become slaves of their desires become fallible. They indulge in the cobweb of vices. As a result, theft, murders, innocent killings, injustice, and dishonesty prevails across the world which breeds disharmony, chaos, and violence. Nations get prey to destruction all because of evils.
Who Created Good And Evil:
It would very blunder to blame Good for being the creator of evil. Who created good and evil? This question relates to the freedom of man. Allah has ordained man with the title of the crown of all creations. Man is given the sense to understand bad and good. For suppose, there is the bomb, one man uses it to get oil and minerals from mountains. Another man uses this bomb to destroy the lives of human beings. Indeed, the use or misuse of all scientific inventions and anything is in hands of human-being. Similarly, Allah Almighty sent Prophets and testaments for the guidance of man to differentiate good and evil. This freedom places human beings above animals.
Evil Breeds Evil:
Indeed, avarice can only give birth to avarice. When one falls prey to desires then that forgets about the repercussions of evil in the long run. For the time being, misdeeds satisfy one’s heart and become a source of pleasure. This negative quick reward tilts human beings towards bad deeds. As addicted know the harmful results of drinking, smoking Electra but addicted feels enjoyment in it. The man runs after immediate rewards whereas rewards of virtue, truth, honesty, sympathy, and any other good are hardly immediate. it is a renowned fact that the path of virtues is hard and tedious. For good deeds, man has to suffer from hunger, poverty, low-esteem in society and many other difficulties at every step.
“ Inside each of us, there is the seed of both god and evil. It’s a constant struggle as to which one will
Win. And one cannot exist without the other.”Eric Burdon.
In short, All philosophers and religions stand at the same point that man is free to commit misdeeds or avoid it. Good and evil are inherent in human being’s nature. Allah had sent commandments to every nation to make them conscious of rewards and punishments of good and evil. Everyone would be responsible for one’s deeds on the day of judgment. Devil is freed to misguide humanity but it doesn’t mean it has the power to detract humans forcefully. Now, it's the hands of man to confine wishes and don’t go astray. In fact, the path of astray leads to destruction and loss of morality from nations. To root out desires is not under the control of human beings but to put limits is possible.
Outline Of The Essay;
What western Philosophy says about the good or evil nature of human-being :
Religions And Concept Of Good And Evil:
1. Abrahamic Religion:
Islam And Concept of good and evil:
1. Impact of belief of Oneness Of Allah On Good And Evil Nature:
2. Good And Bad Inherent In Man
3. Conscious Indicator On Vices
4. Free Will To Human-Beings:
5. Reasons Of Temptation To Evil:
6. Who Is Creator Of Evils:
7. Evils Breed Evils:
Citations or Work Citations:
Robin Douglas, Senior lecture in political theory at Kings College London, author of Rousseau and Hobbes: Nature, free will, and the passions(2015).
Translation by Mr. Saeed Ahmad of a few lectures delivered by Amin Ahsan Islahi on (Islam, the concept of good or evil in human nature.)