Wednesday, September 7, 2016
What is Good and What is Evil
(H2) I found the discussion question regarding our opinions on whether there is an objective standard of good and bad to be quite thought provoking. Is there really a standard? Sure, we’re taught from a young age what is “good” and what is “bad” according to the society we live in, but is there truly a standard across the board?
I believe the answer is no. What is good to us, can be bad to another person, culture, religion, etc. and vice versa. While thinking about this subject, two prominent philosophers came to mind- Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, believed that man is naturally bad by default. He philosophized that we are beast-like, savage, naturally motivated by selfish desires and will do anything to acquire those said desires. He believed that we as humans need a strong government to keep our desires in check and ultimately keep a level of peace and a sense of civility among us. Jean-Jacques Rousseau philosophized quite the contrary. He believed that man is naturally good and that we as humans are not born to be brute savages, but society is what ultimately corrupts us.
So according to Hobbes, human nature is bad and civilization is good. But according to Rousseau, human nature is good and civilization is bad. So, which is it? I just think this further proves the fact that there is no set objective standard of good and bad. It's completely up to interpretation and based on your own beliefs and moral code.