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Good Versus Evil Inherent Goodness Good Evil Human Goodness Human Nature – No

One of the hardest issues that we have to wrestle with and eventually face is the reality of human goodness. Everywhere we look, we see the impact of evil and wrongdoing all around us. Each new day brings us news of violence in our streets and in the homes down the street. The abuse of drugs, alcohol, and a host of other addictions are on the rise. Poverty seems to be rampant in our neighborhoods and in the countryside. Children go to bed hungry because their families do not have food. Images of a war fought half a world away fill our television screens. We see the reality of evil on a daily basis.

Can we honestly take a long, hard look at the world around us and honestly say that human beings are inherently good? Sadly, the answer must be absolutely not.

First, we need to come up with a working definition of good. What does it mean to be good? According to Dictionary.com, good means to be morally excellent, virtuous, righteous, or pious. By this definition, there is more to being good than we would first expect. Good is nothing short of choosing to do what is right over what is wrong because of our moral character. Being just above the level of behaving in a wrong manner does not make us good.

Goodness is associated to several things when it we consider the human condition. Good associates to the essence of our morals, the existence of our character, the focus of our ethics and the nature of our spiritual well being. Goodness is at the center of our being and at the core of who we can become.

We have to learn to be good

If anyone in our world are viewed in a manner that is innocent, it would have to be children. Children are seen as innocent and as being without fault, at least young children are seen this way. Do children have to learn to fight with one another? Do children have to be taught to commit acts of cruelty? No, they do not, because it is already in their blood. Disturbingly, children may encounter circumstances that might enhance their behavior but the nature of behaving in a wrong manner is there from birth. Human beings struggle with wrongdoing from the time we can walk and talk.

The problem is that we too often deny the reality of our human nature and then fail to overcome it. The longer we ignore our essential nature, the more likely we are to live in its bondage. The truth is simple, we must learn to act in a good manner. Goodness is imparted to us through the means of instruction and in the manner of a personal conscience.

We must learn that wrongdoing is wrong

We cannot be inherently good because we have to learn that doing wrong is wrong. Our nature is inherently directed toward doing that which is wrong. It takes us all some time to learn what is right and what is wrong. There is an inner instinct that distinguishes between right and wrong but our human nature seems driven toward doing wrong. Every child will have to learn the difference between right and wrong. The reason is simple, we must be taught that wrongdoing is wrong. It may sound a bit strange but that is precisely what needs to happen.

The issue is that if we never learn right from wrong, we will continue down the path of wrongdoing. We do not choose to do what is right on our own. We have to learn what is right and we have to be taught to do what is right.