The Principles of Human Nature
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The Principles of Human Nature

By: Malina Morales

The Principles of Human Nature

*This was all created and thought up by Malina Morales*

Throughout the years people have always been drawn to the question of whether others are truly good or truly evil. To this day I am sure many have heard at least a couple of times this week the phrases such as “hate people” or “I hate everyone”. As the world continues to reveal itself as a dangerous place; like North Korea and Kim Jong-Un’s human right’s violations. Or such as the constant struggle of 21,000 people dying every day from starvation, it is no mystery why people question human nature. Yet again beautiful things occur in the world such as the restoration of forests, or the new trend of globalization; which allows people to share and accept different cultures. Are people truly evil? Or are we just truly misunderstood.

Individuals such as Thomas Hobbs believed that humans were inherently selfish, which does make some evolutionary sense. If an individual was truly selfless and did actions such as giving all their food away to every starving person they encountered, in the end that individual would starve themselves. Being selfish almost seems as way of survival. Yet as a whole scientists have shown that altruistic behavior helps everyone in the end; such as providing the most you can for everyone in your village thus allowing as a whole the development of your people to their fullest potential. Selfishness shows some advantages at the present moment but is not evolutionary stable.

Another idea about human nature is one discovered by John Nash called game theory. Game theory is based off of personal situations and how humans behave towards one another. As Adami (behavior scientist) explains; individuals who work together usually make a group cooperative decision but when left alone make selfish choices. For example; two prisoners are interrogated and not allowed to talk to each other, the two must decide to snitch on each other or not. Each prisoner was offered a “get out of jail” card if they told on one another but as a result it cost the other prisoner six months of jail. If both prisoners choose to inform (defection) authorities they both get three months in prison, if both remain silent (cooperation) they both get one month in jail. Ultimately cooperation helps the whole but would only really occur if there is communication. Based off these observations most can conclude that people singularly are selfish, yet in groups remain altruistic.

The debate of human nature runs farther than survival and selfish decisions, what about people who commit horrible crimes such as Jeffery Dahmer: killed 17 boys and men 1978-1991. I interviewed a professional psychologist (who will remain anonymous) about human nature and what he believed was the key to human behavior. This individual claimed his 98 and 2 percent theory stating that 98 percent of people are good and have the ability to experience empathy even if they commit crimes, but that 2 percent of people truly lack the ability of remorse/empathy leaving them to be truly sociopathic and psychopathic by nature. Scientists have discovered as well that half of our behavior and personality is environmental and the other half is genetic.

Some people can be genetically evil but pushed by their environment to follow rules and remain a productive member of society. For example the psychopathic psychiatrist who lived a normal life and helped others with mental illness despite his lack of emotional understanding. Another prime example is a 10 year old Isis member who was made famous on video for cutting off the heads of prisoners; he was genetically predisposed to this behavior yet was further pushed by extremists. Besides being singular or in a group, genetic factors as well as environmental factors play a major role in human behavior.

*This was all created and thought up by Malina Morales*

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