Are We Good, Bad, or Neutral?
In John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, he discusses "the rights" of the farmers in the camps. He tells us that while "no one told them," they still learned these rights and learned which ones "were monstrous and must be destroyed." (194) His assertations imply that these rights were learned out of practical necessity and thus, that we are born morally neutral.
Steinbeck's idea that we are born morally neutral - with a blank slate - led to a discussion amongst the class. We debated back and forth, tossing various ideas into the air, whether we as humans were born morally good, evil, or morally neutral.
As I sat back in my seat, quietly listening to the different arguments for each side, I wondered what my answer to the question was. I thought some more and pondered through different ideas throughout the day and later did some research to see if I could find anything on the topic. I ended up coming across a few things and after reading through the articles, books, and research papers, I decided that there was a fourth argument to be made. I decided that we are essentially good, but tainted by evil.
At this point, the skeptic is liable to stop reading due to their perception that this is just a "middle of the road" argument with contradicting ideas. They believe that it's not possible; that it's only possible to be born completely good, completely evil, or with a blank slate. Keep in mind, however, that for thousands upon thousands of years, humans also thought it was impossible to set foot on the moon. We know now, though, that just because the common perception is that of impossibility, it's not necessarily impossible. For that reason, my fourth option is still possibly a valid one that will be elaborated on later. For now, though, let's see why options one, two, and three are all hardly logical.
I think the idea that we are born completely good is a bit of a stretch. Sure, it sounds good, and for the most part we see...