Life Coach Magazine

Are People Inherently Bad?

By Bren @Virtual_Bren

There is something that has bothered me for years and I’ll probably never get a scientifically proven “Yes” or “No”.

Are People Inherently Bad or is it a Choice?

Meaning, are people born mischievous or is it something that is learned?

There are movies on tv that show “Yes, people are born evil or naughty”. Generally, these relate to a demonic or witchy-like parent, where the “bad” is born into the child.

However, many don’t believe we are “inborn” a certain way. Whether we are talking sexuality, gender, or of maniacal disposition. To get a better idea of what people thought, I reached out to some good friends.

Opinions Make the World Unique

One of the best places I’ve found to get opinions from friends and others is Facebook. So I posed the question on my profile page.

I’m doing a bit of research and would love your opinions. I won’t quote your name, just summarize your thoughts.

Do you think people are inherently bad?

Meaning do you think people are born bad/damaged or can be shortly after?

Of course, I received various responses, especially one that wanted to be quoted or he wouldn’t answer. You gotta love this man!

1) If you won’t quote me, then I don’t give you my permission to use my ideas Are People Inherently Bad?😉 2) Good and bad are relative terms. I may consider bad something you consider good. Other people may consider bad something both you and me consider good. On the other hand, there’s an evolution in time of the terms. Something most people considered bad several hundreds of years ago may be considered good today. Regarding the newborns: they aren’t bad or good, but their potential is huge in all directions. The environment, especially the closer one, will model their behavior in their first years and will leave powerful traces in their brains. ~ Adrian Jock

A Bit of History

The reason for my inquiry is one of many. Specifically, my adopted older brother, wherever he may be. Being an adoptive child or a child who was fostered in many homes can result in some behavioral issues.

Is that fair to say?

Not really, especially if we believe people are born inherently bad. Let’s peek at some of my own facts.

  • I was adopted as an infant – My brother was adopted a bit older
  • I only had one home (my adopted home) – My brother was in a few fosters
  • I didn’t cave to peer pressures of drugs or alcohol – My brother started at a young age
  • I grew up in an alcoholic family until I was 18 – My brother was kicked out of our home at the age of 17 when my father remarried
  • I stayed away from trouble as much as possible only landed me in handcuffs once – My brother started his imprisoned days as a teenager and continued that lifestyle throughout his adulthood
  • I kept a job and my own roof over my head til this day – My brother hopped from job to job getting paid under the table as to not be tracked, being unemployed a lot, living on the streets, and jumping from house to house living with others

Mind you, there is also 5-year age difference between us with him being the older.

But, Was Each Lifestyle a Choice or Predefined?

Let’s look at some of the opinions I received.

I think a lot has to do with parental upbringing, if Dad’s in prison or in the pub every night and Mum’s down the bingo so the kids are left to their own devices get in with the wrong crowd and go off the rails, or if they see violence in the home they might think it’s acceptable behavior. Plus teachers can’t discipline pupils anymore in school.

1000% not. Bad behavior is learned.

Are People Inherently Bad or is it a Choice?

My opinion is that some have behavior they learn from others early on or there are some people born with mental illness which causes them to act “badly”.

I think we’re born little tyrants and have to learn proper behavior. I have three kids and worked childcare for years. Kids are inherently selfish and mean. They almost have to be in the beginning, to get their needs met. Language, size – doesn’t work in their favor early on. It’s okay that they’re this way. That’s why they have parents and teachers and such. Hang out on any playground in America. Just sit and watch for a couple of hours. You’ll see. And yeah, sometimes we can blame parents. But some kids are just outright mean.

I think humans are programmable, like computers, but we have the spark of the Divine in us and we can tune into that and have that light guide us if we choose. Most are born neutral and become walking emotional reactions to their upbringing, themselves and conditioning, but some are born without a conscience, so they have no compassion. Our world is so deeply programmed that most people have no idea who they really are because of the mass brainwashing of society and the conditions under which we live. So to answer, no, I don;t feel humans are inherently bad at all. But I do feel we’d see a LOT less of the negative behaviors if we understood what real freedom was and lived that way. Then I KNOW people would be a lot different across the board because as within, so without.

I think I might have a different view on this. My older sister was raised the exact same way me and my brother were yet she was rebellious and mean her entire life. I do think it’s something within them yet it can be learned. I’m just not sure why she turned out so differently than us two.

I don’t think people are necessarily born bad although there might be a predisposition to certain things in genes. I think its more a case of nurture, or lack of it that causes badness. Children are like sponges, they soak up what they see and experience for good and for bad.

I’d have to get into a long religious discourse on this but no, and don’t think people are born bad. They are born with certain proclivities and are shaped by life experiences. They come to earth with their own personalities and agency to choose right from wrong.

By the way, thank you to everyone who shared their opinions on my post. I received so many and it struck a nice discussion on my page.

Still, No Scientific Proof

I guess there will never be an actual scientifically proven “Yes” or “No” answer. Yet, the opinions shared vary from “Yes” to “No” to somewhere in between.

I am still unsure how I think about the subject. In my personal case with my brother, I’d like to think he had emotional issues or a chemical imbalance of sorts. However, remembering back to those childhood days, I don’t believe he actually had the guidance he needed, especially after my mother passed away. Maybe he, like myself, was just a product of a dysfunctional family?

Which brings me to my original question, Are People Inherently Bad? Or do we choose our path, our destiny, after birth?

I would love to hear your thoughts.


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