FOOD FOR THOUGHT
As human beings, are we inherently bad but with some goodness in us which shows up when we consciously choose the good or, is our default setting, goodness but with a lot of potential to be bad? MAH MEKOLLE
I have been greatly fascinated by this topic and after a number of years of talking to people, I finally caught up with Sir Tami M who was kind enough to kick-start the discussion. This is what he had to say, and after reading, I would appreciate more discussion from you all.
MAH MEKOLLE: “So Tami, what are your thoughts on this topic, are we more bad than good, or more good than bad?”
“Now…I will attempt brevity here, else I will get carried away.
I have been preoccupied with this topic for a long time. It led me to do lots of reading. Specifically I stumbled on Zimbardo’s Stanford Experiment, then his book the Lucifer effect.
The Stanford experiment always fascinated me.
Zimbardo and a host of others had the thoughts you are having
They decide to do a prison experiment where ordinary students will be prisoners and some, guards.
They wanted to find out how behaviour is situationally determined
So…they randomly assigned some students as prisoners and some as guards
This experiment, under observation of course, was to last for two weeks.
It was aborted after a few days, things went sour, the guards almost killed the prisoners!
Zimbardo also talks about the events at Abu Graib in his book and even
has lots of pics and interviews with perpetrators. Another example of human capacity to turn bad.
So this is my humble and brief conclusion:
“There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us,
that it hardly becomes any of us to talk about the rest of us”
MAH MEKOLLE:” So, do you think we are born evil with capacity for good then?”
I don’t think people are born evil. We are inherently good
Give people power, take away responsibility, or diffuse it
Dehumanise the other group…ie make them seem less human by calling them degrading names…and voila!!!!
You have slave trade, Burundi, ethnic cleansing etc