Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are people basically good or evil?

Back when I was a student at Fullerton College (this was probably 8 or 9 years ago), I took this Chinese history class. One day, we were talking about the various religions in China, and their beliefs. The question of human nature came up, and the professor asked people to raise their hands if they thought people are basically evil. Almost everyone raised their hands. It felt a little surreal. All these nice, well-dressed college kids saying that they thought they were basically evil. I understood why. These kids were probably mostly Christian, and that is the stock Christian answer on the issue of human nature ("All have sinned" and so forth) And then the professor asked for people to raise their hands if they believed people are basically good. The only person who raised his hand was this metal-head kid with a ripped-up flannel shirt and jeans. By conventional standards, he looked like the "meanest" kid in the class. And yet here he was, claiming that he thought people are basically good.

For some reason, this scene has always stuck with me.

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