Are we bad by nature? Or is it society what corrupt us? This question existed since the dawn of humanity proving that the humankind is trying to understand their nature. Many philosophers had answered this question including Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.
In his book Leviathan (also, in his other books), Hobbes argues that people are born equal in the society; no one is better. So, we all have the right to fight and do whatever it take to protect one’s property and one’s own life. Basically, he believes that fighting in order to create peace is a human nature that we are all born with meaning that humans are born bad or evil, and they must have the liberty to do whatever it takes to preserve what they want because life is brutal and nasty and if we didn’t stand for ourselves, no one will.
On the other hand, John Locke has another point of view. Locke believes that we as human are born good and peaceful, and the life or society is what lead us to corruption. People are like a white sheet that’s affected by the situations it goes through in life. He believes that no one has the right to hurt and attack anyone in life, liberty and property and those who attack should be punished based on the law. In his point of view, all men are free in the state of nature and they have the liberty to do whatever they want with their possessions, property and themselves as long as these actions fit the law.
A lot of opinions been said about this topic and you can find an abundance of philosopher who had different and similar views on the topic, like David Hume, Montesquieu and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. They all provide interesting views that I recommend you to read about.
Now, if we came and applied their theories in the 21st century, what will we find? Are we bad or is it the fault of the society that we are bad? I have came across situations where I see people who are good and innocent, then out of sudden things change, and you see them act in a bad way, their personalities change, and they are not who they used to be. So, is this new person was already there or was is it the pressure of the society (a society is not necessarily the country. Families, friends, schools and universities are all kind of societies) who changed her? It’s hard to answer this question but we construct a lot of theories in our minds to explain the changes that we go through.
Also, wars are on the rise in different parts of the world, and they existed a long time ago because wars are a way for nations to protect themselves from the other nations. So, is Hobbes right? If we applied his theory on nations, then we would find that since the earth was created, nations are in constant wars with each other to protect their properties, possessions, information and themselves, and the nation consist of individuals. So, are we as individuals bad from the inside?
If you asked me, I would say that we are born with a little bit of evilness inside us because you might go all your life thinking that you are good by nature and you will never do anything bad, which can true because there are people who are good by nature. But, then you face a situation where somebody might wrong you or somebody didn’t treat fairly and all these dark scenarios will go through you brain thinking of a way to hurt that person. You may not act on them, but these thoughts will be there, and you might enjoy them because even if you were the coolest person on earth, there will always be that one person who will test your limits.
Evilness is a human nature in us. As humans, we are not born perfect, we have good traits and bad traits and we just need to accept them. Life can affect us greatly resulting in changing us but these changes are also part of the human nature. Nobody go through life without changes because it is impossible. The today you is not the next year you, the changes can be big or small but they are changes even if we said that they are not.
So, to sum up, people are a mixture of both, there is some evilness inside us and there is some goodness too. However, in some people one side can be more dominant than the other, but there is always some goodness and innocence in us, and there are evilness too, and that what makes us as human beings interesting.