Wednesday we discussed whether people are good, bad, or somewhere in the middle.
With the aspect of being inherently good, we brought to light Rousseau and his Noble Savage theory, as well as Marx with the concept of true communism. The idea is that all people start out good, and if they were left to their own devices, with no debilitating form of government or sovereignty, they would remain good.
On the other side of the coin, there is the idea that we are all born bad. Hobbes explains that without society, a group of people holding one another accountable, and/or a form of government holding the groups of people accountable, humanity would possess too much freedom thus causing a war in which everyone fights everyone.
The last grouping was the Meh column. It can simply be known as The Blank Slate. We are born neither good nor bad and are effected by our environment, experiences, and/or memories.
I recap all of this information to get to this point. We were asked at the end of class which column we most agreed with. I can’t help but wonder: what if it is a combination of it all three?
It could almost be compared to the Good Wolf/ Bad Wolf story. The idea being that we are all born with good tendencies, bad tendencies, and the ability to sometimes remain indifferent. If we are born with these tendencies, we technically cannot have blank slates, but what if they just aren’t as blank as we painted them to be? They are “blank”to an extent, not because we start out as these empty machines waiting to be swayed one way or another, but because we are given a blank slate and the choice of what to put on it.
I like to think of it like this: we are given our “blank slate”, our paint-by-numbers. Along with it, we are given two colors of paint; for argument’s sake we will say white for good and black for bad. The last thing we are given with the paint-by-number and the colors is a choice. The Choice being to paint that picture however we see fit, whether it is through memories, experiences, or those we surround ourselves with. We can splatter it with black, sprinkle it with white, or take the two colors and mix them to get another outcome entirely: grey. Because, at the risk of sounding cliche, the world can’t always be labeled as black and white.
For this reason, I choose to believe all three columns intertwine with one another creating us.
Feel free to give me some feedback on your own thoughts!!