Sunday, October 18, 2009

If We’re Born Good

If we’re born good, as atheists would have us believe, why do we have to teach our toddlers to be good?

If we’re born good:

Why do you have to teach your children to not lie?
Is it because society has taught your two-year-old to live a deceitful life?

Why do you have to teach your children to not hit?
Is it because society has taught your two-year-old to be violent?

Why do you have to teach your children to not take what doesn’t belong to them?
Is it because corporate society has taught your two-year-old to be greedy?

Just wondering.

5 comments:

Ginx said...

I'm an atheist, and I don't think people are born "good" or "bad."

I use quotes because we (mostly) all agree on plenty of things being good (love, self-sacrifice, patience) and bad (violence, lying, stealing). However, it's often debateable to some degree.

I guess what I'm saying is... I would find it more appropriate to say "people are not naturally socially acceptable."

But if you have to use good and bad... wouldn't you agree we're born with both good and bad intentions? Yes, a toddler will naturally do all those things you mentioned, they express some good qualities. Hopefully... otherwise we might throw the little buggers off a bridge.

SmartLX said...

Which real atheists are you basing this stuff on?

We're merely born with instincts which encourage altruism as well as those which urge self-preservation. That won't always make a kid "good". It does mean that education alone, religious or not, isn't responsible for every good deed done.

PersonalFailure said...

I guess what I'm saying is... I would find it more appropriate to say "people are not naturally socially acceptable."


Grabbing for what you want when you want it seems like a good idea at first. Then children learn that grabbing is a good way of not getting what you want and try something new- "please".

Biting and kicking isn't function of good or evil. Small children are (a) not in control of their emotions, and (b) can envision doing things they can't physically pull off, and so frustrate very easily. This has nothing to do with being "bad", it just takes time and patience to get over.

Makarios said...

"people are not naturally socially acceptable."

Ooo I like that.

Alex said...

Well... you wouldn't exactly want a feral child would you? It's not about being born good or bad, it's about exhibiting the everyday things we consider human-like. As another person said, a better way to say it is "people aren't born naturally socially-acceptable.