Ethical Instinct

Q. Examine the bases of ethical conducts in human beings. Do we have enough data to infer that evil or ethical nature of human beings is basically acquired? Substantiate your view. 10 marks

1 thought on “Ethical Instinct”

  1. Case 1 : A Hindu boy was adopted by a muslim family in jammu and kashmir as his parents were dead in hindu muslim riot. The family nurtured him with hindu traditions and values and got him married to a hindu girl after he got settled in his career.
    Case 2: A dalit boy was bitten to death in Umrala village of Gujrat by upper caste men for riding a horse in the village, as they believe, only upper castes could ride a horse.
    These two cases from newspaper, give two totally different sides of human beings. It becomes really difficult to judge whether humans acquire ethical or evil nature or innate.
    If it’s acquired , then how can a family who is living in same environment of hindu – muslim hatred in J&K, develops love for boy of opposite religion?
    Many philosophers including Rousseau and Hobbes believed that humans are naturally kind and evil respectively. Both of them though differing in belief, argued that human nature is innate.
    But many others argue that human nature is acquired, so are their ethics and evils. This is evident from the incidence where people learn to show kindness towards own members of society and discriminations against members of other groups.
    How children of criminals mostly turn out to be criminals if nurtured in same environment ?
    This view is also substantiated by behaviourist like Skinner who showed through his studies that human behaviour is learnt.
    In a nutshell one can say that there is not enough data to argue whether evil or ethical nature of human beings is acquired or innate. But we can say that humans are born with some ethics and evils, it depends on environment that which one gets nurtured most. Consequently one turns out to be ethical or evil.

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