The question of whether or not people are inherently good has been asked throughout time. Is it an innate trait or is it learned throughout time. I think it is difficult to pinpoint this question because it is more a matter of people’s personalities. Some people do not feel joy from helping others, while others do. Some help others in order to seek something in return from the person they helped. According to an article from The Guardian they describe that people are not inherently selfish, but selflessness requires careful thought to achieve. In a study by a research team at the University of California Los Angeles the researchers concluded that “… our primary [human] drive… may in fact be to behave prosocially. Whereas the cognitive controls housed in our latest neural upgrade, the prefrontal cortex, mostly get in the way, probably because they are tuned by evolution to rational self interest”. Therefore it is in our nature to be oriented to help ourselves, but we feel good when we help others, so we go out of our way to do that as well.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/24/altruism-brain-research-selfish

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Are people inherently selfish or selfless? by Bella is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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2 Comments
  1. John 1 year ago

    Bella, I think that people are born selfish, but can become unselfish as they grow up. If you help others just because it benefits you, that is still selfish. You are born with the instinct of self preservation, which can actually be bad for the benefit of the species in many situations. I think there is also an instinct that tells us to help others, but following the self preservation is more attractive and thus followed by more people. When we are born, I don’t think we really care about helping others besides our parents (but they help us and most people at 3 years old know they need their parents to survive, so I would still consider that selfish) until we are able to be taught to be unselfish, this goes against what we want. Considering how much young kids say “mine” to things they don’t own and do means that they care about their own needs and their family’s needs (which in turn benefit them). But I think almost all people are taught to be a little unselfish sometimes so it would be hard to reasearch and cruel if we purposely didn’t teach a kid to be unselfish.

  2. Melissa 1 year ago

    The human condition is to survive, my need to survive benefits my entire population by what I create, destroy, and pass on. however just benefiting the rest of the world is not the same a being selfless. I think generosity requires sacrifice, it is not something you do out of connivence. I think your right in saying were all ” oriented to help our selves” and I don’t have an answer for why we want to help others. we I help others it is because I want them to be or do better, I think thats why were more willing to help people when we know them or at least their story.

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