The Scorpion and the Frog- Aesop’s Fables “Let me ride across the pond on your back,” pleads the scorpion. “No,” replies the frog, “for if I let you on my back your sting will prove fatal.” “Listen to reason,” cries the scorpion. “If I sting you, you’ll sink to the bottom of the pond, and I’ll drown.” So the frog takes the scorpion on his back and begins swimming. Midway across the pond, he feels the scorpion’s fatal sting. “How could you,” gasps the frog with his dying breath. “Now you’ll drown”. “I couldn’t help it,” sighs the scorpion. “It’s my nature.”
Think about it… • No matter what the consequences, can our natural instincts consume us? Do our natural instincts cloud our judgment?
Good versus Evil: Does it come from outside? • Does something outside (society, environment, etc.) shape our ability for good or evil? • Are we inherently good until we are pushed to become evil? • Does the way we are raised affect whether or not we become evil?
Good versus Evil: Does it come from within? • Does something already inside of us make us good or evil? • Are we born good? • Are we born evil? • Are we born as a “blank slate”?
We are “EVIL” Thomas Hobbes (1600s) Humans in the state of nature are inherently in a “war of all against all,” and life in that state is ultimately “nasty, brutish, and short.” We are naturally selfish evil creatures and that is why we need to be controlled by some sort of government
We are “GOOD” Jean Jacques Rousseau (1750s- 70s) “Man is born free; and everywhere is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains greater slave than they.” People are innately good. It is the influences of society that make us evil
We are “Blank” John Locke People are born as blank slates. Humans in the state of nature have perfect freedom to order their actions according to the laws of nature, without having to ask permission to act from any other person. We are responsible for choosing our course of actions through our experiences.
Reflect upon it: • Are those who are good completely good? Can good people have some evil? • Are those who are evil, completely evil? Can evil people have some good? • Based on today’s notes, what do you think? Which philosopher do you agree with? Why?