Introduction:Forthousands of years, philosophers have debated whether we have a basically goodnature that is tainted by society, or a basically bad nature that is kept incheck by society. Psychology has revealed some confirmation which might give theold argument a twist.
Humannature has no natural inclination towards good nor evilItis worth mentioning that we are all born in a state of neutrality. The way wereact to certain situations is determined by experiences & learnedbehaviors. Statistically it has been proven that a child raised in an abusivehousehold is 3 times as likely to repeat the cycle of violence in adulthood and75% more likely to commit a violent crime against someone else. No one in thisworld is perfectly good or completely bad, we all fall within this middle greyarea of scrambled morality.
Usually majority of people are able to understandthe difference between wrong and right, which indicates that everybody has somedegree of good in them, however we are also prone to submit to things such asjealousy and selfishness which implies that we all maintain some degree of evilas well.(Bolin, 2006). Evidencefrom Psychological Literature:HumanisticTheory:Each person is regardedas fundamentally good according to humanistic theory.
Humanism is considered as a progressive lifestance that, without supernaturalism, confirms our capability and obligation tolead eloquent, moral lives proficient of adding to the greater good of humanity(Maslow, 1943).This theory gives emphasis to the basicgoodness of human nature. It stresses on the natural tendency of selfactualization.
An additional hypothesisis then added – people are mainly good, and have an inborn need to makethemselves and the world better. The humanistic approach emphasizes thepersonal worth of the individual, the centrality of human values, and the innovative,active nature of human beings (Rogers, 1946). The approach is optimistic and centerson noble human ability to overcome adversity, agony and anguish.Both Rogers and Maslow considered personal growth and contentmentin life as a basic human motive. This means that each person, in differentways, pursues to develop psychologically and constantly improves themselves.
This has been apprehended by the term self-actualization, which refers topsychological growth, fulfillment and satisfaction in life. However,Rogers and Maslow both describe different ways of how self-actualization can beaccomplished (Rogers, 1959).Positive Psychology:Additional indication from psychology which tells us thathumans have good nature originates from positive psychology. Positive psychology is “the scientific study of whatmakes life most worth living. Positive psychology is concerned with Eudaimonia, “the goodlife”, reflection about what holds the greatest value in life – the aspectsthat contribute the most to a well-lived and fulfilling life.Positive psychologists have suggested numerous methods inwhich individual happiness may be nurtured. Social ties with a spouse, family,friends and wider networks through work, clubs or social organizations are ofparticular significance, while physical exercise and the practice of meditationmay also contribute to happiness. Happiness may increase with growing financialincome, though it may plateau or even drop when no more improvements are made(Peterson, 2009).
According to Seligman and Peterson, positive psychology isconcerned with three subjects: positiveemotions, positive individual traits, and positive organizations.Positive emotions are concerned with being content with one’s past, being happyin the present and having hope for the future. Positive individual traits focuson one’s strengths and virtues. Finally, positive organizations are based onstrengths to better a community of people (Seligman, 2009).Ilona Boniwell, in her book Positive Psychology in aNutshell, provided the following summary of the present study. Happiness isassociated to optimism, hopefulness, extraversion, social networks (i.e.
closefriendships), being married, having appealing work, belief or spirituality,leisure, good sleep and exercise, social lecture (through lifestyle differencesand better coping methods) and individual health (what you think about yourhealth). Wellbeing is not correlated to age, physical charm, wealth (once basicneeds are met), gender (women are more often dejected but also more often delighted),educational level, having children (although they add meaning to life), movingto a sunnier climate, crime prevention, housing and objective health (Boniwell,2012). All of this will lead to a good life and a good human nature.Evidence from Islamic Resources:According to the Quran, Allah “created man from a clotof blood” at the same time he created the jinn from fire (96:1-3). Muslimsbelieve humans are the greatest of all creatures, created with free will forthe purpose of obeying and serving Allah. Muslims believe that all people areborn in Al-Fitra, a natural state of submission to Allah (Qur’an20:122-23). True repentance from sin returns a person to this original sinlessstate.
According to Muslim theology, mankind’s chief failing is pride andrebellion. Islamic transcriptsnaturally begin talk of God’s love by quoting the Quranic verse, “He lovesthem” (5:54), which is to say that God loves human beings. God’s love is adequateto show that people are attractive, for “Godis beautiful and He loves beauty.” Human beauty, however, is of two sorts: inbornand recovered. It follows that God’s love is also of two sorts, correspondingto the two sorts of compassion labeled in the formula, “In the name of God, theAll-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful.” Al fitrah:Accordingto Islam all humans are born according to fitrah (nature).
They have a tendencyto uphold the oneness of God and have faith in the existence. In Quran Allahsays:Sodirect your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. Adhere to thefitrah of Allah upon which He has created all people. No change should therebe in the creation of Allah .
That is the correct religion, but most of thepeople do not know. (Surah ar-Rum:30)This is furthersupported by the hadith, ‘Everychild is born upon natural disposition ie fitrah and then his parents converthim to Christianity, Judaism or a fire worshipper.(Bukhari 4775, Muslim 2658).
In Islam we say that aperson has both good or evil nature but due to the existence of al-fitrah inevery person it is inclined more towards good. Evil must be controlled andfreed from its influence.In short, it expressesus that humans have fundamentally a good nature and human is endeavoringtowards self fulfillment and self actualization