Pragmatism is the doctrine that practical consequences are

Pragmatism is the doctrine that practical consequencesare the criteria of knowledge, meaning, and value. This method is discoveringwhat our idea means, and we learn that by studying their consequences in actualexperiences.

William James, a pragmaticphilosopher said that “If an idea or judgment makes a positive, practicaldifference in people’s lives than it is true. The opposite is thecontrary.” (Paquette, P. & Gini-Newman, 2003) This suggests that aperson could be evil, just as easily they could be good.  In his quote, he states that if somethingcreates a positive difference in someone’s life then it is true. If somethingcreates a positive difference it would have to be good act not an evil act. Wecan relate this to the argument, humans are inherently good, because by sayingthey are naturally good creatures that have a positive and practical effect onthe lives of other humans.Humannature is the belief that human beings have natural instincts or tendencies inthe fundamental dispositions and traits that all humans share.

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All humans havedifferent experiences, and this is where the dispute begins. Based on people’sviews they will tell you that all people are basically “good” or basically”bad”, that they are either “predators” or that they are capable of “empathyand love”. This is all subjective, these ideologies are colored based off ofthe cultures and subcultures that influenced you while you were growing up andlearning about the world around you. The people that raised or influenced youwill pass on their particular ideasabout what makes humans “human”. Plato thought that humans were rational, social animals,and he connected human nature with our souls and ability to reason rather thanour bodies. Aristotle differed primarily in his belief that both body and soulcontributed to our human identity. These theories are not mutually exclusive, buthave been built upon each other and adapted over time.

Ashumans, we are brought into this world untouched, uninfluenced, and uncorrupted.New born babies have not had the chance to learn what hate, or violence, orcruelty is; they have not gone through a tragedy or experienced a situationwhere something horrendous has happened to them. The age-old question ofwhether or not humans are inherently good or evil is complicated andcontroversial due to the fact that that it involves the human spices and iscompletely subjective. As human beings, we are born into a world where it hasbecome easy to be discouraged by what human nature and societal norms haveturned into. Are humans just good people, that perform evil actions or arehumans just evil?

Author: Frank Nichols


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