Survey: Is there a “Robin Hood impluse” in human nature?
In our wager on the side bar, it states that we believe our purpose in life should be to:
live life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place.
Matthew Tenney gave this response (with an element of sarcasm I believe):
Why did you choose this? Wasn’t it because such thoughts make you feel good? You want to think of yourself as inherently loving, kind compassionate, merciful and tolerate and you want to help people because such thoughts are very pleasant. But I think your real purpose in life is actually to get good feelings. What is the physical source of these good feelings? It’s just chemicals. You think those noble, glorious things about yourself and you get a little shot of feel-good drugs. Evolution fixed you up with that little mechanism.
Christianity teaches that we are born in “sin” and need to be redeemed by the blood of Christ in order to be good. Apart from Christ, we were taught that we are evil, wicked, and wretched sinners. Lovely!
I believe that the evolutionary mechanism that gives us the “little shot of feel-good drugs” primarily occurs when we do good. In other words, I believe we are not inherently evil as we were taught in Christianity but we’re inherently good; and we have to make conscious decisions to go against this nature in order to be mean, nasty, and evil. Of course, over time, there are those who do become evil because of these choices and their evil ways makes them feel good. For those who find themselves in this state, I believe they can begin to reverse this process by doing good.
According to an Reuters article by Will Dunham, “Study reveals ‘Robin Hood impulse’ in human nature,”
“People taking part in a game designed to explore egalitarian impulses in human nature consistently robbed from players assigned the most money while giving money to those with the least, scientists said on Wednesday.
James Fowler, a University of California at San Diego political scientist, and his fellow researchers detected what they saw as a “Robin Hood impulse” in people who took part in the experiment, described in the journal Nature.”
So, what do you think? Do we have a “Robin Hood impulse” in human nature to do good? Do you agree with Mary’s blog, “Why should we be good?” where she attributes our goodness “to good old evolution and survival of the fittest?“
Do we primarily feel good based on doing good or evil deeds? And finally, are we inherently good or evil?
- The de-Convert