I am not sure if my answer will qualify as a quote. For me, it is more of a guiding principle; something for me to believe most of the time.
Man is inherently good.
– John Locke
Now, before you raise your eyebrows at this quote by John Locke, I want to explain my side.
I want to believe that all of us are good by nature. In my 22 years of existence, I have experienced a lot of negative things – betrayals, lies, back stabbings, break-ups, rejections, etc. and some may assume that I have been jaded in life already. Whenever I feel weary about these things happening to me, I always go back to this social contract theory by the Father of Modern Liberalism. Even though others do not like his view regarding man’s morality, it still helps me to overcome challenges that are being thrown my way.
Locke believes that man is inherently good; that a person is ruled by reason and tolerance. I do share his views on this. I believe that man has morality as an individual, and that no matter how “evil” he is, he is “good” deep within. I try to understand that he is driven to do something evil only because of forces that he cannot handle by himself.
How many times do we read in novels and watch in TV shows and movies how the antagonist regrets what he has done? Even if he realized his mistakes at the end of the show, it still indicates that man is still good and capable of understanding morals.
So no matter what a person does to me, I try to take the optimistic view of the nature of man. I think it won’t help if we believe that others are bad, will it?
What is your say about it? Do you also believe that man is inherently good? Or bad?