Indeed, man is good?
“MAN IS GOOD by nature”, punctuates the old Adage.. from the Wisdom, Teachings, and Philosophy of the Ancients.
EVEN ONE GREAT Western Thinker consistently argued to the World forefront that in every man is the Homo Natura, the ‘Natural Man’ – that he can always ‘go back’ to if he wants or wills.. then, he is the good man anew! What was his name again – that Philosopher Homo Natura?
AND SO WITH Oriental Kongfuze (or Confucius) who asserted in the Lun yu that Virtue – or morally good behaviour or character, is in fact one of the ideals of the superior (good) man.
TAOISM – THE OTHER major Philosophical Chinese system, speaks of the Tao to indicate ‘the force inherent in nature and, by extension, the code of behaviour (e.g. among humans) that is in harmony with the natural order’. So
TAOISM FROM LAO-TZU, Confucianism from Kongfuze (through the later Meng-tzu or Mencius, 4th C.B.C.), and the Western Mind – notably the Homo Natura, You and I are so blest to inherit the wisdom of “Man is by nature: good.” But is he, really? Because, if he is, why do some people contend: “No, he is not!” Or, “no, not really!” et cetera?
COMPOUNDING THESE CONTENTIONS are the syllogistic Stances of: “Some are..”, “Some are not..”, “not all are..”, and the like.
AMONG FILIPINOS, IN general, a person with good behaviour, kind heart, just dealings for all, etc., is a mabuting tao (good person), but the moment he exhibits balky or untoward tendencies, likening to a non-human is alleged (to) him e.g. ‘you’re like a ~; can’t you wait for your turn to speak?” Or [the opposite:] “You resemble the critter~; why don’t you speak out.. that’s supposed to be your (rare) chance!”; et cetera.
AMONG THE CORDIS, ‘talking’ with another (noticing the other person is there, according the pleasantries greeting him, etc.) is a mark of a good man or person – not only because that’s an appropriate behaviour; but more so because the other one is also a person – a person like him or her, tagu/tao met laeng ay kaduam (lit. “a person he is like you”). But back now to the aforestated Contentions Supra.
DESPITE THE ‘GUIDELINES’ of Behaviour, some still fall from the tidings of the expected, nurtured, or else: natural good – or goodness of man. Let us attempt at an overhaul of the “whys”, or “reasons for”, to wit:
1) EXTREME ‘NEED’. FOR example – on TV, we see a 14-year old ‘fishing’ – namimingwit,out some appliances in an apartment. That is theft – an evil deed. But wait: minus the Extreme need ‘reason for’, is the man still basically good; since besides, he has other ‘reasons for’ immediate like: food, H2o bills, or cash? Next ‘reason for’ or why:
2) INFLUENCE FROM WITHOUT.. even ‘from within’? Analysts or observers of those who do unlikely things claim a lot of factors as ‘direct causes’ e.g. peers, surroundings, even Media itself like movies and teleseries.. to the point that at times, the offenders are even defended as ‘victims of circumstances’ (did I unquote the right quotes)?
BUT EVEN BEHAVIOURAL experts say that other personalities can influence themselves, sans outside pressure nor stimulus.
ON THESE PREMISSES, are they not as well and in fact saying that, ‘after all: man is by nature, or originally and basically: good”? Next,
3) THE ‘HARDENED’ OR Timmalem. He does those things not-good because he never experienced being caught; nor is he ‘bothered-by-conscience’ on the possible ramifications of his ‘evil’ deed. Perchance, he is now conditioned to the belief that he is on a level over others; or over other things, and so forth.
4) PLAIN TENDENCY OR ‘Urge’ to choose this course (of action) over the other; e.g. to accept a little bribe, suhol, instead of refusing it; to look at another (student)’s paper instead of his own; to engage in ‘idle talk’ over another (individual)’s personal affair rather than just let it be; and so on.
IN ALL THREE instances, we note that the ‘choosing one’ ever willfully prefers – nakagawiian niya – the culpable deed over the good one (though we take equal note that he may not be necessarily the same or one individual in the three cited examples). Now,
SINCE WHAT HE is beset with are ‘tendencies – in prior time of which are available or ‘laid with’ the other choices e.g. contraire or contradicting; but he still chooses, by preferences willful, once he chooses the other swing, i.e. also willfully, whether he knows or he knows not: he renders himself devoid of the embedded culpability of the act; and resultingly proves himself the “man [who is] originally good!” Next – and related to this, is the ‘reason for’:
5) DRIVEN BY ‘INSTINCT’ – rather than by (the) ratio or reason. By ‘instinct’ here, we refer to that next Need in the ‘Heirarchy’.. in-relation to the subject’s present Satisfaction or ‘Satisfied Need’ – but now depleting.
FOR EXAMPLE WE take this Chain-of-Events: The individual needs a job; later, he get employed. Not satisfied, he applies for a Promotion; he gets it too – in so short a time; etc., at present, he is now 2nd in rank, but
OVER THE YEARS – and after all his successive Luck, his ambition and ‘needs’ have metamorphosized into something like an ‘Instinct’ – to get higher and faster; so he directs himself to these; and lo!
HE MOVES IN those directions little realizing that most of his available choices to succeed are evil, or not-good viz. intrigue, bypass promotion, even perhaps bribe and ultimately: corruption? But again,
IF SOMEBODY COUNSELS him well – or if he himself stops, before the ‘transition’ from the ‘Needs’ to the (Level) ‘Instinct’, would he not be the logical, successful, self-built and [therefore] good man? So,
WITH OTHER ANGLES considered, we can or may always say: even with examples to the Contrary that perforate the Continuum of the Good, now and then, “Man is good by Nature”? Ayuuh!