Are we brutal or beautiful? The character of Death is baffled by humans’ ability to be compassionate and cruel, capable of both extreme good and extreme evil. What are some examples of both extremes (either from the book or your own experience)? Which do you think is stronger? What would you say is the main motivation or truth about humanity? Why?
I think we are both beautiful and brutal. Some people are kind and caring, while some people are cruel. I think that you can’t fit everyone into a box of nice or mean. Some people can be both. Sometimes doing a nice thing brings out the cruel in you. If you are protecting someone you love, what lengths will you go to to protect them? Will you kill the offender? Can you even think clearly and take the “high road” and protect them without causing much harm to the other?
Some people say Hitler wasn’t just a mean person, that he was also nice. He certainly had a way with words, but I think he was an evil and cruel person. Even if Hitler did nice things once and a while, (and I don’t know if he did,) how could that make up for his killing of so many people? Doing something nice doesn’t make up for all the evil one has done. So yes, I will say that Hitler was a cruel person who had all the capabilities to do good.
A really good example of people doing good are Doctors Without Borders. They do some really great things to help people all over. Some people argue that they are doing it just to make themselves feel better about themselves. Some people who believe humanity is terrible. I think that there are so many bad things we have done to fellow humans, (Ben: fellow peasants,) but I think that there are good things we do too. I believe that no matter why the Doctors Without Borders help people, they are still helping. So why should it really matter? Should we even question it? Do we have a right to?
I think that a big topic in the question of human nature is nature vs. nurture. This is basically saying: is what we do human nature? Or are we just following what we were raised to do (nurture)? I think that it depends on so much. I think that the instincts we have, we all share, as humans. I think that a lot of the other things, like how you treat people, has to do with society’s constructs, what experiences you’ve been through, how you were raised, and who you associate yourself with.
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