Do you feel that humans are innately abusive/cruel?

  1. Over my years of living, I feel this way, that all persons are innately abusive and cruel to other human beings and that socialisation doesn't do much to improve this but redirects this and covers it up. I'm not saying this to be accusatory or judgmental but saying this to reaffirm that this is something that could be true and that thus should be expected from all persons(No, I didn't just get dumped; this isn't a bout of cynical and bitter pessimism). Like, this is what it means to "be human". And nothing more should be expected of human beings. What do you think?
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   Nikki730
    Hmmm...I think people have a natural tendency to be self-interested, and some people more so than others. In the "self" interest, you get people who don't stop to think of others, or help someone. Ignoring others in need, or stepping on people (advertently or inadvertently) might be interpretted by those "wronged parties" as cruelty (and maybe it is?). You know...the old bible verse, "Man is inclined to wickedness as the sparks fly upward."

    But there are still plenty of good people in the world...you just have to hope you run into them, and sort out the wheat from the chaff.
  4. by   lucianne
    Some are and some aren't. It depends on how highly evolved a person is and, to some extent, the influences in the person's life.
  5. by   hypnotic_nurse
    I think everyone within them has seeds of cruelty and seeds of goodness...what winds up growing has a lot to do with environment and the person's own inclinations.
  6. by   canoehead
    In this society the going trend is to look out for number one, and yes, I think that is an instinct with all animals. We can choose to strive for more though, and encourage others to do so by example.
  7. by   StuPer
    Hi Susanna,
    No I don't believe people are innately cruel of abusive, but there are plenty of people out there that fit that description. If that were true though do you think there would be many nurses, charity workers, volunteers etc. And its concern for your health which makes me ask are you feeling frazzled at the moment... do you need a break from work if thats what is making you feel dejected about everything?
    regards StuPer
  8. by   finness
    no, i do not believe people are innately cruel or abusive. in fact, that is what makes these deviant characteristics; the dominant culture operates on a moral code that is incongruous with those behaviors. socialization is meant to be progressive, and the formation of a government is supposed to protect the weaker constituent of the population, who, without one, might not survive. we are, however, driven by survival, which occasionally necessitates self-interest, but that is not to say that those characteristics entirely comprise our moral fiber. however, when they become someone's dominant qualities, then that person becomes deviant, and that's when they come see us! of course, this is my altruistic interpretation, but i do not believe people are not innately any one thing. i believe we are incredibly complex creatures with the capacity to choose our own path in life. one of our many roles as psych nurses is acting as defense for the people struggling to find their way.
  9. by   z's playa
    Human beings ARE the most cruel life form on the planet. We are the only ones that kill for pleasure.

    I wish I was a lion.
  10. by   MandyInMS
    " I don't like people..individually or in groups" this thread reminds me of a poster on this BB who had this as their signature line a year or so ago...lol
    I must say I'm feeling very disgusted with the human race in general after a TERRIBLE weekend of three 12 hour shifts.Having to put up with so much crap and having to smile about it...bleh...one of those days :/
  11. by   Eviene
    Quote from z's playa
    Human beings ARE the most cruel life form on the planet. We are the only ones that kill for pleasure.

    I wish I was a lion.
    Apparently, there is evidence to suggest that dolphins 'rape'. I'm not sure how credible this is, can't find a link just yet.
  12. by   EarthChild1130
    I don't think that everyone is innately cruel, but I think that we as life forms are, to a point, self-preserving, and maybe in some folks there is no line for them between what is self-preserving and what goes beyond that...I think it all depends on your life experiences...A great nurse told me once "perception is reality"...not helpful, I know, but just my thoughts.

  13. by   susanna
    Quote from StuPer
    Hi Susanna,
    No I don't believe people are innately cruel of abusive, but there are plenty of people out there that fit that description. If that were true though do you think there would be many nurses, charity workers, volunteers etc. And its concern for your health which makes me ask are you feeling frazzled at the moment... do you need a break from work if thats what is making you feel dejected about everything?
    regards StuPer
    I used to have a huge stuffed parrot that looks exactly like your avatar except mine was green. I use to balance the huge things on the planters of my feet while I read books.
    No need for a break...just the usual but very postmature growing pains of life and of scrambling to find solid ground to face the world from upon. Thanks for your concern though. But no, I'm not going to go to work and shoot my boss or anything like I hear on the news. lol

    I'm kind of inclined towards settling on a viewpoint that is near zplayer's and hypnotic nurses'...from my own personal experiences and what I observe and have been told by other people.
    Anyone ever seen the film "Blue velvet" where at the end the two teenagers have learned to deal with the human dark side and they both admire an innocent-looking bluebird even though it is stabbing at a poor, little insect with its beak? Thats kind of how I feel about human beings. I hypothesize that this is something everyone naturally understands accepts when they have children because children are usually so bad and do very cruel things(slapping other children, killing animals and insects purposefully, being cruel to other children) but it is impossible to not accept them because this is pure human nature to abuse and by cruel?
  14. by   nurse lala
    I believe that we are born without empathy, which can be interpreted as cruelty. As we grow up, our world view shifts with maturity. We evolve from egocentrism to a more socialistic and less subjective awareness.
    Those of us who strive for awareness and to assist others in their growth, tend not to be cruel.

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