Mr. Stewart

Are People Essentially Good?

As we begin the dramatic version of “The Diary of Anne Frank” we will be discussing Anne’s personal belief that all people are essentially good. Think honestly for a moment about human nature. Is a belief in essential goodness too naive? Is a belief in essential goodness necessary to have a positive impact on other people?

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174 Responses to “Are People Essentially Good?”

  1. Matthew says:

    Anne Frank is a prisoner in her own home, if a secret annex above her father’s shop can even be considered a home. Her family is hiding from Nazi officers who have taken to rounding up Jews in Amsterdam and all over Europe and sending them to concentration camps. Through all of this, she maintains a belief that all people are essentially good. How incredible is it that a young girl can believe this in the midst of such horror!
    The fact that Anne even believes this proves that people are essentially good at their core. But, this also means that Anne believes that Nazi soldiers and their leader Adolf Hitler are all basically good people. I’m not sure I could fully agree with her in light of what these soldiers did. However, Anne has no way of knowing this. Most Jews did not believe, or refused to believe, the reports of the death camps coming back through the grapevine. I wonder if Anne REALLY believes this or if she is just saying this to herself to maintain hope in a dire situation. It’s kind of like an ostrich who sticks its head in the ground when in a dangerous situation. If you can’t see it, then it’s not really there.
    I can take a cue from Anne and believe that all students are essentially good at their core. Most students wouldn’t want a teacher who believed they were all bad and needed correction. Perhaps this is a lesson for all of us when we encounter a difficult situation or are struggling in a relationship. Let’s remember that all people, even our so-called enemies, are good people at heart.

    • Matthew says:

      Good point, Matthew. You say that we should view all people as being good at their core. Would you say that all human beings truly are good and lean toward doing good deeds from the time that they can make decisions for themselves? For example, when a child becomes old enough to make his own decisions, do parents have an easier job on their hands because the child is going to choose the right thing almost every time? My daughter is a perfect example. I have to TEACH her the difference between right and wrong so that she will make the right decision when a situation presents itself. She is not going to be predisposed to do the right thing. She must learn this.
      I think Anne chooses to believe this because she is in such a rough situation. She needs to maintain hope in other people, especially those who want her and her family out of the picture.

    • Patrick says:

      I think that everyone is essentialy good because deep inside, i think everyone wants to do good things. Some people may say that they don’t want to do good on the inside but deep inside of them they do. Although there are some people that intentionally go out and make bad choices, but it just makes them sad the deeper they get into making the wrong decision. they start to feel hate and dissapointment. Some even want to change, but sometimes they think theyve done to many evil things that even if they did change, they wouldnt be forgiven. A lot of people or some make the wrong decisions because of a past event. where it really hurt them on the inside. maybe there parents mistreated them, or people bullied them. there closest friends couldve said something that really hurt them. Despite of all that, there is always a feeling inside of someone that makes them want to make the right decisions, but that is just my own opinion. You may have a different opinion about that, and thats fine.

      • Brice says:

        goood point it think that everyone has a good side some where inside them. But theres also that bad side that causes them to do those intentional badthings you were talking about. Those kids and teenagers that go out and cause habbick were probably abused or misstreated but you know they have good in them some where that they cant express

      • Riley says:

        Sorry Patrick, but I have to disagree with you. Yes people do have the choice to be good or bad, but are we really good? Everyone has commited at least one act of wrong without confessing. Everybody is bad whether they want to be or not.

        • Patrick says:

          well people do make bad decisions and we are bad whether we want to be or not. Although Somewhere on the inside we really dont want to make those wrong decisions. And notice it doesnt say that they are good completely. It only says essentially.

    • Cassandra says:

      Good comment Matthew,
      I agree with you because when our so called enemies are after us they’re would be good in some of them. And also I know this isn’t even part of the discussion but why do jews have to wear a David star on what they wear, I mean I get the idea that so we can tell the difference between jews and non jews but can’t they just live happily in life as a normal citizen. Is that hard to ask. In my sources the number of jews that dies is around the war resulted in the death of one-fifth of the Polish population, with 90% or about 3 million of Polish Jewry killed along with approximately 3 million Polish Gentiles. This is how much damage we caused them. I found my sources at this website…

      • Matthew says:

        Great point. The Germans invaded Poland for more livable space which they felt was unevenly divided as a result of previous wars. Most of the Jews sent to concentration camps lived in Poland, as this was a large center for Jewish populations. I think that Hitler’s plan in making Jews wear a Star of David was to single them out for persecution. The Nazi plan was one of breaking down the Jewish community and family, as well as systematically stripping them of their rights. Anne and her family fled Germany to Holland to live free of religious persecution, but they were eventually captured after the Nazis invaded the Netherlands.

    • Matt says:

      Overall people for the most part are corrupt just by the nature of the world around them. However it doesn’t always begin that way. The process of humans
      becoming corrupted, I personally believe, is a process which happens over time. When you begin a small child you behave how you were taught and raised, obviously you have absolutely no control over that. Although once you begin to think independently
      you’re able to releaise what thinks are wrong and what is right, unless you have been completely brainwashed as a child. Also it is in human nature to purely benefit for only for themselves and become greedy. It is not so much that all humans are
      evil at their core but that it becomes instective to benefit themselves and make themselves look greater when compared to their peers. Finally humans corrupted because of the process of “natural selection” and began thinking independently.

      • Rex says:

        I have to disagree. People choose who they want to be but inside they are essentially good. They may do bad things but that does not make them a bad person. Most bad things happen out of fear. Osama bin Laden was scared that the USA would turn on him so, out of fear, he attacked us first.

        • Austin says:

          i agree with you Rex, people are essentially good even though everyone has done bad or even horrible stuff doesn’t label them as of all evil and disgust at all.

          • Chloe says:

            I agree. When you make a mistake it only makes you human. If you never made mistakes what kind of person do you think you would be? You wouldnt learn from anything. People are still good because everyone has a heart and soul wether or not they show that they have one everyone does.

        • Matt says:

          “Osama bin Laden was scared that the USA would turn on him so, out of fear, he attacked us first.” You say he attacked us out of fear, let me ask you, is fear not a natural emotion? Everyone has fear. The person doesn’t really have the choice to actually choose what they want to be as they are still dependent thinkers as a child. Also by the time they can think for themselves it gets to the point in which you are brainwashed and have mixed values and what is right and what is wrong.

      • Steven says:

        I agree with you completely on this post. If people are born and raised in a bad community they’re most likely to do bad and evil things. If a person is born and raised in a good community, they’re most likely to do well. This does not always happen all the time though. Some people that are raised in gang communities and they want to do good by changing everyone’s path. I think that those people are heroes to that community. However, sometimes people are raised in a good community and they become serial killers. This is a very well done post and was easy to connect and respond to.

      • Zachary says:

        I agree with you Matt because the human people are always being corrupted each day and usually because of not having a perfect childhood which most “think” they don’t. This how and why people do the most outrageous ideas.

  2. William says:

    It all depends on your point of view. If take Hitler and Jane Goodall the person judging them on who was good was a Nazi. Then that person would probably choose Hitler. If you took someone from our time and compared them that person would choose Jane Goodall. So it all depends on what you consider good.

    • Valerie says:

      That is a good point. I never really thought about how big of an impact time can have on ones answer to who is good or bad.

    • Daniel says:

      I disagree with you will, because everyone is bad in some way or another. I’m not saying this to be mean, but i’m just stating my opinion. If you think about it, many did something bad in their lives. Adolf Hitler, for example, hated many different groups, and brought that out with violence, thus creating the holocaust. Also, Mommar Ghaddafi is killing his own people, so is he ‘essentialy good’? Also, as Mr stewart stated in his examplar, he has to teach his child to do the right thing. this would prove that if you are young or old, you might not always do the right thing, especially if you are alone.

      • William says:

        Daniel then what would you define as good in situation. The person could be just needing people to understand him or her. That doesn’t mean that people had devastating points in their lives cause them to wrong others.

    • Luke says:

      I like what you are talking about. I can relate to that now and yes there are good and bad hearts out there. I have not really thought about if someone does something bad then they still can be a good person.

    • Shazad says:

      I’m sorry but what are you saying; you picked someone from World War 2 and the present. Try to add more detail to make it less perplexing, and how Hitler was “Bad” for what he believed. Maybe Hitler thought he was good a greater good for what he did, I’m not saying that I agree with what he did. (I strongly disagree with what Hitler did to those innocent people.) You should also bring to both sides of the story; tell Hitler’s side, and the Jew side. Then you can put your opinion.

    • Nikolas says:

      I agree Will, your is correct if a Nazi was judging a Nazi he or she would think that the person was essentially good but, to an American the Nazi would be essentially bad.

    • Sierra says:

      You have made a very good point. It is just a matter of opinion. Times has changed and now people probably think of Hitler a different way than they do now days.

  3. Paige says:

    I believe that most people are essentially good in different ways. Just because they may seem to have do something bad in one persons point of view does not mean that they aren’t bad people all in all. For an example, a young teenager does bad in school, drugs, and are bullies to others. Yes they may seem like a bad person since they give off that vibe that they aren’t going to do good in their future. They are bad to the people they are bullying but all in all to their friends they are good people.
    I guess what I am trying to get at is that everyone is good and bad in different points of view by different people.
    I think that Anne is a positive and good person for believing that everyone is essentially good. Good for her for looking at people in a different view and not just assuming that all there is, is bad people. Which isn’t true. She may have experienced something bad happen to her due to ONE person, but that does not mean that she has to assume that all people are evil.

    • Kelly says:

      I completely agree with you Paige. Just because a person may seem to be bad, doesn’t mean that they are pure evil. Everyone has good in them. I also like the example that you included Anne in. I agree. Even though she was hiding from the Nazis, she still believed that they had some good in them. I also agree with how you said that Anne looked at how she believed everyone contained good, was positive of her. I thought that too. I thought that that was really noble of her to think in such a positive attitude.

    • Luke says:

      I see where you were going with this post. I do agree with what you were saying though. Not everyone is bad at their heart because they could be a person who changes their life around and apologies for what they did. But at the same time some people are just bad at their heart. They won’t change what they did, and they will keep doing it. Also, it can be a lot worse than just bullying; it can be Hitler, the kkk, the rappers in the world and all other bad stuff that people do.

    • Christina says:

      I agree with you Paige,
      There are so many different ways of looking at someone or something. Everyone sees things in their own perspective, and whether it’s good or bad is their opinion. I also agree that it is good that Anne can see past all the “stupid” thing people have done, and still see the good inside them

    • Rachel says:

      Paige I also agree with you, everybody can’t do good all the time. They also can’t do bad all the time either. People are made to change their minds so if you were bullied all throughout middle school and you find that the person who bullied you is now your boss, then you know that people can change.

  4. Valerie says:

    My belief is that not many people are good or bad. You can do good or bad things, but that is what you do not who you are. In some cases there are some amazingly good people, and there are some menicingly terriable people. The two that come to mind, Adolf Hitler, and Anne Frank. Hitler killed many people, and destroyed the hearts of others. He committed greusome murder to many innocent people of the Jewish faith for no good reason. Sometimes I wonder how one person can do so much damage physically and emotionally to a city and country. There is only one explination, he is a bad person. Anne Frank lived through part of his reign, and she was taken to a concentration camp, but she still knew that not everyone who didn’t like her religion was like Hitler. She showed genuine faith and love through her thoughts on the Nazis. I know if I had to go through something like that, I would hate those people with a passion, but Anne could still see the good in some of them, and that shows us that she was an amazingly good person. People can be good and bad, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is. All people can do good and bad things, but that doesn’t mean they are a good or bad person.

    • Seth says:

      I agree Valerie, People can do good and on their own decison.

      • Paige says:

        I sort of disagree with your explanation.
        Yes Hitler did an awful thing to those people. Except, is he wrong to those that fought with him? Clearly he is right to someone. Am I wrong? To you or me or even Obama it may seem wrong but there are people that did agree with Hitlers ideas and strategies. Clearly he wasn’t all bad sense other people helped try over powering these countries and such. Everyone has a little bit of bad and a little bit of good in them. Please read my post to understand a little bit more of what I was trying to explain in this comment.

    • Sierra says:

      Anne is a very good person because she saw all the good in those mean people. If I had to make up a definition of a good person, my definition would be Anne Frank.

  5. Chloe says:

    I think there is a lose lee-way on if people are good or bad. If everyone was essentially good why is there so many crimes everyday? If your taught to be mean time after time by your parents your going to learn overtime that its okay to harm people. Now if you come from a Christan family you might have a total different view of life. I think that everyone is essentially good because each and everyone of you has a soul. You know how it feels to be put down, to be left out, or to be called a name. So you know how to be essentially good, you just have to make the right choices on weather or not your going to show that you know to be a good person.
    I think that Anne has the most wonderful heart to think that everyone is essentially good considering what people are trying to do to her because shes a Jew. She will grow as a stronger person and live to higher expectations.

    • Ashley says:

      I really liked how you mentioned that when coming from different religious or non-religious families, you can have a total different prospective on things than someone else may have. I also agree with, Anne is trying to look past all the bad things going on with the people and places around her, and believing everyone has a good side to them. In a way almost think she is trying to convince herself that everything will be okay to mask the fact the she is actually scared of what’s going on.

  6. Britta says:

    I believe that all people are essentially good. It just depends what that persons personality is like. Any person can be good, it just all depends on their personality.It’s all them. It’s their choice whether to be good or not. Anne is a very positive person, because she sees the good in everybody. She doesn’t judge a book by its cover or in this case she doesn’t judge a person by their cover, or by how they look, or by how they dress. I believe that everyone had good in them because everyone at one time does something good in their lives. It doesn’t matter how old or how young they are when they do something good.

    • Austin says:

      i agree with you Britta but I’m not sure about if their personality as to go along with you being bad or not essentially good. For an example if a mans personality would be a druggie and a murdered doesn’t make pure bad although its horrible to do that he or she just needs the right education and solitaire.

    • Mark says:

      I agree with you Britta, its wrong for people to judge on another without getting to know them. Everybody does do good things in their life whether they no it or not. You can do good things if you choose to , but it happens no matter what age you are. For Example, you could be twenty years old and open a door for someone with a big load.

    • Sam says:

      Yes Britta, those are some very good points. However, i have to disagree about all people being essentially good. Yes any person can be good, but that doesn’t mean they are essentially good. They can choose to be good, but if they don’t, they aren’t technically essentially good.

  7. Kelly says:

    Are people essentially good? Well, that depends on how you look at it. Yes, there are some people that may act a certain way that we may not see that as being necessarily good, but yes, all people do have good in them. Even if they don’t show it very often. Also, it depends on how you look at it from a certain point of view. A person might not have the nicest way acting towards others, but that person may also be really nice and caring once you get to know them. Just because you see a person a not being or acting the nicest, doesn’t mean that they’re 100% evil.

    • Jamie says:

      I believe that you are exactly right. Just because others veiw one specific persons actions as inadequate, that doesn’t mean they are 100% evil. I agree with the statement you wrote about looking at the situation from a different point of view. Nice job!

    • Valerie says:

      Kelly, I agree with you on how point of view makes a big difference on how you see someone as good or bad.

    • William says:

      That makes a lot of sense. A short way in saying this is don’t judge a book by its cover. What a person does and believes is their decision completely. So by saying this it can show many things on a persons point of view of the world.

    • Anthony says:

      I feel that I have to disagree with you. I believe that there is an easily defined line between the forces of good, and evil. If you look at it as a point of view… Well then you just sound like the Emperor from Star Wars. If a person is not a nice person until they get to know someone, then to me they aren’t nice at all. If you aren’t kind to all people that deserve it, how can you be considered a kind person? You don’t have to be 100% evil to still be considered evil. I believe that actions make you who you are, if you do evil things more often than good, you are simply an evil person. If you harass others daily, but inside you want to be kind to those people, you are still not kind until you actually start acting like it.

      • Heather says:

        I can see where you’re coming from, Anthony, but I just have to say you also don’t have to be 100% good to be considered good. Everyone makes mistakes and regrets them. Some people get pulled into worse things than others, but that doesn’t make them bad people.

      • Zachary says:

        I Totally agree with you Anthony because people are evil even if not 100% evil and do agree that most people must have been good for their entire life but I disagree that is almost in impossible for a human being to do that.

    • Britta says:

      Kelly you’re absolutely right people have good in them no matter what. Just because you don’t see them doing good things doesn’t mean they’re 100% evil. Maybe they’re insecure about something so they act out of fear with anger and violence instead of doing something good for other people around them.

    • Heather says:

      I definitely agree with you. Like you said “A person might not have the nicest way acting towards others, but that person may also be really nice and caring once you get to know them.” I agree with that because some people may seem mean, but they just have a different way of coming across to people. Some people just need time to open up and show true caring selves.

    • Steven says:

      I agree with you that you need to know a person before you can judge them. Everyone is evil and good in their own way, but you will never know that unless you get to know that person. I like your saying “Just because you see a person a not being or acting the nicest, doesn’t mean that they’re 100% evil.” because it acts like the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This is a very well written paragraph and I 100% agree with you.

  8. Rudolph says:

    I believe that everyone has the choice to be good, but not everyone chooses to be good. There are a lot of great people in the world that make bad decisions once in a while. Most of the times they do bad things when they are in a negative state, like if they are emotionally depressed or financially broke. I have seen some of my close friends where they are financially broke and they do something stupid to try and get more money, or life outside of school and or work is very hard for them and they cut themselves, rob stores, commit homicide and even suicide. I see life as roads. I take the road of growing up, then i run into an intersection, and these intersections have different roads that lead to different intersections. If I take the wrong road, it could lead me into another bad road that could make me lost forever and, If I take the right road, I will get to where I am going faster. If that makes since, I’m trying to say that if you make a positive decision, usually more positive decisions will come your way, and if you do a negative thing, usually you would
    more negative decisions . At least thats how I look at it.

    How Anne Frank helped Jewish families even when she knew what could happen to herself was an amazing thing to do. She risked her own life to help the lives of others. That takes a whole bunch of bravery to do, especially at her age. Most people now in days would never even think about doing what she did. Only people with true hearts would do something like that now, and there isn’t much of them from what I’ve seen.

    Everyone has a chance to be a good person. Every once in a while, of course we will make a mistake but unless you don’t dwell on that one mistake and look toward the future, then I believe you could truly be a good person, and I think that should involve everyone.

    • Jonas says:

      I agree with you because people have the choice to do good or to do bad because i think that it all depends on the persons childhood was and how they were raised.

    • Hailey says:

      I completely agree with you. I love the fact that you brought real life stuff into this conversation. How you talked about robberies, and depressions, things like that. Your idea about going down different roads and making good and bad decisions, which lead you to different roads, was a very good point. I never even thought about that idea until I read this, but it makes perfect sense. If you do bad things, that’s just going to make you do more bad things. You’re right, if you make good decisions, more will come your way

  9. Sam says:

    I do not think all people are essentially good. If they were really essentially good they would be good. But there are people in prison for killing others and when they get out they might kill another person. Everyone is different so that means that everyone cannot be good.
    Imagine if everyone in the world was good. Then everything would be the exact same. The United States is a pretty good place I think. Compare the U.S. to Africa. Africa has a ton of problems right now because their leaders are not good.
    Now let’s jump back to Ann Frank, the little girl that was a Jew during the Holocaust. She believed everyone was essentially good. If Hitler was good, would he have thought white people that aren’t Jews are the ultimate race. If that’s not good I don’t know what is.
    Clearly, I believe not everyone is essentially good. Tell me what you think and I will most likely reply to you.

    • William says:

      Sam if bring points of view into this then what would you say about it. I am trying to say that people have points in their life when they are corrupt and do things wrong. This is what caused Osama Bin Laden To attack us in the first place. His beliefs are what caused him to be corrupt at that point in time.

      • Matthew says:

        Great idea! If we look at a situation from someone else’s point of view, what he or she might be doing looks like acting out of self interest or survival instinct. Still, you have to wonder, does “goodness” mean that we must put others before our own needs? That would still trump point of view.

    • Hailey says:

      I do agree with you that everyone is not essentially good. I love your point about if everyone was good, then the world would be the exact same. However, I don’t know if I agree with it. If everyone were good, how would that make them the same? Many people are good, and are complete opposites. America is in a good place compared to many places, like you said. My point of view is that everyone starts off essentially good, but it’s his or her influences from other people and situations that determine goodness or badness.

    • Matthew says:

      So, the technicality of “Everyone” is the basis of your argument. That’s a good place to start. If the question is “Are ALL people essentially good?” then you can attack that question on definition alone. When we use absolutes, the answer is almost always “No.”

  10. Mollie says:

    I think people are good,they can just change the way they act or the way they treat others. I do think some people can be bad but at one point at time they were good. Take Osama Bin Laden, one of the people who was apart of 911, at one point in his life he decided to stop being kind and wanted to bomb the twin towers. Many people will think he is not good and never was but I think that at on point he was .

    • Cassandra says:

      Good point
      Maybe something happened in his past that made him turn bad. Or maybe he just hates us Americans. Who knows? One day there will be a answer to all our problems in the world.. (or not)

    • Rudolph says:

      Dear Mollie,
      I agree with what you are saying because I said almost the exact same thing. People have the choice to be bad and good, they just need to be good.

      • Matthew says:

        Try to reply to someone with whom you disagree. This will make your comment more rich and full strong ideas. You are essentially just saying “ditto” in this reply.

    • Hailey says:

      I agree with your saying about at one point everyone was good, but that doesn’t mean that they always will be good. I agree with you that Osama Bin Laden was at one point good, but was influenced negatively. Everybody has different lives and struggles that they go through, but the difference between people is how they cope with those situations.

      • Mollie says:

        Ya I agree but I think at one point in everyones life they are “good”.

        Cassie, I agree something must change them from being “good”! I completely agree!

    • Matthew says:

      Point of clarification: Osama Bin Laden did not bomb the Twin Towers. He orchestrated airplane hijackings which were then used to crash into these buildings. Next, I wonder if Osama Bin Laden would argue that what he was doing was in his people’s best interest. From my point of view, what he did was evil and wrong, but from his point of view was he doing a great thing for his cause? We have to think about point-of-view verses absolute truth. According to him, his actions are justified. If there is a concrete set of right vs. wrong, then he may be in the wrong. Does that make sense?

  11. Luke says:

    I believe that people are not essentially good at heart. People may think that they are good when it is at heart, but if something really happened to you not someone else how would feel. Say if you were that person and they did something bad to you. As in if you were just walking in the streets and someone just comes around and kidnaps you and they starve you to get a ransom of ton of money. They get caught and then you have to live with whatever they did to you for the rest of your life. Would you want that to happen to you? Next, you have to not just go with your prospective of what happened, you have to go with what happened to the person and feel and imagine what they had done to them. After you do that you will know that it will not feel good. So no, I do not think that people are essentially good at the core of their heart, and some people could be though but not everyone.

    • Austin says:


      I personally disagree with your comment. From my viewpoint, I believe that all people are good in their hearts. Our actions and words are sometimes painful on the outside, but we can change that. We just have to decide to. But in our hearts, we are pure and are “real” to ourselves. To put it in a more simple phrase, on the outside, we are not ourselves. On the inside, we are different people, and are our “real” self. We are people with feelings, passions, beliefs, and dreams. That’s exactly what makes us different and what makes us think of bad people. So even if people have done hurtful things that make us bad, that does not mean they are bad people. Everyone can change, Luke. Additionally, there is no reason we should judge people for their outside personality. Everyone has done wrong, which means this would make all of us bad people. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? I believe we are all good people. Good people with differences. But those differences are not to be viewed as bad things.

      P.S. – Next time, take your time on your word organization.

      • Luke says:

        I get what you are saying but what about all of the people who are bad? For examples the kkk, rappers, molesters, kidnappers, and so on. The total number of registered sex offenders has been compared to census data to determine the number of sex offenders per 100,000 total populations in that state. So do you think that they are “ok” at the core of their heart? All that they want is to do something for them. They don’t care about good or bad hearts. They could all change over time but I am sure that not everyone will change.

    • Steven says:

      I think that people are both good and bad. Everyone does something good or bad every day whether they know it or not. Your good and evil actions depend on what your brain thinks. When you’re used to doing something that others do, you think that it is essentially good even if it might not be good. This happens because your brain absorbs what others do and it puts it into your actions. When you think you might be doing something evil it might be good to others. Again, it depends on what your brain thinks at the time. Let’s say that there is a fight going on and you try to break it. You might think it might be evil that you are interrupting others, but you might think that you’re doing well because you are preventing people from getting hurt. It’s your opinion and I will not judge you for that, but I disagree with you that people are essentially evil.

    • Paige says:

      Good point. The thing is, is that a certain percentage of people have been in a situation where they have been through that kind of terrible event and they had grown up with that on their minds most of their lives and realy that’s all they really know about.

      A better example would be a young child being a abused most of their lives growing up in an unstable household. It sounds grusom that a PARENT would do that but it’s a chain. Ones that child grows up that’s all they really know about. Those kids grown up going through that terrible event so that’s how they beleive that their children should be treated. Our parents are too teach us how to teach our children and etc. and so growing up about 18 years in their homes, we will think that’s what we shall do in our futures.

      People may do cruel things but in my full honest opinion they have good in them and have a strong loving heart.

    • Paige says:


      Just because those kidnappers do those things does not mean that they are bad people.

      For an example, some children have been put into a house hold with abusive parents. Growing up in that home that’s what they learn is to be beaten and to be punished for unreasonable reasons. Our parents are to teach us how we should treat our children once we have them. It’s this chain where one child will be beaten and then once they get older they will do the same thing to their kids. It’s all they have grown up to know. I was trying to find the website I had found the perctenage of this and ad no luck. Point is, is that is it really their fault for doing what they were taught growing up?

      I think NO! Yes there are very cruel people out there but deep down in their hearts they have a soft spot.

    • Paige says:


      I understand where your getting at. I get how you would think that but there was a study about how people that do those bad things such as kidnap those little kids have actually been put into a situation where they themselves have been kidnapped. They feel as if someone else has to feel what they went through in that event. They take that anger that they had from that drastic situation and they take it out on their victim but they are much more violent.

      Is it really their fault? They were never asked to be kidnapped themselves. They never wanted that event to happen but it did. It’s a chain they say. One person could be abused growing up and that’s what they think is right because they look upon their parents. Those children think it’s okay so once they have their own kids they do the same thing their parents had done to them. It may be cruel, yes, but it’s a chain. Those people are doing what they know best because that’s what they were taught.

      I did try to search for a website that had studies about it but it just happened to have facts that were a bit too intense. I would really encourage you to look for those websites and see what exactly I am talking about.

  12. Daniel says:

    I dont think people are essentialy good. mabye you can act innocently, but many people can have thoughts of evil, and some will bring those thoughts to life.

    • Luke says:

      I get where you are going with that blog. But what if that person did a horrible thing and then they changed their life around. It has happened to people before. So what I am trying to say is that I think that most of the people are probably good at heart but some just can’t change.

    • Jamie says:

      I beg to differ. People do not have thoughts of evil, I believe that puplis that decide to kill or injure others are acting out of impulse. In other words their life has thrown them many obstacles that they do not have the strength to handle in an appropiate manner so they decide to destroy others life to feel better about themselves. Those people have very low self-esteem. They are also bullies in a sense.

  13. Ashley says:

    In general it was hard for me to pick a side on this question of are people essentially good, because there can be a good argument to either side of it. However, I did come to conclude that I agree that people are essentially good. People tend to view bad people negatively, of course, but I do believe there is a different side to every story. When I say that though I don’t mean to say what those bad people do is essentially good at all, but they will most likely have a reason to trigger their anger to do those things. I agree with Anne, because she is looking past what those people are doing to her and people like herself to see something different than everyone is seeing. She looks past the anger and horror beyond those people to see something that is more or less innocent. However you may view the question, behind the most awful person you can think of, is someone who may be just like you.

  14. Seth says:

    I think people are essentially good.Everyone has the choice to do good or do wrong if they chose wrong they may not know it but it will end badly in the long run.On the other side nobody is always good, maybe it is a little some thing like running a red light or something tremendously bad like robbing a bank. Anne thinks that the Nazis are essentially good, but to other people what they did might not have been good. Maybe the Nazis while they were “cleansing” Germany they thought they doing the country a great service but to the Jews It may have been the worst thing in the history of the religion. People do good and bad all the time Even if they don’t know it.

  15. Jamie says:

    I believe that deep inside people are essentially good and want to strive to do better for themselves and others. I also believe that people, even if they make bad choices, are not bad people.

    People may say that actions are stronger than words, and in many cases that is true, but in Anne Frank’s case that is not neccesarily a valid statement. Anne is a trustworthy person so that makes her parents believe her every word. Anne’s beliefs are very truthful in peoples minds, but many may choose to disagree.

    • Isaiah says:

      I really like the way that you express the flaws of people. You seem to know what you’re saying mean it. You have great thoughts of people and that’s a good thing. Sometimes though you will need to speak those thoughts and shouldn’t be afraid to do so.

    • Matthew says:

      Give some real life examples to strengthen your statement about essential goodness of people.

  16. Austin says:

    In my reply, I mentioned two important phrases to support my position, “Everyone has done wrong,” and “(Our) differences are not to be viewed as bad things.” From these quotes, I think it is easy to agree that all people are good. That may sound funny that if all of us have done wrong, we are good. But we can certainly change our actions and forgive each other of their past. If we have all done wrong, there is absolutely no reason at all to judge others for the bad things they have committed. We are being foolish hypocrites if we act like that. Also, the way we see people is not right. We only see the outside. But on the inside, people are much different. There is no way we can determine people from their false personality. This is something we all go through, a change. A change that makes us all unique and who we are. We as their friends should respect that and view it as a good change- not a bad thing. Above all, I simply believe we just need to accept people for who they are. I’m not saying this is an easy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do.

    • Matthew says:

      If all have done wrong, does that mean that people are not essentially good? Think of the word “essentially.” At our core, are we good? I think you are honorable for looking for the good in all people, but that doesn’t make all people essentially good.

  17. Shazad says:

    Well I think in our best interest we try to help people, and sometime we have the power to do get evil as well. Only one thing is for certain, we want justice, for instance the U.S.A. is in three wars. We are with war with one in Korea, one in Afghanistan, and one in labia. The war in Korea is only a stare down war, because we are not fighting right now. (It’s a stand by War.) We first came to Korea because the south was getting hammer by the North Korea. We came in there to protect the citizens’ of South Korea, and we are doing a fantastic job of protecting South Korea. The Iraq-Afghanistan War was started because a terrorist attack was sent by Iraq to the twin towers, but it was our own planes. That says that maybe “we” started the war, I mean where is prove of Iraq sent planes to America. How do we know that there are terrorists in the U.S.A., for instance the U.S.A. went to war with Iraq to protect its own citizens’. (3,184 people died on this Date of the attack.) Who now’s why we are sending troops in Libya; I think two wars where all we ever need to handle. See we try to do well, but in the end we have to decided if what we are currently doing is right.

    September 11 attacks:

    Korean War:

    Iraq War:

    Libya war:

    • Steven says:

      Don’t mind that post i accidentally did that as my comment.

    • Percy says:

      Shazad, I think you did a good job with your argument. I don’t really understand which side you are supporting. You basically just talked about wars. I would suggest that you talked more about the topic. Also, when you said ‘labia’ I believe that you meant to say Libya! I think that you should have out a comma after the word ‘well’ in the beginning of your response. However, I think you did a good job with adding detail and siting your sources.

    • Paige says:

      People aren’t necessarily good or bad depending on what people they hang out with. I could be hanging out with people that are doing drugs and such but not be doing drugs myself. So does that mean I’m a bad person for hanging out with those people? I think not. You can be a good person and hang out with maybe “not so good people” to others. Just because they are a bad group of people to you doesn’t mean they are to me. Maybe they just grew up in a rough area where they had seen these things being done.

  18. Paul says:

    I do think that every person is essentially good because they do not do bad things all the time. Everyone either cared about someone in there life. Also they do not do bad things all the time because if they did then they would be in prison or something like that. So people do some how have to be good.

    • Matthew says:

      Few suggestions: “Everyone (singular indefinite pronoun) either (why is this here?) cared about someone in there (misspelled/misused, and should be “his or her”) life.

  19. Jonas says:

    i do think that people are essentially good because all people have to be raised at one point in their life. So it all depends on the persons environment as a child because someone that is raised in a good home with a good influence put in front of them. They will probably be a good person in their life. Now if the person is growing up in a unstable environment with parents that dont care for their child as much as they should. They will probably not succeed in life and they will not end up having a good life because they will only know what their parents tought them at an early age.

    • Tanner says:

      I totally agree Jonas, it all has to do with their past and how they were raised. Someone raised in a disciplinary and strict environment would probably be a good person at their core. Someone raised in an area where there was no law, full of hatred and hardship wouldn’t be as much of a good person deep down inside. No maybe they could change if they can get out of that situation, but many chose to stay and live their lives with hate. It just all depends on which road you chose to take as child, from there its hard to turn back and go the other way.

    • Carmine says:

      I like what you said about how people are good during their childhood. I also believe that if you are raised in a environment you will grow up to be good.

    • Matthew says:

      Focusing on punctuation, capitalization and spelling will help bring the content portion of your grade up. Also, avoid overuse of the pronoun “their.”

  20. Tanner says:

    I think that it is too naive to say people are essentially good. If you think about all the dictators, criminals, and enemies of countries all throughout history, I can guarantee you that they didn’t have much good in them. Adolf Hitler, for example, was found guilty of taking part in the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 he sentenced to five years in prison. At that time he was still a young adult. Also, Osama Bin Laden, the one who planned the attack on America, turned around and betrayed us after we aided him into getting rid of the Soviets from taking over. History is full of people who have caused horrible things to thousands and millions of people, I’m not sure that many of them had much “good” left in them. Many people with abusive parents or a troubling childhood are less likely to be very good-hearted people later on.

    • Nicole says:

      Tanner, I see your point but i have to say I cant agree with you because when they are first born I don’t think that right away they knew that they where going to do what they did. I also think that the hatred in their heart had to grow and from something they say or grew up with.

  21. Rex says:

    In life people make mistakes. Mistakes lead to other things. The mistake that begins is bullying. If you bully once, you are bound to do it again, and again and again. Later in life you will probably end up smoking, then stealing, then kidnapping, and that might lead to murder. All criminals need to look back on their life and just say “When did I go bad. When did my life get so horrible. When did I become a criminal? Sooner or later they will look back and remember little Johnny from fourth grade. They will remember the one time that they called him names, then a “kick me” sign, then to hurting that poor kid. It makes you wonder why you even picked on poor little Johnny. I think people are good. Criminals are even good under all of their evil. You will find goodness in everyone. Even people like Adolf Hitler were essentially good. Before he became a huge dictator, he was mostly good. People who are bad just need a little pat on the back and a random act of kindness. The good part of them will shine through all of the bad gunk. The evil will fade and be left in the dust. Who knows? That evil person could become the greatest person on Earth.

  22. Hailey says:

    Anne Frank believed that all people are essentially good, and I agree with this statement, somewhat. I believe that everybody starts off good, when they’re born, but it’s their influences in life that can change them. Nobody would say that a new born baby is bad, because that baby hasn’t done anything wrong, but who and what that baby grows up with can influence their life and their point of view on the world in a good way, or a bad way. I do believe that everybody should have a fair chance in goodness. I believe you should assume that all people are good, until they impact your life or your loved one’s lives by doing something bad. I believe that essential goodness is necessary to have a positive impact on somebody, and that you must believe that they are good to trust them with anything.

    While I do believe that people are essentially good to start off with, I also believe that not everyone remains good as an adult, and that there are definitely evil, and bad people in the world. People who murder, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the recent murders in Tucson for example, cannot be essentially good and do such evil acts. If I were in Anne’s position I would definitely not have such a good attitude towards the Nazis as she did. I would think that what they were doing was completely wrong; therefore I would not think that they are essentially good people.

    • Madison says:

      Hailey, I agree with you. Everyone starts out good and innocent. Just not everyone ends up that way.

    • Mollie says:

      I agree like we learned in l.a last year there innocence is lost like there goodness is lost!

    • Janelle says:

      although i do agree with you that people are never going to say that a baby is a bad person, and it is the influences in life that shape us, i think that no matter what people will always have the ability to change. Some say that there are things you can’t apologize for but i don’t think there are. There might be things that are really, really hard to apologize for, but not impossible. Even for the people involved with the 9/11 attacks and those in Tucson. There’s always time to admit that you know what you did was wrong and feel remorse about it.

    • Matthew says:

      So, you think that Anne is clinging to the fact that all people were at least at one time good. There’s a lot more to this than you might realize. It lies at the core of conflict resolution.

  23. Nikolas says:

    I think that some people are essentially good like Abe Lincoln because he fought to free the slaves but on the other hand he did kill 260,000 confederate soldiers ( the southern soldiers).<—— the link to the article but couldn't get it to be a link
    Anne Frank is a essentially good person because the way the world looks in her eyes is that everyone is good even when she and her family had to and hide from the Nazis because if they didn't they would be put in concentration camps and most likely going to die a little later. An article of Anne Frank
    While other people like Saddam Hussein who just killed citizens who didn't what he said or if they didn't do the job that appointed to them the way he wanted it to be you would also be killed. So what I'm trying to get at is that some people are essentially good and some that are in the middle of both good and evil and some who are evil. This is an article about Saddam Hussein

  24. Anthony says:

    I strongly believe that people are not “essentially good”, but that doesn’t mean I believe people are essentially bad. If a kid was not taught by anyone on how he should act, she probably wouldn’t be the angel we all might want her to be, but it is also unlikely that she is going to go on random killing sprees. An animal at its core simply wants to survive. We are simply animals with a bit more sentience than most. This sentience does not change the fact that in the end, our survival matters more than almost anything else. A human will do what he thinks is right, which is really what Hitler did in the end. In that aspect, I admire Hitler for carrying out his beliefs, perhaps he took them to an extreme, but he still did what he thought was right.

    In almost every book, movie, or tale you hear, there is an evil bad guy. Is the “Big Bad Wolf” evil because he tried to eat to human beings? Perhaps he is less justified because the wolf in that story had the sentience of a human, but he was simply feeding himself. Yes, he was evil, but he did what he thought was right, for that basic instinct of survival.

    In the end, I say that people are not essentially good; in fact I think they do tend to deviate away from the path of “good”. At their core, they do what is best for them, which may not be considered good.

    • Matthew says:

      Great word choice! I enjoy the survival instinct thought. If we are prone to making poor decisions (religious folks would call that sinning), then we are not essentially good. Are some decisions made out of survival instinct amoral, in your opinion?

  25. Steven says:

    I think people are essentially good only if they are around with the right people. In my opinion, your brain acts like a “sponge” and it absorbs what the people around you do whether good or bad. A person, like Anne Frank, absorbed from people that they did not kill Jews in the concentration camps and that there was no such thing as one. She absorbed this in her “spongy brain” which is why she probably thought that people, like Hitler, were essentially good. If you take a person, like Al Capone, who was friends with gangsters, they might absorb evil into their “spongy brains” and do malicious stuff. However, nobody is “perfect” in life. This means that no matter if you are good or bad, you will always have evil inside of you. I admit that I have done some evil things in life which i am pretty sure many of you have to. I also admit that i have done some good things in life, like helping unwanted dogs getting adopted. Although nobody can be perfect, you can at least try and do some “good” during your lifetime.

    • Hayden says:

      I agree with what your opinion is Steven. I like how replaced the brain as a “sponge.” That does allow people to here and do what they are told. Even if it is by good or bad people. As a kid, if an adult tells you something, you would usually do it.

    • Trevor says:

      I agree with you when you say “In my opinion, your brain acts like a “sponge” and it absorbs what the people around you do whether good or bad.” I like how you referenced your thought to Anne Frank and Al Capone and how it contrasts the people they associated with and how they acted.

  26. Isaiah says:

    I believe that all people are good and bad. The big difference is that not all people are in the middle, or balanced. I believe that if someone is bad ten they do have a bit of good in them and vise versa. The way Anne saw it was that the nazis were bad people, but they had good in them. In retrospect she’s right. Anne is right, but in reality the bad of them dominated the good in them. I think that Anne was scared and had to think positive at that time, even though it was really weak. I myself do and don’t believe that people are good at their core. I do because everyone has good in them. I don’t because some people cover their good with evil.

  27. Brice says:

    I some what think that people are essentially good. I think that people have a choice to be good and a choice to be bad. I think that some people make the wrong choice of which path to take and then they can’t turn back to the other one ever again. If people choose to be good that’s great, but if people choose the other path no one can change that. so I think that no one is essentially good, I think that you have to choose which to be when you are old enough.

  28. Hayden says:

    I think that people are essentially good. People are not born bad and don’t necessarily have bad parents. Unless you live in Egypt, Afghanistan, and Middle Eastern country family’s. People are not brought into the world and are fully created to do bad things like the terminator. I think that people are generally going to do great things in his or her lives. They will choose to do what they will do. They will choose what career and or college they go to. People are going to be generally good. The reason why people are bad, I think are out of family issues, jealousy, and hatred. John Wilkes Booth assassinated President John F Kennedy because he did not m who he was and didn’t like how he ran the country. So he shot him in the head. 911 went down because of a bunch of crazy, hating, talibans. Those people were hating us and what we do. Do I think people are good? Yes. But people can be forced to do things out of their own will because of their religion or their dads give them weapons at age 5. I believe that people are essentially good.

  29. Rachel says:

    I believe that people are essentially good. I believe this because people have done great things and they are capable of achieving great goals. Now, people can chose to do good or bad things in their life but just because you make one decision doesn’t make you that way. With people have have done bad all their life, they might want to change that because of all the guilt that they have. So, people can be either good or bad but you just have to decide which one you want to be.

  30. Nicole says:

    Are people essentially good? I think yes people are essentially good because, when you are born you do bad things but that’s just because your little and have no idea. But people choose the rode they want to go down. Also you cant just blame them because its also depends on the environment that they grow up in and the people you live with, see each and every day, talk to all the time. The end of your life all depends on the beginning and how it is made. Just like a story cant have an ending with out a beginning.

  31. Cassandra says:

    People everywhere are good you don’t know. You don’t just judge the people who are doing bad sins. Do you? I mean what if they have to do what they are told to or else OFF with there heads. Anyway I’m just saying that People everywhere have goodness in them and Anne is right they do but her family doesn’t believe her because they think all Nazi’s are dreadful or careless just because they kill any Jew they see. In think Anne is just saying that we haven’t done anything wrong so we should stay out of hiding. Also I think having essiential goodness isn’t really a bad because that means you don’t always think everything negative but the opposite which is positive outcome to people who are inferior.

  32. Mark says:

    I believe that everybody is good when ther’ye born. The thing that makes most people mad is money, politics, and economy. Money is a really important need. They will do anything to support their familys or support themselves. If they dont get their money thats what may lead them to robbing a bank or mugging another person. Some of the Germans do not agree with the politics in the second war, but they had to pretend and follow the rules in order to survive. The Nazis were good people before their government changed. The turned into bad people when they were forced to be. People may get angry because they are loosing their jobs because the economy sucks. That doesnt mean that they are cold-blooded or bad. Its just a struggle for survival.

  33. Cassandra says:

    Having essential goodness is not a bad thing because that means you don’t thing like other people do you always have a positive outcome toward humanity just like Anne. Speaking of Anne she is girl who wants to become somebody not a nobody but everyone always compares her to Margot and she fed up with it and she got in a big argument with everyone just because of that. Anyway a belief in having essential goodness towards other people is not bad at all because people everywhere deep inside have some goodness inside because like the Nazi’s they are being controlled by Hitler the leader of all them. So what if some not all Nazi’s are being forced to kill or capture the jews because Hitler hates them. They have no choice but to follow orders. So no matter how you look at it even Nazi’s have some generosity in them.

  34. Heather says:

    I believe that all people are essentially good. It is the environment that they live in that forms a person’s beliefs. The only reason people act in evil ways is from bad influences or strong hatred. For example Adolf Hitler was a good kid he had great grades and attended a Catholic school when he was a child. He even thought about being a priest when he was older. Adolf’s father beat him and would not let him go to art school. Therefore, Adolf’s hate for his father caused him to rebel. Adolf began to have loyalty to Germany and his father was completely loyal to Austria. This was another way for Adolf to rebel. If you want to know more about the details and information go to and read about his childhood.
    Many other comments have stated that some people are bad because that is how their parents raised them. I have to disagree with that because people have many chances to act the way they want and if so they’ll know wants right or wrong in their heart. Also, many children have been brought up in a good home and have parents that teach them good morals and values, but get caught up in outside influences that can change them. Another reason people act badly is because of hate or disgust. Like Hitler, he had so much hate for his father that it turned him into a completely different person.

    • Jordan says:

      I agree people are influenced to do the wrong thing by others and people tend to not do the wrong thing if they are alone. Also the general populace are not criminals and most people are good. The criminals and murderers aren’t everyone they are usually just a small percentage of people who are criminals. Even the nazis were just following Hitlers orders or they would be killed as well.

    • Matthew says:

      fantastic comment, Heather. This is the crux of the nature vs. nurture debate you will no doubt have as a freshmen in college. Well researched and thought out!

  35. Carmine says:

    If Anne Frank thinks everyone is essentially good at a time when people are trying to look for her and separate her from her family. Then I would have to agree with her. I think that all people are essentially good. I think that because everyone has done something good in their life. No matter how hard you try you will do something good. Everyone starts off good as a baby but as you get older some people start to do wrong things. If you think that everyone is not essentially good then do you think everyone is bad? Even the kindest of people do bad things. So the statement Anne made in my opinion is true.

    • Nicholas says:

      Exactly, a lot of people who are viewed as good or trustable, do many bad things. Most people view goodness as a path. If you stay on that path, your doing the right thing. If you stray away from that path, small sins or mistakes lead to big problems and then people see that they are way off that path. Though you are far away from goodness, you can always find your way back by doing the right thing which everyone strives for.

  36. Madison says:

    As much as I want to believe that everyone is essentially good, I just don’t think people are. There are murderers, racist, robbers, ect. If you kill a man with a family, do you tend to believe that they are still good. Maybe, but if it was your family would that still be the case? Anne Frank is a kind hearted child, she wants to see the good in people. The Nazis were not good people. They chose to kill millions of Jews against their own volition. So no I do not think all people are essentially good, but everyone is capable of it.

    • Jordan says:

      Maybe, but are is the majority of the population murderers or people who do the right thing and want good in this world. Generally the majority of the populatior are not criminals and are just regular pople like you and me. Even the Nazis were just following Hitlers orders they were forced into the German Army and had to follow orders or they would be killed.

    • Matthew says:

      Great use of volition!

  37. Riley says:

    Anne Frank really was an amazing person, who clearly had a strong belief that everybody can be good. Personally, if I were a Jew hiding from the Germans, and a mass genocide, I would be overloaded with anger and hate against the culture causing the crime. Still my personal feeling on this topic is that no, not everyone can be good, and that is a fact proven by history! All through-out time the human race has constantly been murdering and steeling. Especially the Nazi’s have proven that not all men are good. Take a look at Adolf Hitler for example. He created the idea that Jews relaxed and gained wealth while the Germans suffered and were in a very hard time during WW1. So he decided that all Jews, including children and women, should be punished for a crime that they didnt even commit. I believe that after you kill millions of innocent people there is no possible way that you can be viewed as having any good, except to your own people.

    So no, not everyone is good, and that is the truth.

    • Trevor says:

      I like your point when you said “I believe that after you kill millions of innocent people there is no possible way that you can be viewed as having any good, except to your own people.”

  38. Christina says:

    I believe there is essential goodness in people. Thought, I also believe that there are something that people do that are unforgivable, and make them terrible people. Terrible is a strong word that to me, really is only used to decribe the most loathsome of people, but I still believe there are those kinds of people out there. Whether a person sees someone as good or bad is their personal opinion. To me, I think it is a good thing that Anne Frank can see the good in people. She is living in a tiny garret, with about eight other people, hiding from the Nazi, and yet after all that she still thinks that these are not bad people. I applaud Anne for looking past eveything that these people have done to her friends, and family, and I hope someday I can look past peoples flaws like she does. But today, I still believe that some people out there are just too obnoxious and horrendous to still be conciderd “good”.

    • Edward says:

      I agree with you Christina if I had to do that I would be angry at them and if you look at it Anne is a great example of essential goodness because through all of that to think that the Nazis were good is big of her people today that know about world war 2 hate Nazis and think they’re evil

  39. Percy says:

    I do not think that people are essentially good. According to the Bible, eveybody sins. It says that when you’re just a tiny child you sin without meaning to. Therefore, nobody is really good. Also, a lot of people do bad things like lie and cheat. People can do good things, however, they’re not really good people. I think that people are essentially bad.

    • Sophie says:

      I agree with a lot of what you said, I really liked your bible reference. I think it depends on what people think “good” is. If good is “perfect” then yes, no one is good.

    • Matthew says:

      I think you are on to something here. You should go further into the basic nature of man. If we are predisposed to sin, we are no essentially good, are we?

  40. Sierra says:

    I believe all people are born essentially good. What happens to them in his or her childhood will affect them for the rest of their life. Through out life, people will go through heartbreaks, friend problems, or being bullied. When anything like this happens, it could scar you for life. The smallest of things can flip your whole world. No matter what happens you still have good in you way deep down. So do I believe people are essentially good? Yes I do.

    • Bret says:

      I agree with you 100%. All people are born good and it only takes on person to make them mad or just do the wrong things out of peer pressure.

    • 167290 says:

      Even if the smallest things turn someone into a totally different person, they sometimes get over it. If another person sees this they can hold a grudge against that person because they feel bad. Then eventually another person joins in on the hatred.

  41. Zachary says:

    I believe that all people have large amounts of evil swarming around their heart, clutching it with great strength and force. Now its that person choices and mistakes that led to this crime we see in our very own streets everyday. However I believe that half of people on earth make stupid decisions like it says in this article. (which we be at the of this comment) That some people have good in them put they would sink to the bottom of the ocean and kill someone for money and other desirable thing, which has always been in the blood of the human races. Which is why people cant control themselves and do the most preposterous thing in the entirely world, consume the planet little by little each day until are self well be consume. People make mistakes all time which part of growing up but if you let that control you then it WILL control you sooner or later.

    • Tyler says:

      We make stupid discions because we are tempted and we essentially don’t know how to say no. Once the evil builds up it’s hard to turn from our evil ways because it eventually becomes a life style. The evil hole we dig ourselves into can be hard to get out of.

  42. Janelle says:

    I think that all people are essentially good but not basically good. The way I see it is that if someone is essentially good, then they could be good if they tried, but generally don’t try hard enough to go for it all the way. I see basically good as they’ve done bad things but the pretty much good people. I think that these terms are completely contradicting. I think that though all people are essentially good, not all want to show it. Either because they’ve been ridiculed before and don’t want to go back, or they just want to fit in. I don’t think that a belief in essential goodness is too naive, just hopeful. And where would we be without hope? also, it’s not that if you don’t have a belief in essential goodness everyone’s going to hate you, but i think that if you think that those around you might be essentially bad, then wouldn’t you always be suspicious? this is just me but i wouldn’t really want to hang out with someone who is never sure if I’m a good person or not until they really know me, and i just don’t have that kind of patience. So yes, if a random person asked me if i thought they were a good person, i would say i don’t know, but that wouldn’t stop me from smiling at them. I think that although people are essentially good, some people need to work at it more than they do now, because trust me, in the end; it’s worth it to make someone smile.

    • Nikol says:

      Your first sentence really made me think because that is a good thought. You are right that everyone is good if they ry but they don’t and thats what makes them seem as if they are a monster. And another point that was good is that you never really know if that person is good until you talk to them and hang out a little, and that is the truth. People always judge people by their cover and never really seek them out at what they truly are.

    • Matthew says:

      could you provide clear specific examples?

  43. Nikol says:

    I think that in all people there is goodness that floats in their veins. There could never be someone who is wrapped around darkness all the time. Everyone faces guilt when they know they have done something dreadful to a stranger or love ones. Everyone in the world is essentially good even thought you might not think so because it all depends on your point of view too. To people that were all for Hitler loved him and thought that no one could be better then him, while others totally disagree.

  44. Bret says:

    Anne Frank being a prisoner in her own house may be saying that all people are good for hope, she may just be looking for the positives in things and not being negative.
    I think that all people are born good and be changed by parents, friends, or relatives. Everybody has a chance to be good but getting caught up in the wrong type of people is what can make them bad, or even just not good. I believe that even when kids or adults seem bad and do the wrong things everybody still has some good in them they just need the help from somebody to get it out of them.

    • Brandon says:

      I totally agree with you about how you choose your friends and your environment to see how you react with other people and how you act to people. If you have a friend that does very bad stuff then you are likely to do the same thing. Choosing who you hang out with is very important to see if you have essential goodness.

    • Sophie says:

      I agree with you that when people are born they start out with a clean slate, and it depends on parents, friends, relatives to change who they are as a person.

  45. Edward says:

    I think people are essentially good deep down but in truth you need to think about people that may have had troubled pasts for example. The students from schools like Columbine were bullied and when you have no one to talk to you may get frustrated and it could led to things like that. While they may have had some moral problems that’s not the only reason they did what they did what they did. Another thing is that if people don’t believe in that problem it still is human nature to be moral. So in my opinion is that humans are basically “good” but it all depends on your view of good.

  46. Jordan says:

    Are people essentially good I think so. People usually do the right thing when they are tested and most people are willing to help others. Our society has been based around the idea that everyone should be doing good things and not braking the laws. If everyone was essentially bad at their core, then we would not have any laws and based on “popular sovereignty” the majority of the populace would vote to have no laws and there would be chaos everywhere. Since the main streem population are not criminals most people like to have order and madness could be a metaphor for bad while order could be a metaphor for good. Good always wins also whether it is a super hero movie or World War Two the good side always wins. The bad people are essentially outliers that everyone seems to follow out of fear like the Nazis. The Nazis followed hitler and were given orders to do what they did it does not mean they wanted to do the actions they were told to do they had to, or they would be killed as well.

    • Matthew says:

      I would argue that we have laws in reaction to deeds people have done in the past. Would you say laws and their consequences are put in place to discourage people from acting in their natural “bad” instincts?

  47. Tyler says:

    People are not good because the bible says we were born in to sin, we were born siners. This is an evil world this is Satans world until Jesus returns, if I’m being to biblicle, too bad. People may have good i deas and good actions but deep inside we all have evil. History tells us that, In ancient Egypt they had slaves, In ancient Europe Romans conqured, same thing happened during the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930’s – 40’s. People may act good but they aren’t good.

    • Matthew says:

      Some revisions needed, but your idea of basic human goodness being trumped by original sin is great. I think you could go more into this. Those who say they are religious (in the Judeo-Christian sense) might have a hard time agreeing with Anne. The basic tenet of Christianity is that all humans are sinners and can only achieve eternal life through divine intervention (i.e. faith in God). If Christianity can be summed up this way, then it must be said, in your view, that all are not essentially good.

  48. Brandon says:

    I think her positive thinking was just trying to cheer things up at the time. I bet she knew that things were bad at the time but she just tried not to think about it. Her parents probably tried to prove her parents wrong. When she says that everybody has essential goodness she is just trying to make the Nazis and Hitler look better and not like the monsters they really are. I think that not everybody has goodness in their hearts but some do.

    • Matthew says:

      I’m unsure where you stand on this issue. Also, wondering what you mean by “Her parents probably tried to prove her parents wrong.” Can you clarify?

    • Isaac says:

      I agree with what you are saying because she had to have known the Nazis were bad news but she still said the were good at heart. I think ,like you said in your post she was trying to make herself feel better at the time.

  49. Sophie says:

    Everyone does bad things, but those bad things shouldn’t define someone as a “bad” person. I think you know if someone is essentially good if they know what they are doing is bad or good. Someone that believes that the wrong choices are the right thing is bad in my book. Good people are the ones that know they are doing something wrong, that when they make a mistake they feel regret. I do believe that its being somewhat naïve to think everyone is essentially good, just because of what things I’ve learned in my past and people I’ve known. Some people are so deep into their dreadfulness that they can’t be helped, and those that see the good in them and try to help them are wasting their time.

    • Matthew says:

      “Some people are so deep into their dreadfulness that they can’t be helped” Wow! this is a strong statement. I’d like to know who you are referring to as far as a group of people or specific individuals are concerned. This was a great sentences with a lot more meaning behind it. Explore this!

  50. Nicholas says:

    Everyone has to do bad things, but the small, unharmful sins that people commit shouldn’t make another view one as a “bad” person.
    After all, everyone tries to strive for goodness but if we attempt to keep going on the path of good, we eventually stray towards hidden or stray opportunities that in a way can not be good. Even if someone is clearly showing sin, violence, or just not the right thing, truly inside they want to do good or helpful things to be seen as a well mannered person.

    • Matthew says:

      So, your argument is that we should judge people’s basic intentions over their actual acts? This is a good thought. Teachers call this grading holistically. I grade you on an overall sense of your work and effort, not on simple details.
      If we judge a person on each single action as a “plus-minus system” then we’ll never get a good overall sense of whether someone is essentially good. Let’ judge overall intentions.

  51. Brittney says:

    In my opinionI would say that peopel are essentially good. I belive that people are good right down to their core when they are born. What I think causes people to turn bad when something hurts a child inside or when a child get’s scared by something.

  52. 167290 says:

    All people are essentially good, no matter where you come from. From the people that will be mentioned in the history books forever or the typical criminal. Someone eventually provoked those people from others abusing, harassing and bullying them or from something that happened in an accident. Someone just doesn’t wake up and decide to be bad and kill someone. Even if someone does nothing to cause that person pain they can just snap from stress or from being frustrated.

  53. Brynn says:

    Paige i am going to have to disagree with you. I believe if a person hangs out with people who do drugs, it must mean they agree with those ideals. If you did not agree with those ideals then why would you befriend someone of that nature? people all make there own choices. They are not bad, nor good. The true test of whether or not a person is good on the inside is by looking at there actions.

  54. Brynn says:

    I believe that a person is not essentially good at the core, or bad. Sure a person is raised and is going to take some of how their parents treated them and impose them on others, but that is not the whole story. A person is defined by there decisions and actions, not by their parents. I strongly believe a persons friends reflect on them. If you did not agree with what these “friends” were saying then why would you hangout with them? Even if you say, ” I wont get caught up in drugs,” but you hang out with people who do drugs, eventually you yourself will be given the choice to do them yourself.

  55. Isaac says:

    I think people were supposed to be essentially good but strayed far from that in the Garden of Eden. I think now we all have a sinful nature even though we can tell right from wrong. Some people choose to do the right thing over the wrong thing but some are the other way around. When Anne says people are essentially good I think she is making a mistake because we all have a sinful nature.

    • Kyle says:

      I agree, Isaac. People can tell right from wrong, but they some of them choose to do wrong, yet other may choose to do right. Then there are those who intend to do right, but get caught up on the wrong side.

  56. Trevor says:

    I believe all people are essentially good. I also believe everyone tries to do what they think is good and if someone makes a bad decision it doesn’t determine that everything they do from then on will be bad.

  57. Bret says:

    I love going out to eat in general, but I love it even more when I order a small and the place accidentaly gives me a large for the price for a small. That just makes my day that much better! I also love going out to eat and having the place screw up your order so they give you what you want for free! It is especially awesome when you or somebody else at my table likes what they brought so we can bring that home for leftovers. It is getting two meals, but for free!!! AWESOME!!!

  58. Kyle says:

    I believe that most people are essentially good. They may look bad on the outside, but on the inside they could be the kindest person alive. On the other hand a small amount of people are bad right from the start. Unlike me they may have grown up in a bad neighborhood. A neighborhood where there are shoot-out every day. His/her parents could have done drugs or they may have beaten him/her.

  59. Dominic says:

    People are good. People are bad also. Most people in wars are good also. It’s just the Government of the soldiers’ country thats bad. Like World War II, the Americans were attacked by Japan. Japans Government gave the order to bomb Pearl Harbar, not the people. The people of Germany for instince were not all bad. Some people were forced to be part of the Nazi party. The bad people of Germany were the ones who enjoyed killing jews, they didnt have to kill them, but they did. Only for self pleasure. For more explinations, I reccomend you watch Letters from Iwo Jima.

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