Humans are bad

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One of two opposing beliefs about human nature is that humans are innately evil or at least self-centered, and need strong laws to keep them behaving in a way that is best for the community. From this basic premise emerge ideas such as disciplinarianism, conformity, fundamentalism, and evangelism, as well as ideas such as accountability and responsbility, and some components of individualism.

This point of view forms the basis of the conservative and (especially) neoconservative political philosophies.


Historically, this viewpoint was advocated by the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588.04.05 - 1679.12-04), who argued that assertion of authority is necessary in order to prevent civil chaos.

Hobbes was later opposed by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712.06.28 - 1778.07.02), who argued that that man is good by nature but is corrupted by society. The opposing viewpoints of Hobbes and Rousseau often arise in discussions of political philosophy and are typically referred to as Hobbes vs. Rousseau.

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