Assignment 8 Tabula rasa

“Are people inherently good or evil?” The answer from a person, who has gone through wars and genocide, will be quite different from the answer from a university student who can eat at all-you-can-eat dining halls every day. It is certainly easier for us to say people are inherently good as we have not been experienced same as people who are struggling for their survival. We have seen and experienced more beautiful things than them, and we have never been to hell on earth. I believe in humanity and I try my best to keep my faith in humanity as Anne Frank quoted, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart” (Frank). However, there are still questions left for me to ask, “Am I in a position where I can say that people are inherently good?” “What if the reality and truth of the real world surpass my biased and stereotypical assumptions on my faith in humanity?” “Can I naïvely say that people are inherently good and I believe in humanity and we can make a world a better place despite of all tragedies?” Based on what I have heard, experienced, and read, I will try to attempt to keep my questions in mind when I  answer the question on whether people are basically good or evil.


If I ask the question, “Are people basically good or evil?” to these children, What kinds of answers will I get?

In Emergency Sex, Kenneth Cain encountered with a so-called ‘evil society.’ 80,000 Tutsis were killed by Hutus and he criticize the United Nations for being irresponsible specifically Annan’s decision, “to defend only the UN’s image of impartiality, forbidding him to protect desperate civilians waiting to die. Next, it details the withdrawal of UN troops, even while blood flowed and the assassins reigned, leaving 800,000 Rwandans to their fate” (Cain). Although it’s absurd to say 800,000 Tutsis died because of the United Nations and Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Kofi Annan should be responsible for 1) Incapacity and decisions that valued their personal gains over lives of Tutsis 2) Accountability of the United Nations caused by corrupted framework and their corrupted leaders 3) Having a role of the protectors of peace 4) What they did in the Rwandan genocide was not what they had been preaching.

What Hutus did to Tutsis should not be tolerated in all aspects. What they did were inhumane, cruel, and evil. Excuses like being less-educated, failing to control emotions, and arguing for cultural and ethnical differences are illogical and invalid; therefore they should not accepted. According to the research carried out by Paul Bloom at Yale University, babies as young as six months old make moral judgment and can tell right from wrong (bloom). Tutsis knew exactly what they were doing. Also, the United Nations’ corrupted officers mentioned above also knew what they were doing were evil as well. However, rather than calling them evil, I want to label their behaviors and actions as evil. “Men are cruel, but man is kind” (Tagore). Collective behaviors and other sociological factors can influence people to behave in certain ways that a single individual doesn’t intend. The corrupted UN officers were not as bad as they first started their career. As they are blended into the complex and social framework that has selfish characteristic, they start to lose their good and humane characters. Also, not all the Hutus started as murderers. In the Rwandan genocide, the Hutus were led by their charismatic, but emotional leaders who made other Hutus like illogical and overwhelmingly emotional bulls. Some Hutus who were participated in the genocide were victims as well. People are weak and they are neither good nor evil. It’s a blank sheet of paper that can be easily colored with dark and light colors (Tabula rasa).

It's what you put on the paper.

It’s what you put on the paper. you can put beautiful colors, or ugly colors.



Bloom, Paul. “The Moral Life of Babies.” . The New York Times, 05 May 2010. Web. <>.

Cain, Kenneth, Heidi Postlewait, and Andrew Thomson. Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell on Earth. New York: Hyperion, 2004. Print.

“tabula rasa.” Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 22 Jun. 2013. < rasa>.


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