On introspection and human wickedness.

Many people cite the evidence of introspection as their reason to believe that the (alleged) good elements of humanity exist — love, altruism, etc. But is that really honest introspection? When I look into my own character, I see all kinds of dishonesties, cruel desires, prejudices, and general nastiness. I don’t think I’m worse than the average person — do those who introspect their way to faith in humanity just ignore those aspects of their own character? Or am I worse than average?


6 Responses to “On introspection and human wickedness.”

  1. Jeff Albert Says:

    Paul do you really want an answer to that? I will refrain from any lawyer jokes, or music management jokes when answering the question: are you worse than the average person? But now I can’t answer the question.

  2. Paul Gowder Says:

    Hah, I submit, Jeff, that those who manage musicians are actually of better character than those who don’t, sort of like how nurses who work in leper colonies…

    (Of course, after the music management experience ends, one is probably much wickeder than when one began.)

  3. Mike Says:

    Yet another reason I’ve stopped judging people based on intent – which is just inner mental state. I look at a person’s actions.

    Intent is basically bullshit, anyway.

    I’ve thought of murdering people before. I’ve never done it, though, and don’t think I would.

    Does thinking about murdering someone make a person evil?

    In a sense, it’s why I don’t like Christians or most liberals. Both are always telling me how pure their hearts are. When you look at how they live, though, you see it’s all bullshit. I’m thinking of rich Christians and rich liberals who tell me how much they love the poor. Whatever!

  4. Aaron Says:

    Mike –

    I have never thought of murdering anyone. Really.

  5. Mike Says:

    Aaron: I’m sorry for you. Really.

    If you’ve never thought of murdering anyone, you life hasn’t had enough excitement. You haven’t lived through the high-highs and the low-lows.

  6. Michael Drake Says:

    “But is that really honest introspection?”


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