domingo, 14 de junio de 2009


I have been thinking a lot about the human behavior and the law this week.

Is it true that we behave in socially acceptable manners for fear of the legal consequences we will face?

Why do some of us seem to have an internal code of ethics/conduct that guides every step we take, and others seem to be lacking it? Is it that what guides their principles is of an external nature, meaning it does not come from their own convictions, but rather from fear instilled in them by the State or the Church?
I don't know, but I like the way this Chinese proverb addresses the matter, it concludes that "Laws are useless when men are pure, unenforceable when men are corrupt." However, the question remains: why are some men "pure" and others "corrupt"?

9 comentarios:

  1. I feel bad because as of late I've been hijacking this site. But I couldn't help being tempted to comment to the cuestions posted here in the last couple of days.

    In this one, the divide between "pure" and "corrupt" calls my attention.
    I want to pose this question to the poster: If I have the thought to kill my neighbor but don't act on it, I'm as much of a murderer as the one who is in jail because he did act on his thought?

    I don't Know but I think all of us depending on the situation (I'm a situationist) have the potential to become murderers, assassins, victims..., you name it.

    In other words, depending on the situation we find ourselves in, I think, we all have the potential to be "pure" or "corrupt"...

  2. Why some of us are pure and others corrupts, because we each have the choice to do one thing or the other. What we do is our own responsability. And we need to know how to differentiate between what's right and what's wrong.

    It's a matter of how each person was raised, the enviroment, the family, the friends, the school. The values and principles he/she believes in, that makes the difference on how a persons acts.

    That's why as you say there are people with codes of ethics/conducts and other who don't have any.

  3. Thanks Fernando and Mimi for your contribution to my post :).

    But Mimi, I still don't understand why people that are raised in the same household, sometimes turn out to be so "different".

  4. Yes I know, it's the personality of each one I guess, even if you are raised in the same household and received the same education, in the end it's you as a person that decides to applied or not that education and those values. That is why each individual is different from one another even twins. I think I know what you're feeling. It's difficult sometimes. Believe me. I've experienced first hand.

  5. Hi.

    I think we can find both: many people tend to behave in socially acceptable manners to avoid both legal and social consequences, but many others choose to act so because they are naturally inclined to do so. We find remarkable cases of people who decide to act righteously even when they could have decided otherwise to their own benefit, with no possibilities of being caught.

    I believe that it is currently accepted that genes play a large role in shaping our personality. Even siblings are born with different genetic makeups. (Those who have dealt with very young puppies or kittens from a same litter may have seen this firsthand ―I have.) That may help explain why some people within a same society (or even family) are more naturally law abiding than others, some seem to be immune to moral teachings.

    It is very striking that many of the serial killers come from normal families, with normal parents and normal siblings. Maybe they were born with the wrong genes.

    The old nurture factor (how we are raised, our environment, education, etc.) still plays an important role. Which may be more complex than previously thought: even siblings within a same family, given the same environment, education, etc., come out with different personalities and moral profiles. Genes partly explain it, but even if the difference in genes were minimal, other factors come into play: there have been some interesting theories on how our friends can play a larger role than our family in shaping our personality (Judith Rich Harris, “Why home doesn’t matter”, and on how the interaction among siblings or even the birth order can shape us (“The New Science of Siblings”,10987,1209949,00.html), and “Birth Order”

    I like your posts, and have been following your blog for some months now, although this is my first comment.

    P.S. I am not an expert, just someone interested in this subject.

  6. YEL Welcomo to my planet. What a pleasure it was to meet you!!! I greatly appreciate the time you put into your comment. I am very interested in this topic as well, so I thank you for your meaningful and heartfelt comment.

    Thanks for liking my blog. It is an honor for me to have you as a reader.

    Un abrazao de bienvenida a mi planeta :).

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