Humans are good Geoff Yuen We are living in the most moral period in human history. People used to torch women because they believed they were witches that caused diseases and crop failures, they sacrificed other humans to bring good fortune, they believed jews caused plagues, they believed demons could possess people, that some races are inferior and that homosexuality was a mental disorder.
The list goes on and on. But today, no rational person believes any of it, it may have taken us a long time to improve, but just as Dr. King had said – the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
The longing battles against racism, for gay rights and mortality rates, continue to prove humans are naturally good. Racism has been around forever and it still is, but that didn’t stop humans from trying to stop it. It all started when African slaves were brought to Europe in 1442, where slavery began in an act of greed from English men, using it as a way to profit their own pockets without having to do any work themselves. The Bible was often used to justify slavery, this is known as “The Pro-Slavery Argument”, it was used as a defense against many abolitionists, charging them with acting against God’s will. (Macinnes, CM). It wasn’t until 1865 the 13th amendment finally abolished slavery in the United States.
But that did not stop discrimination from stopping in America. African Americans were treated differently, from being told to sit at the back of the bus to the segregation in communities. It took many civil rights activists such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr to lay the foundation to abolish racism. “From the year 1929 to 1970, the amount of African American house members was only 12, from 1971 to 2018 there are a total of 112 African American house members” (History House). The immense spike of black house members only proves, that because these are elected officials that the American people became and are still becoming more open to the idea of African Americans in a position of power. Although it took them 566 years to elect its first black president, Barack Obama. Having had him in office points to a brighter future of equality and moral progress. Gay rights and same-sex marriage is a prime example of moral progress.
The first homosexual dates back to between 2900-2500 BC – a male body that was discovered buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age. (Telegraph). Despite homosexuality’s long history in many different cultures, it was still frowned upon in the western world. So much so homosexuality was deemed a “mental disorder” up until 1973 (Psychology today). Yet a few decades later almost everyone is for it; Same-sex marriage was legalized in all the states on June 26th, 2015 (CNN), LGBTQ people are more accepted and represented in media, of the 895 series regular characters expected to appear on broadcast scripted primetime programming in the coming year, 43 were identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This is the highest percentage of LGBTQ series regulars GLAAD has ever found (GLAAD).
As proven through the progress of the gay rights movement, over time it has become less acceptable of an argument that your beliefs, morals, and ways of life are better simply because they are yours. It is no longer acceptable to assert your own moral beliefs; you have to provide rational arguments and evidence or else it will likely be ignored or rejected. World War II is a key example of infliction of own moral beliefs. Adolf Hitler believed Germans are the superior race, where every other race is inferior to them and from that belief factors in the start World War II.
A key part of human nature is to fight over things: money, land, power etc. Upon that there will be conflict, but as humans continue to improve on science and reason, the number of wars and mortality rates will only continue to decrease. The absolute number of war deaths has been declining since 1946. In some years in the early post-war era, around half a million people died in wars; in contrast, in 2007 the number of all war deaths was down to 22139 (ourworldindata). This massive decrease is also supported by constant improvements of educational systems around the world. 50 years ago, almost one-quarter of youth lacked basic literacy skills compared to less than 10% in 2016 (UNESCO).
As Harvard professor Steven Pinker said, “Violence has been in decline over long stretches of time and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.”. News channels might not be showing it, but the world is generally getting better. Slavery is outlawed everywhere, same-sex marriage is legalized in all states, mortality rates have never been lower. Though things may seem catastrophic right now, with police brutalities, ISIS and mass shootings.
We must understand humans have faced worse before. It is under these strong winds and crashing waters, heroes, and leaders are born to unite us through all the pain, ultimately defining what it means to be human. Humans may not be perfect, we have a high tendency to fight over things and there will always be people who can’t accept or understand change. But those who believe in change outnumber those who don’t, and that proves humans are naturally good.
Work CitedBurton, Neel. “When Homosexuality Stopped Being a Mental Disorder.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers,18 Sept 2015, “First Homosexual Caveman Found.
” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 6 Apr. 2011, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8433527/First-homosexual-caveman-found.html.
“People Search | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives.” Member Profiles | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives, history.house.gov/People/Search?filter=1.”Same-Sex.
.Marriage Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 7 Sept. 2017, www.
cnn.com/2013/05/28/us/same-sex-marriage-fast-facts/index.html.With, A Conversation, et al.
“A History of Violence: Edge Master Class 2011.” A History of Violence:EdgeMaster..Class…2011..Edge.org, www.edge.org/conversation/mc2011-history-violence-pinker.