Are People Born Good Or Bad?

Are humans good or bad? This is a question that has been debated for thousands of years and continues today. Maybe there is a way to help us figure it out. The best way to do that is to find people that are completely unbiased, and the best way to do that is by using people that have not been shaped by friends, culture, family, books, or other outside influences. According to, babies are a wonderful showcase of an unbiased mind. It is difficult to find out if they are naturally good or bad when they have limited options to test because of the babies’ inability to speak or carry out advanced movements. 


The University of Yale found a way to test the babies without harming them and without speech. Their results show that even babies have a sense of right or wrong and have the instinct to prefer requiring either good or bad. They put babies in front of puppets at a play with simple shapes making up the puppets. It may seem strange at first but the play can show if the babies know moral right or wrong. The play shows the bright colored climber puppet struggling and stumbling up a hill, with two other bright colored characters coming into play. One of the two characters that come into play helps the climber puppet by helping and pushing the main character up the hill. The other brightly colored puppet is being a nuisance, pushing the climber puppet down the hill.


Anyone can interpret the story, even the babies. After the play, the babies that watched the play were given a choice. They were given a choice to choose between one of the two puppets in the story that was not the climber puppet. The Yale study showed that the babies were much more likely to choose the helping puppet, showing that they naturally want to help. This could prove that people are naturally good, but they wanted to make sure that it wasn’t chance, so like any other study, Yale made a second experiment for the babies. In the second experiment, they had the climber puppet go to one of the two puppets, with the same babies from the first experiment watching. When the climber puppet went to the bad puppet, the babies stared at it substantially longer than when it went to the good puppet, showing they were very surprised. For example, if a person knocks someone on the ground, it wouldn’t be expected for the knocked person to get up and hug them, meaning anyone witnessing it would more than likely react to it in surprise. Now, this doesn’t prove that humans are born good, but it shows that humans have an instinct to prefer kind intentions over malicious ones. 


According to, “Most things are not good or bad, they just are”. This article explores if people are good or bad, but as most people know, no one is entirely just one. Almost everyone is just trying to do the best thing at any given time. This shows that humans are neither all good or all bad, but that people want to do their best to be good. This is the best we can do since we all have imperfections. Aren’t people good if they are trying to be? This debate could go back and forth forever, but in the end, all people can do is try their best.