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The Fundamental Differences Between Us

When people disagree, one thing I always try to do is figure out what is the fundamental disagreement. If you get to the very bottom of an argument you will normally find the main presupposition upon which you disagree. I find this exercise extremely helpful in that it makes me think about my own position and it also helps me intelligently debate against the contrary opinion.

Let me give you an example of how this works. Let's take the issue of gun control. On one side you have those who advocate for a European style gun control and on the other you have those who advocate for the status quo or even less regulation on firearms. Why this disagreement? On both sides are people who are rational, intelligent, who love their children and truly want what is best for this country (of course their are malicious trolls on both sides as well). This is where it is helpful to get to the bottom issue. Let me walk you through what I think the foundational issue is.

The gun control advocates (I am generalizing broadly) want guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens. They don't want them around except for military and police. When I listen to these people and hear their arguments I think they basically believe two things: First, that it is primarily the government's job to protect you. This means it is not your job, at least not first. There is an assumption by this group that the protection of life and property are primarily to be protected by someone else, i.e. the police. The second assumption they have is that the people in power can be trusted. In limiting who may have weapons there is an assumption on their part that the 'authorities' are trust-worthy and good. So, to sum up their foundational argument it goes like this: it's the government's job to protect you, and we can trust those in power.

Now, let's look at the gun advocate side. It's basically the opposite view. Why must a citizen be able to have a weapon (besides that it is an inherent right, ect.)? It is for two basic reasons: First, it is primarily the individual's responsibility to protect one's life and property. This implies that it is not the government's job, at least not primarily. If someone breaks into my house I will get my weapon and call the police, in that order. I want the police to come, but it is my responsibility, right, and duty to protect myself, family, and property first. The second reason is this; people are basically bad. There is a lot of garbage out there saying people are basically good deep down. But this simply is not true. We have great capacity to do good, this is true. However, we are deep down bad. We tend towards evil, not good. This is true of those in power as well. History teaches us that power corrupts. It teaches us that those in power will eventually abuse it and subjugate their people. While their are many people in power in the US who are good, responsible, and decent, they still have the tendency to do bad. I am not a fatalist, but the reality is; people are bad, and given the opportunity, they will do wrong. This premise urges me to arm myself, not as some crazy militant, but as one living in the reality of the world. So, to sum up the gun advocate/libertarian position; it is primarily your responsibility to protect your life and property, and people are basically bad.

Until we begin to engage on the foundational issues, we will never make progress in spreading liberty. We can debate facts, we can get emotional, but the most profitable thing we can do is get people to talk about the fundamental differences between us. What do you think?




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Exactly.

"If people where so bad then the first 2 would have long ago slit the others throat."

Cain & Abel?

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

...we are deep down bad. We

...we are deep down bad. We tend towards evil, not good.

This conclusion is based on ignorance, that is, the not knowing of something. The something is the acknowledgement of domination, of control.

This control courses through history since at least 2,000 years ago and, from the biblical perspective, is what Jesus talked about. The control is from a small band of people trying to enslave everyone. Looking at geography relative to wars among disparate peoples through the past 2,000 years produces a clear picture: What you and I are fighting is what people back then were fighting, the money changers.

To control money is to control trade, and half of trade is the person. So, controlling money is to control the users of it, the persons trading. Controlling money is concurrent with building a society, and often in society historically is a centrality, and in this centrality is mandates first in money then in all other aspects of life. This process is consolidation through those dastardly cycles booms and busts. Is it any wonder how behavior changes, changes that were from contrived, or unnatural, environments that had to persist without a significant period of living naturally returning to the people who were changing? If it is a wonder to you, please see the second paragraph of this comment in this thread about the good-bad claim.

This connection is easy to make and understand and that someone of DPer intelligence doesn't recognize it surprises me.

The story then is the story now, man versus man. A very small percentage of man manipulating the rest man to control him. If a very small percentage of man has been trying to enslave mankind, wouldn't the conclusion be that the other members of mankind, the subjects of slavery who in the course of living would discover they are slaves, be good? If the majority of man was enslaving the minority of man, then the minority's slavery would have happened long ago, correct? So, how is mankind anything but good?

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton F. Dutton

Perhaps we agree more than you think

You say this at the end:

he story then is the story now, man versus man. A very small percentage of man manipulating the rest man to control him. If a very small percentage of man has been trying to enslave mankind, wouldn't the conclusion be that the other members of mankind, the subjects of slavery who in the course of living would discover they are slaves, be good? If the majority of man was enslaving the minority of man, then the minority's slavery would have happened long ago, correct? So, how is mankind anything but good?

I agree that there are always those who are trying to control others. History shows us this pattern over and over again. I also agree that it is good if those in slavery discover they are slaves.

My premise is that mankind's fundamental nature is hardwired to do that which we consider bad. Your post backs this up as well. You agree that the course of human history is a lesson of some people trying to (and successfully) enslaving others. This is bad! Why does this happen over and over again? Because our nature is bad. In fact, if those who were slaves became free, history also teaches us they do the EXACT same thing to others that was done to them. For example, think of the Peasant revolts in Germany in the middle 1500's. Under the teachings of Martin Luther (and others) the German peasants rose up in revolt against the aristocracy. The peasants slaughtered thousands and thousands of people, a majority of whom were just ordinary people. It was a blood bath. The point is, those who are slaves would do the same thing as those who are masters if given the chance. That is because we are basically bad. That is why, as Libertarians, we fight to make sure NO ONE ever has a chance to put us in chains. And we create a system so that our children can't do the same.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Self correction. I made an

Self correction.

I made an error. I said "...wouldn't the conclusion be that the other members of mankind...be good?" "Be good" is wrong grammatically (because "be good" just doesn't make sense) and what I meant is are good. I'm sorry I made the mistake. So with that correction in mind, what do you think about that sentence?

You said you agree there always are people trying to control people. Yes, but my statement is different than yours. I say the people who are controlling are the same people, rather, a lineage of people, not just anyone because anyone would be arbitrary and not withstand observation today and history as opposed to the history taught worldwide in government schools or schools governments influence, accidental history.

The difference between our arguments is large. Because I identify a small group of people who believe they have a calling to enslave everyone and that your argument is vague in that it doesn't identify a people, thereby saying everyone is bad (read: man is bad), it's necessary our conclusions differ from each other and that our premises differ, one of which I hope you reply to because it's corrected.

To the issue of slaves discovering they are slaves, well, I think it's good depending on circumstances. Yes, I know that sentence invites more discussion, which we can have, but without your asking for it, I won't go into it.

"[Slavery] is bad! Why does this happen over and over again? Because our nature is bad. In fact, if those who were slaves became free, history also teaches us they do the EXACT same thing to others that was done to them."

Your assertion here is why I used the word ignorance. Before I go further, know that I don't say it to denigrate you. I say it because I take words literally. I try to use the right words. Onward. Because I said "ignorance" is that your post is absent crucial information about history: the money changers. I know and I bet you know they control an inordinate amount of things on this planet. That control is bound to affect everyone. That affect, however, is false. False how? Why, just look: It goes and goes and goes and, assuming the controller want to enslave everyone still, can finish only when everyone not the controllers are enslaved so they, the slaves, cannot rebel, hence what I said, that there can be no substantial lapse in the falsity, in the peddling of lies.

That is why I mentioned the environment the falsity occurs in: consolidation. This environment, though, is a process, really. The environment is contrivance, unnatural, placing people in it to compete against each other instead of living with one another, a rat race, you could say. To help understand this environment, please click the link I put in my comment you replied to, where DPer tamckissick in his/her second paragraph succinctly explained the economy's involvement in human behavior.

So, the players are the money changers and their mode is consolidation. Without you acknowledging these two factors, our courses of thought must conclude differently. So, sarx, do you acknowledge the money changers and their using consolidation since at least Jesus' time?

As for your want to create a system to ensure slavery prohibition, expand on it so I can comment on it. It's too broad of a comment for me to comment on. Thanks and talk with you later.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton F. Dutton

You say a lot here

So I will probably not be able to give the reply your comment deserves.

You say, "the people who are controlling are ... a lineage of people, not just anyone because anyone would be arbitrary and not withstand observation today and history as opposed to the history taught worldwide in government schools or schools governments influence, accidental history."

I am just confused by this. So you are saying that those who try to control are just a select group of people, a certain race or something? I agree that the group controlling is a small segment of the world's population. I suppose what I meant is that most people would do the same thing given the chance. Those in control got their because they were born into it, or through some chance of life got into that situation. My point is that any human would do the same if given the chance because it is in our nature to enslave others. My example of the Peasant Revolt was apt.

Ever heard of the curse of the lottery? Anyone who wins pretty much gets their life ruined. This is not because money is evil, but with money comes power, and power corrupts. My premise that our nature is inherently bad is shown when one has the power to do what he/she wants, i.e. winning the lottery.

I won't bite on the slaves discovering they are slaves thing. While it sounds like an interesting discussion I think it would take us off topic more.

"So, sarx, do you acknowledge the money changers and their using consolidation since at least Jesus' time"

Yes. Sure. I would agree that this has been happening, even before Jesus' time.

"As for your want to create a system to ensure slavery prohibition expand on it so I can comment on it."

I suppose I wasn't trying to advocate for any system, rather, just trying to support my original premise that humans are inherently corrupt. I do think slavery is bad, depending on how we define slavery of course, and freedom is good. But, it really just depends on how we define our terms.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Yes, I am saying the people

Yes, I am saying the people who are controlling is a "select" few. lol. Funny word -- select. Who selected them? Themselves. lol.

The statement I made that confused you and you asked me about is the difference between you and me. Yes, I know you meant you think anyone would enslave every if "given the chance." But, to be candid with you, sarx, "if given the chance" just doesn't hold up to reality. If reality is observed.

I observe and reflect on reality, not push my ideas into it. Which is to say, yes, sarx, I think you do push your ideas into reality rather than allow reality to inform you. I mentioned accidental history because for us, people of the present and who don't know the past (because we didn't live it), history is something that can be measured against the (people of the) present and recent history.

Accepting history school text books and books most people consume is wrong. But to think about it in relation to most individuals serves a picture of history that's close to accurate or is accurate, here understanding that generalities are used which is fine. Most individuals including myself and probably you don't have an inkling of want to control anyone let alone enslave anyone. To do that is to be out of control and of course to not live one's own life, a frustrating activity, I would think.

I don't know what else to say about this topic, sarx. Your observation of people and my observation of people are immensely different and I acknowledge the money changers of old are here today and that their activity is why there are problems, problems it looks to me that you don't attribute to them. That difference is thinking, making connections. Your view on this topic is arbitrary whereas mine is anything but. Mine is focused.

Good day, sarx.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton F. Dutton

You do point out our difference

Well, I don't think it's fair to say that my view is arbitrary. But, I think you have accurately pointed out our difference. We both see bad in the world. You attribute it to a select few money changers, I attribute it to human nature being corrupt. What's great is we can clearly see our differences at last. Good day to you as well. Thanks for engaging with me.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Almost. Not select few money

Almost. Not select few money changers. Rather, the money changers -- who are few and select, self selected.

Questions:

1) Do you believe the money changers live and do you believe they control and influence major events in our country and other countries?

2) If yes and yes, do you believe those events affect the inhabitants of the US and the inhabitants of those countries?

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton F. Dutton

Ok

Thanks for clarifying.

1) Yes. But maybe not the same way you do? I believe those money changers have power and use it for their own ends. However, I don't believe it is guided by some organization or singular intelligence with a singular goal. I think the money changers are guided by their own nature.

2) Yes. I believe those in power (the money changers) are often not the ones we think are in power and their actions, greed, ect. do effect us in the US. I'm not exactly sure what we can attribute to them, but I would venture a guess the housing bubble and collapse in 2008 is a safe bet.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Denise B's picture

I agree with your premise

wholeheartedly, that people are basically bad, but can have a capacity to do great good as well (although I believe that our potential to do good exists only by the grace of God). It is a difficult topic to get everyone to agree on, because quite often there are differing points of view on not only what bad behavior consists of, but also how and at what point does bad behavior begin.

As a Christian, I believe in original sin, and as a parent, I have witnessed unlearned, bad behavior very early on in a child's life which reinforces that belief. For me, the benchmark for bad behavior is spelled our clearly in the 10 Commandments. They are God's own guidelines for specific actions that are considered bad by His standards and a brief review of them quickly reveals that there is not one person alive (save 1 about 2,000 years ago) that was able to live an entire life without violating them. Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal, thou shall not covet, thou shall not bear false witness (lie), thou shall not commit adultery, thou shall honor they mother and father (I am specifically leaving out the offenses toward God for the sake of this particular argument). If people are not basically born bad, than why is it impossible to find a person who has never violated any of these rules? Do any of us know anyone, ourselves included, that has never once told a lie....never once looked at another's good fortune with envy....never once acted disrespectfully toward a parent...never once ever taken anything that did not belong to them, no matter how insignificant it may seem? If people are basically good, you would think you would at least be able to find some people who have never committed these actions, but I challenge anyone out there to present an individual that has not.

Even for those who do not believe in God, which items on the list of Commandments (save the first 3 which are direct offenses against God alone), would you consider to be "good" behavior?

Human history bears the truth of this out. Show me one civilization since the beginning of history that did not ultimately fall due to greed, crime and corruption. Just one. They always fail because your premise is true...we are an imperfect species with a propensity for bad behavior. We don't just do bad things, but quite often take delight in doing bad things. In fact, the Bible can be summed up by this one simple sentence. It is the reason that Jesus came and it the reason that civilizations fail and will continue to fail until God finally tears it down and rebuilds it with His son as the center.

Until that time, it is just good common sense to take steps to protect yourself and your family from not only people in general, but primarily from governments, which typically is where the worst of the worst tend to gravitate. It is for that reason, that it is also good common sense to keep that government to the smallest size possible.

Lying is not in the ten commandments

Humans lie to avoid pain. It is not a sin, it is a highly evolved defense. The commandment is against bearing false witness against our neighbor. That is a very specific type of lie that involves a victim.

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:
http://bklim.newsvine.com/_news/2013/05/12/18212165-dr-stan-...

Are you sure?

Lying is in the 10 commandments. Or the 10 words as it literally reads in the Hebrew:
וְלֹא־תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁוְא׃

Are you going to try and say it means, "don't give a false witness in court?" Because it does mean that, but it means more than that. Let's just say I am an expert in this subject.

Also, Most Christian's view it as number 9. Although in the original Hebrew they are not labeled. We know there are 10 commands because it identifies itself as the '10 words', but Catholics, Jews, and Christians disagree about how to label them numerically.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

As it was translated to me.

I can't read Hebrew, I admit. I have always heard it translated as "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Court or no court, it (to me) gets tot he heart of habeus corpus - where is the victim? MOST lies are to cover our butt, and there is no real victim. If the boss says "Is that report ready?" And I say "Almost, it will be on your desk in the morning" and then I work on it all night because I had not even started it, it is a loss of sleep but not a "sin" in my view. When a kids says "No Mom, I did not eat that cookie" he is trying to avoid a swat. If we really want kids to tell us the truth, we have to stop PUNISHING them when they do, and that applies to adults, too. How long would ANYONE stay employed if they told their boss the truth about everything? I do not believe the Creator considers normal pain avoidance a "sin" - but when we harm another with our words, it is as if we murdered a part of them. A former employer decides to blackball you, and everyone who calls you for a reference is told "He never missed work, but - off the record, mind you - I think he was drunk half the time" you will NEVER KNOW. The job you applied for will go to someone else, with nothing more than a vague excuse - "over qualified" - "not enough experience" - whatever. It is that "false witness" that is damaging.

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:
http://bklim.newsvine.com/_news/2013/05/12/18212165-dr-stan-...

Your translation

is fine. But I still think it's not that simple. You are right to show how complex this is. For example, for something to be a lie, there has to be right to know the truth. A Nazi knocking on the door of a house in WWII asks "are there any Jews hiding in here?" Does the person tell the truth or lie? If they lie, is it really a lie? The answer I believe is they do not have to tell the truth, and that is not a lie. The Nazi, in my example, has no right to that knowledge. It's also the same when a stranger asks a women if she's pregnant. The stranger has no right to that knowledge, therefore the women can say what she wants and it's not wrong.

I think the best Christian understanding of what the 9th commandment requires and forbids is found in a document from the mid 1600's. The Westminster Larger Catechism says this about the command:

Question 144: What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

Answer: The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things: Whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requires; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of: Whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.

Question 145: What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?

Answer: The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbors, as well as our own, especially in public judicature; giving false evidence, suborning false witnesses, wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth; passing unjust sentence, calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked; forgery, concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calls for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others; speaking the truth unseasonably, or maliciously to a wrong end, or perverting it to a wrong meaning, or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice;speaking untruth, lying, slandering, backbiting, detracting, tale bearing, whispering, scoffing, reviling, rash, harsh, and partial censuring; misconstructing intentions, words, and actions; flattering, vainglorious boasting, thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others; denying the gifts and graces of God; aggravating smaller faults;hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession;unnecessary discovering of infirmities; raising false rumors, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defense; evil suspicion; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any, endeavoring or desiring to impair it, rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy; scornful contempt, fond admiration; breach of lawful promises; neglecting such things as are of good report, and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering: What we can in others, such things as procure an ill name.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

"undue silence in a just cause"

I like that one. No one will ever accuse me of that... or silence on much of anything - lol!
Seriously, that is very cool, thanks for posting.

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:
http://bklim.newsvine.com/_news/2013/05/12/18212165-dr-stan-...

glad you liked it!

Some cool stuff in old documents :)

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Great comment

I really like what you said, especially this: "Show me one civilization since the beginning of history that did not ultimately fall due to greed, crime and corruption. Just one. They always fail because your premise is true"

Also, it should be noted that this type of Christianity (that holds to the idea of original sin and it corrupting everything) is not only 100% compatible with the tenets of Liberty, but it is actually the source. There are of course many variations of Christianity that are not compatible with Liberty. They want to force their opinion and way of life on all. However, in my humble opinion, true Christianity (did I just say that?!) will lead to Libertarian political views. Don't hurt me! Just an opinion.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Denise B's picture

I would never hurt you ;),

and I agree with what you are saying, for the most part. I think the way that this country was originally founded was very much in line with what a Christian nation should look like. Everyone's rights are established and respected as well as differing religions and traditions, as long as these things do not violate the established laws of the land, which for the most part were modeled after God's laws. I say that because although I lean Libertarian, I would qualify that statement with "in all areas that do not violate the basic tenents of Christianity", i.e. I would not agree that homosexual marriage is a right (mostly because once it is established as a right, churches are now obligated to perform them or become "civil right violators" and subject to legal repercusion), nor do I believe that abortion is either, but I do fully support the Bill of Rights in it's entirety and believe that they should be defended adamently.

I don't think there is any place in "true" Christianity for those that wish to "force their opinion and way of life on all" simply because that is incompatible with what Jesus taught. He never tried to "force" His way into anyone's life, nor were His apostles taught to spread the Gospel in this way either. It was always presented as a choice, and it can only be truly accepted willfully...using force doesn't work. But at the same time, I do not think that expressing your views on a particular subject (like homosexuality, promiscuity or immorality in general) should be considered trying to force your views either. Everyone is entitled to their opinion (politically correct or not) and Christians should never be accused of trying to "force" their views on other simply by expressing an opinion.

Great post, btw. You made a lot of good points. :)

I agree

with all you wrote above. Nice post.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

If I believed people are inherintly bad,

the last thing I would ever want is Liberty for all.

THE MORE I LEARN ABOUT GOVERNMENT
THE MORE I LOVE MY GUNS
FourWindsTradingPost

No, instead

the last thing you'd want is for anyone to have absolute control over you, like a government. If people are basically bad, you want to be free from the tyranny that others will fall into. By maintaining that every individual is responsible for his/her self, and that you do in fact have inherent rights that cannot be separated from you, you protect yourself from people in a way that no other paradigm can.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Agree

The inherently good or bad argument can work either way. To me the reason for gun ownership is American exceptionalism-- america is the only country in the world willing to share true political power (the gun) with its people.

Interesting Perspective

That's a new thought to me, thanks for sharing. I think we can say at least the founding idea was to share the gun. I bet those in power now would be pretty happy for us regular folk to not have guns. At least that is where it looks to be heading.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

I realize that there is a long discourse below, but I disagree..

that people are inherently bad. People learn over time a philosophy that guides their actions.

Without guidance or the ability to communicate complex ideas, men would behave much like animals in the wild. Do animals kill each other beyond the necessity for survival (for food, for rights to procreate, or protection of their domain)? Even in the event of two males fighting over a female, animals rarely kill one another. This suggests to me that animals are inherently peaceful. Only when there is an ability to learn do animals develop mal-intent. Humans are no different.

Great reply!

Thanks for taking the time. Your position is not uncommon and it's great that we can get to the bottom premise and take a look at them. Just to clarify my point; people are inherently bad, but we have a great capacity for good. I have three kids and I can tell you that I have never once intentionally taught my kids how to lie, steal, be selfish, and fight. In fact, I teach them the opposite. Yet somehow they from a very very young age tend towards those behaviors. I have to teach them to share and be nice, not to fight and be selfish.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Sharing is not a natural behavior...

All animals wish to protect their property by instinct. I imagine if you bought your child an iPad, you wouldn't want them to share that, huh?

On another note, how many times have you heard a child say - "I was going to tell you, but I thought you would get mad" - ?

How many times have you reprimanded a child for being too honest and embarrassing either yourself or another person?

How often do parents still punish their children even after they've fessed up? What message does it send when the child decides to lie as a result and successfully escapes punishment?

You're not the only person teaching your child. Those behaviors are learned.

inconsistencies and contradictions

Suppose you have two children...child "A" received a gift of a bag of candy and that child came to you crying because the other child, child "B" ate half of it when no one was looking. You chide child "B" as violating the property of child "A"...you've taught child "B" a moral lesson -- respect the private property of others. A few weeks later, child "B" brings some candy to school and some other children demand a portion and child "B", proud of having learned an important moral lesson says, "no, this candy is my private property." The teacher comes over and takes the candy away from child "B" and distributes it among the class, and says "you must share your candy!" When child "B" complains to his parents later, they say that what the teacher did was good and proper.

Child "A" and child "B" have an argument over nothing important and child "A" pulls the hair of and spits on child "B". Child "B" runs to parents and says "my brother spit on me and pulled my hair" and child "A" says "no, he spit on me and pulled my hair." Because child "A" is older, parents believe child "A" and punish child "B" for hair pulling, spitting and lying. Child "A" has learned he can bully his brother and lie with impunity and child "B" is thoroughly confused and has learned through both experiences that adults are crazy and to not believe a thing they say.

Just a couple of memories from my own childhood and how confusing a parents "teachings" can be.

NIce

parents teaching can be confusing. But, if we are inherently 'good' why do we even need to teach it? Obviously we are born lacking a capacity and a knowledge. Even after we teach it, children disobey.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

because "inherently good" doesn't equate with perfection

I think we're born with the basic knowledge of good and bad, but we do lack capacity to control ourselves all the time. Some people try harder than others. I think most people have more good in them than bad.

Curious

"I think most people have more good in them than bad"

Just curious what you base that on? I'm not sure that you're wrong, it kinda depends on how we define good and bad.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson