Calvin and Hobbes: Is Human Nature Good or Evil?

by Ian MacKenzie Feb 5, 2010
Classic Calvin and Hobbes cartoon debating on the true nature of humanity, with a dash of humour.

In typical Bill Watterson style, the strip above weaves philosophical debate between the antics of Calvin and Hobbes. This particular comic caught my eye, as it seems relevant to travelers.

Often, it seems the reason people decide not to travel is a fear of the world outside their borders. With few exceptions, they believe that most people are out to do them harm (that humanity is essentially evil).

A traveler, on the other hand, tends to believe the opposite. They embrace visiting other cultures and lands, because they trust that most people are out to help them; they believe humanity is essentially good.

The third option of course: is the people are crazy. This implies that the question itself is problematic, because you can’t possibly understand the motivations and worldviews of everyone. To judge humanity as mostly good or evil means you have to pass judgment, which says more about yourself then anyone else.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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