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"What is better: to be born good or...
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"What is better: to be born good or to overcome your evil nature?' -Paarthurnax

Is it better to be good and resist evil or to have been evil and to reform? I'm writing a response to this quote and could use some help. Thanks!
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In terms of fictional characters, it's better to start out evil because it makes for a more compelling story. Some of the entertainment can come from being able to catch a glimpse of what it's like to be Bad without risk of punishment; but mostly stories involving redemption appeal to us because we all have flaws and bad habits that we want to overcome. We all want to be better people, and watching evil characters slowly become good gives us hope that our smaller reforms can also be accomplished. Also, characters that are "born good and resist evil" always succumb to it sooner or later.

In terms of real people, it's kind of a pointless question because absolutes like that don't exist. I believe that all people are a mix of both good and evil. To steal a quote that's probably from a video game, "the line between good and evil runs through every heart." No one is born completely good or completely evil, so the best choice is to resist the evil that you're not and overcome the evil that you are.
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>>37711
Evil is subjective.

Hell, even actions that are widely regarded as evil might not come from an evil stance - I'd even be willing to say, most of the time, they don't.
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>>37724
Great response, thank you!

>>37726
I thought about that too - What's considered evil to one may be considered a normal human response to another.
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It depends on your ethical or religious framework. If you adhere to consequentialism (e.g. utilitarianism) then there is no difference. As long as you act good, it's all the same. If you subscribe to deontology (e.g. Kant's ethics), then the second is vastly superior. If being good comes natural to you, it's meaningless. Overcoming your evil nature is a struggle worthy of admiration and rewards. I guess this also ties into Protestantism, where toiling on earth will be rewarded in heaven. If you look at it from an Aristotelian perspective, it becomes it bit more difficult. Aristotle believed there were good and bad people, but also that you could "train" being virtuous. In fact, you had to train being good, so he would probably say the first is impossible and the second is what makes a good life.

It really depends what you put your focus on: results, choice, decisions, effort, intentions, etc.
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