[This is the first draft of the twelfth part of my Master’s thesis/book, Confession.
Comments and questions are always appreciated.]
That poster on Mulder’s office wall always intrigued me. I never watched the X Files, but even I know about that poster.
I want to believe, too. The statement belays hope and skepticism in all of four words. But I want to believe in the good in humanity, not extra-terrestrial life. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes just as hard. I took a class in college called “Civil Rights, Human Rights” in which we discussed the nature of human nature, the self and the other, and the id, the ego, and the super ego. Though abstract concepts, I think I can explain them well enough for my purposes.
The nature of human nature: Are we, as humans, inherently good or bad?
The self and the other: Where do “I” end and “you” begin? My skin? Your skin? What about the space between my skin and yours? What about “personal space”? This concept is also applicable to things, animals (especially pets), and ideas.
Id, ego, and super ego:  The id says, “I want a piece of candy.” The id represents base desires.  The ego says, “That baby has a lollipop. If I take it, I’ll have a lollipop.” The ego represents reason.  The super ego says, “Taking a lollipop from a baby is wrong. It would be like… taking candy from a baby.” The super ego represents the conscience, a personal sense of right and wrong.
As I said, those are extremely basic explanations, and I recommend reading more about them before running out and telling people you learned something new. They’ll do well enough for this section, though.
There are two basic definitions of humanity. First; as in to “have humanity” means to be able to be a decent, caring, well-meaning person to those around you and taking reasonable steps to protect animals and the Earth from harm. Nothing drastic, but to be an all-around good guy. The other definition, “to be a part of humanity,” is more literal: being a part of the entire human race.
Many great thinkers have tackled the inherent-but-maybe-not goodness that may or may not be apparent in large groups of people. In some ways, Hobbes and Darwin weren’t far off from each other; they were just studying different species. I am a great thinker, though not a well known one, and I desperately want to believe.
I know there is evil in the world. But I want people to be good from the beginning and then be corrupted by a bad society, not be bad when they’re born and then pressured into being good for appearance’s sake. I want to trust that people are good and want good things for their lives and families. Without goodness in the world, without inborn goodness, life is very depressing for me to think about.
I want to believe, but when large groups of people do horrible things and inflict terrible pain on other groups of people, I just can’t. How can a good world produce events like the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the Vietnam and Korean Wars, and other massacres and wars? Though a person may be good, in these cases, people are not.
Thankfully, the goodness in humanity is more easily traced than Mulder’s alien life, but also like Mulder, I am still searching for the truth. I want to believe, and I am hopeful, but there is so much against me that I doubt.