70% of my students responded to the below homework assignment stating that people are born innocent and must be taught evil (blank slate theory). About 20% said that people are neutral at birth - they learn both good and evil. Only about 10% said that people have evil and selfish desires from birth, which is an interesting position to take if you don't believe in a higher power.
Assignment - respond to the following statement: Rousseau believed that people are born innocent and must be taught to do wrong things.
"I disagree with that opinion because we are born with greed, envy, and such things like that. And when we were children, we didn't have much virtue, it's taught to us by education and society. Children know how to receive things from others but don't know how to contribute at all. People are born not innocent because they have lust. Because people have original lust, they society becomes worse and worse. If everyone was innocent who learnt wrong things first?"
"We are just little in age, we begin to lie - to our parents, teachers, and classmates - but who teaches us to lie? Ourselves. It's our instinct to tell lies because we feel scared to tell the truth, so we lie to others, that is the evidence of we are not basically good."