Have you ever wonder why we do what we do? What determines good deeds and wrong going? Is it society that draws the path of good and the path of evil? Is it the little voice we all claim to hear inside our head?
During our childhood we receive instruction on what is expected behavior and what is unacceptable behavior. And those behaviors are weather reinforced or punished. Therefore if one does bad, one is prohibited on some sort of pleasure or inflicted with pain; and in the opposite, if one does good, one is to be compensated with an object or an act that would have a pleasant effect on us.
Then aided by religion, those expected behaviors are reinforced by promising and even bigger gratification called heaven, and the unaccepted is punished with eternal distress called hell. This gives the collective conscience for same or similar religion individuals a set of permitted and non-permitted things to do, and based on these, the individual receives acceptance as part of the group or rejection.
The individuals with the most acceptances are expected to become leaders, while all rejected individuals are to be separated from the group and constitute rebel minorities with similar organizational type.
But what is behind good and evil concepts? Which is the inner reason for doing good or doing bad? Which is the deep emotion that moves all this?
Let see fro example, the classical good deed example: "Helping the old lady to cross the street". Which is the driver for this action? Is it sympathy? I'm afraid is not! It's pure selfishness.
It is selfishness! Because the ulterior purpose, even if we are not 100% aware of it, is self satisfaction. You help the old lady to cross the street because that makes you feel good with yourself and then you can avoid the feeling of guilt that has been charged to your inner conscious since you where a child.
Am I saying that this is wrong? No way. The purpose of this is to try to explain a little about the way we act, and why we act like we do.
Someone might think then that being this the case people should decide to do well. Therefore this theory is erroneous, because a lot of people do wrong.
As I stated before we are taught in our earlier years through punishment-reward techniques. But does every individual assume the same factor as pleasant or distressing? No. Even further, knowing that there is also pleasure in doing wrong (else no one would do wrong), the difference stands the perception and relevance in the priority scale for immediate pleasure versus ulterior pleasure, and the amount of pleasure-distress received in childhood against the weight the individual assigned in his mind to the executed actions. Then, if you enjoyed more punching your classmate on the face than not going out to play that day, the correction is not successful but instead is a reinforcement of the action. The perception is that the punishment compared to the prior pleasure is worth taking.
Also, when we grow up and open our eyes to the real world (even examine world history), we become aware that parents don't exist as an absolute authority in the adult world, and apparently there is no one to punish you for unacceptable behavior unless it becomes a crime (and gets noticed).
We live a world of unpunished evils and uncompensated good. A world in which God is preached and a child is killed under the same flag and the same oath. We don't see God in the acts of men, therefore religion is being abandoned.
So what is the true human nature? It is Selfishness.