Here's my breakdown:
- There are 2-5% of humans who are good. That is their nature. They truly care about people, want to help them, and spend a large chunk of their lives doing so. Nothing is going to permanently discourage them from helping people. I've known a few people like this in real life. Mother Theresa is often used as the archetype of this personality type but I hesitate to put her here after what has been considerable criticism of her philosophy and approach. A better example is Stan Brock, the founder of Remote Area Medical, an organization that provides free medical care to people in the U.S. and abroad. The organization is completely volunteer based so any money donated goes directly towards supplies and other vital needs of the organization. Mr. Brock takes no income for his work, sleeps at the RAM headquarters, and does not have a car. It's not very often that I'm impressed by people any more but Stan is on that short list. You can read more about him here and here. This is the website for his organization.Someone's even making a documentary about him. There are plenty of other people in this category who I cannot name because they do their good works without media attention or societal praise.
- The next group is the 10-20% of people who are not absolutely good but they lean toward goodness and caring about other people. Given slight incentives, they could form the basis of a decent human community. However, given the current negative incentives, they are more likely to donate to a charity or volunteer at a soup kitchen and deal with other symptoms of the current system than working to put an end to that system. One example of a person like this is a conversation I overheard in college between two students. They were discussing post-graduation employment options. Student A brought up working for pharmaceutical companies as an option. Student B expressed her reluctance to work for them due to ethical concerns regarding the medication trial process and how the companies generally target vulnerable populations in the U.S. and abroad for these trials. Student A semi-agreed but I could tell that it wasn't really an issue for him. Student B is firmly in this category because not only did she bring up ethical issues in discussion around employment, those issues were the first thing she mentioned. This the type of person who takes ethical issues seriously and would avoid what she considered unethical employment (even if it paid well) unless she saw no other way to make a reasonable living.
- I'm going to skip the other middle group and go straight to the end group. I will refer to them as the predators. They are comparable to the 10% group in the 5 percenter scheme. They are the rulers of this world and are willing to do anything to get what they want. Their powers are relative. They could be a Bill Gates or the leader of a small tribe. They are not above any type of action or manipulation even though they may tell themselves they are. I would posit them at about 10-15% of the population.
- Finally there is the rest. The majority of humanity between 60 and 78 % of the general population. Technically they should be neutral but I actually see them as somewhat evil. They are self-focused and have base desires that are easily manipulated by the predators mentioned in the last category. They are often ignorant and delusional. In the U.S. they will often support 'rugged individualism' type laws even though they live paycheck to paycheck and have skills that are dispensable to the market. If/when they end up up on government assistance, they are perpetually surprised even though they fit the profile perfectly. They tend to believe in the just wold fallacy OR believe that life isn't fair but that unfairness won't affect them even though they are painfully average.
So there's my list. What do you think? Any critiques?
Which group (if any) are you a member of?