Towards the end of The Way of Zen, Alan Watts has a line that creates a binary between natural and good. I must admit that I felt some validation there!
Over many years and experiences, the resident (and dominant) cynic in me has come to believe that “naturally good” in terms of a person’s character and behaviour can only be an act. This is also coming from the unoriginal observation that we have a “delusion of free will”. The choices we make are less based on a conscious free will, and controlled more by a combination of genes which have fought and survived over millennia and one’s own experiences and environment. While cooperation and goodness are indeed a part of the survival toolkit, they are not the dominant aspects. We’re selfish, the only difference is in the degree of the act, and how much we have trained ourselves. More