According to Lucretius, what seems to be the positive and negative traits of human nature?
Lucretius was an Epicurean philosopher. His stance on human ethics was one of a general criticism of many of the common vices of his time, and a recommendation of the ideals of an Epicurean lifestyle.
One of Lucretius's main critiques of human beings is a fear of death. Lucretius believed that death was the total annihilation of the human being's consciousness. Therefore, according to him, any fear of death is ridiculous, because the human's consciousness will not be there to regret its own loss. Lucretius also rails against humanity's preoccupation with sex, and he says that the this is akin to enslavement.
Some human being's ability to raise the standard of living for others (such as the Athenians) is a positive aspect of human nature. But again he argues that many such advances in civilization create an unending chain of unreasonable needs, which causes more sorrow and folly for humanity.
The ability to facilitate good, and to endure pain (in some human beings) are considered chief goods by Lucretius. To live a modest lifestyle, with easily obtainable desires and a freedom from fear, was his ideal. Generally, many of the animal instincts of human beings are considered negatives by Lucretius, while triumphs of reason are considered positives.