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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

XL. Nature of Man

The time period known as the Enlightenment was technically started by the scientific revolution and the likes of Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, and Rene Descartes. But there were others of this time period who thought of human nature not just science and math which those who are mentioned were. These people were called Philosophes and one of the most influential and first of these thinkers was an an Englishman, Thomas Hobbes. He believed that man is naturally selfish. And because of this selfishness man could not be trusted with certain things, so a strict government was needed to ensure man would not destroy himself due to his evil nature. But another Englishman, a little time after Hobbes, was John Locke who said man is naturally free and this is why man has war. He is searching for the solution to stay free. Both had lived through the English Civil War and saw things they never wanted to see again. But are either one of these men right in their final assumptions? Here are the results from last month's poll: What is human nature like? (Note: this poll had been somewhat manipulated by certain atheists who read this blog. Which is fine, the results of this poll do not make any one right or wrong)

  • 50% We are neutral with the ability to be either good or bad.
  • 26% We are naturally bad since we are born into sin.
  • 10% We are naturally good since we are born innocent and can only sin when we reach the age of accountability.
  • 8% We are naturally good since God created us.
  • 4% We are naturally bad since we have the ability to sin.

To answer this question we have to take it with different views.

Let's start with physical evidence. How do we enter this world? Do we live like Orkans (Mork and Mindy)? Do we start by being hatched, fully grown with the potential to do harm to half the population because we are large creatures? No. We are born small. We are born with no protection. We are born naked and vulnerable. We are helpless human beings who need nurturing and discipline. We are born innocent, free of the world's troubles until we hear, see, touch, smell, and feel what the world offers us.

Mental evidence. Do we know what we want when we are born? Do we know what we want when we get older? Do we ever know what we really want? If we had everything we needed would we still try after certain things? Or do we only want these certain things because the world puts it in our minds that we need them? Go back about 100 years ago. What would be considered needed? A stove, a house or roof over our heads (which would include bed and all household items), perhaps some mode of transportation. But now what do we consider needed? A cell phone! Not just one that calls people, but one that can take pictures, maybe even video. One that can hook you up with the Internet, watch movies, play games, and have "apps" for everything you can think of. A house! Not just one with beds and a roof, but one that no one can afford because that is what is being built everywhere so someone can make money. And since we have to keep up with the Jones' then a two bedroom house won't do. A car! For the same reason as the house. And for all of these things we are willing to go into debt beyond our own means of paying any of it back.

Emotional evidence: We all need some sort of love. The original account of love is between man and God. God also created an earthly love between man and woman. But when people can't find love in either of these two ways they have to start creating different kinds of love to fulfill their emotional needs, thereby creating different lifestyles.

Spiritual evidence: Going back to the original relationship, man and God. Of course the more appropriate way is to say God and man. But over time man has decided he doesn't need God and has tried to force Him out of every aspect of life and then wonders why He never helps in times of need.

What does any of this mean? We are born innocent. We are born with the ability to do right and wrong. We have the ability to live a perfect life as in the example that Jesus gave. But since we are flesh, we are imperfect beings and that allows sin to enter. Do we have to choose sin? No, but we do. Why? Because of the things around us that tempt us and we try to push away God and Godly things.

We are born naturally good and innocent (keep reading)! God created us and He creates nothing evil. Yes, He gave us flesh, to interact with the physical world; to allow us to have pleasure in this life with all five senses. But our true identity is not of this world. We are spiritual beings first! We are good! If we were born neutral then we are born without the Spirit of God and that is not what happens. God has given each and everyone of us a spirit to live our lives by. But we choose the easier route; the one that our minds and bodies can get pleasure out of the most (Pleasure is not the problem, desire for the wrong type of pleasure is). If we are born bad, then we are saying that God created all of us to die in hell first, and then only sent Jesus to save us. And that is not the case. We were created innocent. We were created to live for Him. We have the ability to sin because of free will, something He gave us to show how much He loves us. This free will has been tainted by those who do not live by their spirit but by the flesh. This caused the world to die, Genesis 2-3.

We are innocent until we take the first step in the wrong direction and disobey God with our own desire, hence the age of accountability. We all reach this age and it is at this moment we die. Paul said all fall short of the glory of God. But that doesn't mean man is naturally evil, but that God knows man needs help. So, He sent Jesus Christ to help. Sorry atheists, the evidence speaks for itself.

1 comment:

No Doubt said...

Technically, Mindy wasn't from Ork. She was an earthling. :-)

Seriously, good post.

You are so correct. Man sins because G-d gave us the freedom to choose. He gives us esoteric of his existence in order to not force our hand. He does this by actually giving the other side the upper in the evidence department.

What good would free will be if he physically stuck his head into our existence and hello, here I am? That would be the type of evidence where we couldn't deny the G-d of creation, ergo no free choice.

If we step back and look at it, we can see that G-d giving us freedom to do whatever, ie: sin or love, him is the highest level of devotion and love one can show.


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