What is the Nature of Man?
We live in a world that perpetuates warfare, greed, and the deplorable degradation of human rights. These facts are hardly disputable and are experienced by every country in the world. The question, therefore, is why are the conditions so terrible when they truly do not have to be? It begs the question, what is the nature of man?
Depending upon who you ask, you will get many different answers to the question. Various religious institutions and atheists alike will argue that we are progressing as a species and becoming more advanced. My question would be…are we really? Chris Hedges, in his book “When Atheism Becomes Religion” states,
There is nothing in human nature or human history to support the idea that we are morally advancing as a species or that we will overcome the flaws of human nature. We progress technologically and scientifically, but not morally. We use the newest instruments of technological and scientific progress to create more efficient forms of killing, repression, economic exploitation and to accelerate environmental degradation. There is a good and a bad side to human progress. We are not advancing toward a glorious utopia.
We have the technology but we have no idea when or how it should be used. The United States will dictate to the world who should be allowed to have nuclear weaponry, yet they are the only country that has ever used it on another country. Why is the U.S. any better judge than anyone else? It is a microcosm of humanity itself. We, as people, believe that everything revolves around us and our existence. The resources of the world are ours to consume and if we destroy the planet attaining these resources, well then so be it. As Americans, we live in a country completely consumed by greed. We have hundreds of billions of dollars spent on wars that most people have no idea why we are fighting, yet we underfund our schools and have a grossly inefficient and costly health care system. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a presidential election while people starve in the streets. So, what is the nature of man? Is it survival of the richest?