Human Nature: Inherently Good or Inherently Evil?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Gatekeeper, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    If I may share a bit about my own life, I think it will help you understand my point of view better. My father was a hunter, a fisherman, and an avid outdoors man. One Christmas morning I received a bb gun from him as a gift. I thought it was one of the coolest things I had ever received. It wasn’t long after, that I went out in the woods to shoot. I had never killed anything in my entire life, but that would soon change.


    A flock of blackbirds had landed in a tree above me. I raised my gun, took aim, and fired a single shot. The bird began a downward spiral, bouncing off branch after branch until it landed at my feet. I was horrified! I was so horrified that I cried for hours after. That was the day I fell from grace. That was the day I lost my spiritual connection to God. I had taken the life of an innocent creature and by doing so I realized my own mortality. It was the day I knew death was imminent for me as well.


    The incident is a memory I wanted to repress. It still hurts me to this day when I think about it. I was so naive and innocent, and I believe it was the beginning of my descent, the beginning of my fall from paradise. The incident numbed me. It hurt me so deeply that I repressed my feelings. What is even more disturbing still is that I eventually became a hunter myself. I eventually lost my compassion for God’s creatures, just as I eventually lost myself.


    To further my thoughts, my son Austin was born in 1997. He was the most precious thing I had ever laid my eyes on. His birth wasn’t an easy one, however. It was required for his mother to have a C-section in order to remove him from her womb. If I had to guess, I’d say he didn’t want to leave his the comfort of that place. It was as if he somehow knew what lay ahead of him.


    I recall a moment when Austin was age 6 vividly. One afternoon I began to say to him, “When you grow up…” but he stopped me dead in my tracks! He immediately began to cry furiously, pleading that he never wanted to grow up! He said, “I want to be a kid forever”. It was the sweetest, yet most heartbreaking thing I ever heard him say. I nearly broke down myself, knowing that one day he too would reach adulthood, and that the innocence he knew then would slowly wane as he grew older. Such is the reality of humanity I think, and our fall from paradise. 


    Hos 4:6 suggests that we are killed for lack of knowledge. In other words, we are destroyed because we are ignorant, not because we are born carnal or inherently bad. It is ignorance that leads to our destruction. This is why the fall was necessary ... So we might gain knowledge and understanding. Adam and Eve were innocent, without fault, and very good. I believe Adam and Eve knew God's glory well. Perhaps we all knew it well at one time, perhaps before we realized our own mortality.


    I think Jesus came to show us how to recapture that innocence, how to be recreated in God's image, how to be renewed and reborn. I don't accept the premise that Adam and Eve were carnal prior to their descent. On that same note, I don't I accept the premise that we are born carnal, only ignorant which leads to a carnal mindset via sin consequence.


    Sorry for the length. I just wanted to share my thoughts. What do you think? Are we born inherently good or inherently evil? I've heard arguments from both sides. You now know where I stand.


    What say you? :)
     
  2. Snoopy

    Snoopy zennish

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  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I'd say you know the answer to this.

    If we are inherently evil, then we are created from an evil source, for an evil purpose, towards an evil end, and there's nothing we can do or say about it, and we are lost ... paradoxically, evil would be our 'good'.

    We cannot alter our nature, any more than we can rewrite our dna. Not even god would do that. He will separate the sheep from the goats, but He will not turn the goats into sheep.

    I say, as Scripture says, we are inherently good, but flawed.

    The idea of the creature as being evil belongs to the pagan ancient world, such as is evident in anti-Christian (2nd century) gnosticism. It emerged again with Martin Luther in the reformation.

    We are created by the good, to be good, and our end is good.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  4. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Good and Evil are subjective, we are neither born Good or Evil
     
  5. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    I'd say we are born innocent.
     
  6. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    I'd agree . . . and neither are we born into this ridiculous idea of Sin.
     
  7. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    I would say we were born innocent, but certainly not perfect. Doesn't sin mean "missing the mark of perfection?" Is there anything in the physical realm that can really be described as being perfect? Don't the properties relating to quantum functions add enough chaos into the mix to make even the idea of "perfection" something that cannot be physically grasped? {Note the emphasis on "physically," ;) }
     
  8. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I agree except with your goat sheep statement. :)
     
  9. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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  10. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    Yup, pure as the morning dew!
     
  11. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    We are not born into sin, we are born ignorant of the consequences that derive from our mistakes. Only by living are we able to know and understand the law of cause and effect.
     
  12. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    We are born innocent and perfectable (notice the difference).
     
  13. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I like that radar! Innocent and perfectible is a very good way to look at it.
     
  14. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    Likewise, we are born innocent but corrupt/able and perish/able, yet perfect/able too! :) I think it is all interconnected to our becoming what we were born to be.
     
  15. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    We have mindmeld!
     
  16. disciple

    disciple New Member

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    we are inherently innocent (equated to good in genesis )

    everything we've been after that original state is a movement away from that paradigm.

    and yes i think jesus came to show us the way back to that goodness..
     
  17. donnann

    donnann Well-Known Member

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    I think we are growing and learning as children do and I believe that when we reach maturity we will enter our own final resurrection.
     
  18. donnann

    donnann Well-Known Member

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  19. Abdullah

    Abdullah Well-Known Member

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  20. Sam Albion

    Sam Albion akaFrancisKing:ViveLeRoi!

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    to me, there's no such thing as inherently good, or inherently bad. Even serial killers can be kind to their mothers. Some people held up by others to be wise, and holy, are savages.
     

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