News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Human Nature and Love for Others

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Human Nature and Love for Others

Explain to me where you find this human nature explained? It seems to me that it is part of human nature to rise above its baser instincts, such as selfish love for oneself at the expense of others. These scientific studies that seem to show that humans have this or that animal "nature" all appear to me to be justifications for an economic system that is really a conscious/unconscious act of will. It's a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. Fort every scientific theory that seems to "prove" what is human nature, there either now exist or will exist in the future a study that proves something different. The Christian response is that contrary to human nature, one must transcend innate human selfishness. The eternal command to love others understands this innate human selfishness, yet asks us to accept the grace that will purify us of this sinfulness.

Personal responsibility yes... but that should reflect the responsibility towards others that forms the basis of a just and caring society, no? All of us have benefited from those who have shown this responsibility for us. Your parents, your teachers, the police, those who maintain civil order, co-workers, etc.

Certainly, the need for love is human nature, provable by common sense and personal experience. Yet, the Christian sense of loving oneself as an equal with others before God ultimately does this human need for love one better--it is not based on preference or selfishness but instead is based on an absolute command that gives one the power to rise above this self-love that turns us into indifferent beasts towards the need for love of those who are near us.

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