Is there or is there not human nature? For Charles Darwin the answer is no. Darwin was the first to introduce the concept of evolution. He believed that humans evolved from the ape and not in the image of God. Darwin contradicted Aristotle’s view that man has a purpose in life -to reason. For Darwin, man has no purpose. Man began as one of a few species on this planet, fighting for survival. Man was better equipped with certain traits that allowed him to pass through the filters of natural selection. Man’s physical and intellectual traits allowed him to surpass all over species, thus becoming the greatest predator and severely diminishing the risk of man becoming another species prey. Mans climb to the top of the food chain illustrates the concept of the survival of the fittest. Struggle and competition were essential for the continued biological progress of mankind. Heredity and inheritance were important factors that needed to be considered in marriage and reproduction. A program called “eugenics” was established from the belief that legal and other necessary matters that need be taken are done so in order to improve or protect the elite of the human population. This equates to the breeding of the best human possible. Jean-Paul Sartre introduced the term Existentialism. The Existentialist theory of human nature stresses three characteristics: individual existence, individual freedom and choice. Due to man’s ability to create his own nature, there is no one human nature shared by all. Existentialism believes that man exists with no specific purpose. Because of this lack of essence man is forced to create his own nature through free, responsible choices and actions. However, man must be aware of the choices he makes and take full responsibility for his actions, beliefs, feelings and attitudes whether they are right or wrong. “No matter what we choose we cannot escape responsibility for our choice and guilt for the consequences”- Sartre notes. Man... [continues]
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