DONE BY: KARISH GOVENDER
“Human nature cannot turn back. Once man has left the time of innocence and equality, he can never return to it.” (Rousseau as quoted in Franklin) But was humanity ever innocent? Stories were told of the barbaric deeds of humanity-how Asian philosophy talks of Yin and Yang and how it is used to describe how good and evil are connected and in every good person there is a spot of bad.
The views of human nature have changed throughout the centuries. In the Middle Ages man was thought to have many flaws, and when the black plague came it was considered to be a punishment for all of man’s evil doings or that is what many believed. This was during a time period with a very basic understanding of the world, and yet these peoples conscious told them that by taking the lives of others they could save themselves. The poor treatment of people during the Industrial revolution as well as during World War I showed that people would never change their selfish ways. It was the realities of the Industrial Revolution that started to etch away the fantasies that were born during the Enlightenment.
Historians mark the beginning of World War I the end official end of the Enlightenment because if is the time when all philosophers gave up hope in any good in humanity. How could anyone allow for such a catastrophe? Throughout the centuries wars have been fought for many reasons -religion, land, and pride- but were any of these really worth the death of hundreds sometimes millions of lives? Why would anyone want to hurt another person? Why can we not accept that we just have different beliefs? Or why can we not just accept that we live in this or that country? How can anyone live themselves after something like that? Why does it ever have to come down to an extreme such as warfare?
Some people will not even help a fellow being without an initiative, it is as if the word charity has become “something given to a person or persons in need while getting something in return”. It is as if we cannot help unless we get some sort of remuneration for it.
When the aeroplanes hit twin towers killing thousands or when a train is bombed, why are we surprised? We struggle to be kind, gentle, and peaceful because it is not in our nature. As difficult as it is to accept, we must, because that may be the first step in trying to suppress our problem.
Evil has many faces. This is a necessity to get close to you. Once an acquaintance has been formed, your needs are identified and preyed upon. The knowledge of 'need' provides evil with a powerful weapon to make promises to you whilst conspiring to pick your pocket. The wish of a need fulfilled lures many into destructive and damaging circumstances. Perhaps the worst execution of evil is to steal a person's hope. Therefore man is evil by nature.
Access date: 12 February 2012
Access date: 12 February 2012
Access date: 13 February 2012
Encarta encyclopedia 2005 Topics: Black plague/Word War I/September9/11 Access date: 14 February 2012