Is Man Good, or Evil?
While parts of the city of Baltimore were burning due to rioting crowds in protest of a persons death while in police custody, people are left on the outside looking in wondering why. So many questions, and little answers. Most notably from the leaders in the “black community”. Without debating the merits of inner city oppression, race inequality, the marginalization of young black men (none of which I believe in), and the militarization of local police forces, let’s just focus on what really can be a solution to so much hate and division.
First of all, let’s be honest. We are told today that “discrimination” in any form is a learned behavior. While there is merit to this assertion in that parents, peer groups and general environment have an affect on how we treat other people (and this is where the honesty kicks in), discrimination, along with hate, mistrust, and every other emotional sin, are part of our human nature. They are born into us. It is simply called sin. It is called pride. It is called self-deification (see the collected writings of J. Alfred).
As so many more wise people than I have said before me, we do not have to train our children to behave poorly. They do so automatically. We do not have to train our children to be selfish, rude, thoughtless, cruel and violent. They are by nature all of these things. We must train them NOT to be selfish, NOT to be rude, NOT to be thoughtless, cruel and violent. Who among us has not seen a child, who has been shown nothing nut love and kindness, lash out at another child for no reason? Who among us has not experienced a child lie, or steal, or cheat? As parents we do our best to teach these moral foundations to our children, and yet we must remember that each child, whether thy are age 2 or age 20, is their own moral agent and is ultimately responsible for their own actions.
What we saw in Baltimore, what we saw in NYC, what we saw in Ferguson, is nothing more than people acting out of their human nature. Despite what the philosophers of the enlightenment age might tell you, man is not naturally good. After all, how can that be? The secular world believes in evolution. Accepted “science” (in spite of it not being science) is Evolution. Our children are taught that man came into existence by chance, and that over millennia, and that variations and mutations took place until finally the most intricately complex biological system on earth created itself totally by accident. Makes perfect sense to me….(not). If this is true, than man has no meaning, no purpose, no future, no reason for being whatsoever. We are accidents. They are also taught not to question this, because this is “scientific fact” they say. This Evolutionary method demands with it the survival of the fittest. For a species to survive, the old traits are wiped out by the newer stranger traits, traits that cause you to advance in the food-chain so that you are superior to all others. This requires determination, even violence, and ultimately the extermination of the weak members of that species with impunity. Thus thereby preventing such poor qualities as weakness, kindness, compassion, love etc, from being bread into the coming generations of the species that would lessen their chance of survival. This is what our children are taught in school.
There is some secular disagreement. Science comes to loggerheads with psychology. Wilhelm Wundt is the man most commonly identified as the father of psychology, and his thoughts and experiments seemed to show that mankind’s expressed tendencies seem to come more from the influence of environment and outside stimuli over our breeding. The crux of their argument is that man is naturally good, and that if this goodness is not properly nurtured, that man becomes evil because of these outside influences of society, one’s social environment etc. Then others came along – the psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud who blamed everything wrong about man on his insatiable desire to have sex, and the applied psychology of Hugo Munsterberg. Each of them finding ways to discover what’s wrong with man, why it’s wrong, and how to fix it. As you can see, their success has been, well – let’s just say – very limited. The point being here that these sciences (psychology and evolution) disagree. They disagree with the “science” of evolution, and they often disagree with each other. And yet, we teach them to our students as if both are empirically true. Then we wonder why our society is so messed up.
To more clearly explain, herein lies the dichotomy. Natural Science says it is because of nature that man is violent and evil through genetic evolution. Social sciences via psychology blame environment and external sources for man’s violence. To boil that down, science says man is naturally evil. Science also says man is naturally good. Both cannot be true – and yet both are taught as facts. So which is right?
The Preamble of the Declaration of Independence uses these words:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The cause of the evil practiced by mankind is equally self-evident. Man is naturally violent. This not only speaks to the biblical point of view (that all men are fallen sinners incapable of righteousness apart from Christ), but also to the common accepted theory of the secular world via evolution, which demands violence via the survival of the fittest.
The difference here between biblical truth and the world of science and evolution is not that both don’t have viable explanations for the violent tendencies of man. the difference is that the science of evolution, while explaining the violent tendencies of man, offers man no nope for their future, and no reason for change. You see, if evolution is true then so is situational ethics and moral relativism, which constitute plausible deniability for all of mankind’s continually expanding list of wrong doings. Wrong doing that manifests itself in everything from simply not sharing one’s chocolate chip cookie with a friend, to the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore – to the genocide of the Nazi’s and the Rwandan Hutus, the purges of the Communists (Russian, Cambodian, Chinese etc.) and the continued mass-murder of the unborn worldwide.
On the other hand, if we are created by a loving God, who adores us, and desires that all come to a relationship with Him, and that if the biblical principle of sin is true, then mankind DOES have hope, does have a future, does have a meaning for its existence – and we are free to call these riots in Baltimore evil and hold the people participating in them accountable for their actions.
I can assure you that God is every bit upset at the violence done by men against other men in Baltimore, Ferguson, MO, LA, Chicago, Nazi Germany and everywhere else – grieves Him. Then again, it grieves Him when we get upset at the other drivers on the freeway, when we lie about things, cheat at things, and put anything before Him. Simply put, without Christ, mankind is slave to sin (John 8:24).
The Good News (Luke 7:22) is in spite of our selves, in spite of sin being born into us through the fall, in spite of the fact that the very best we can do is like dirty rags before God, He loves us, and forgives us. Rather than being on the street looting, rioting and burning, we need to be on our knees asking for forgiveness. We should not condemn a police officer over a circumstance you know little or nothing about. Instead you should be praying for those police officers – especially if you think they are your enemy.