The Nature of Human Nature

by Carmel 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • Carmel

    So many testimonies from those of you that have left the clutches of the Witnesses that have dramatically altered your lives, yet there seems to be those among you that feel human nature is an immutable entity locked into sideboards that will not (cannot) be altered. History is replete with scroundrulous characters, and contemporary examples could easily be recounted to support the notion that the human condition is a product of thousands of years of genetic inheritance destined to continue unchanged into the distant future. Hence a pretty pessimistic outlook for humanity.

    Curious to know if that is the prevailing sentiment....


  • serendipity

    I don't believe human nature has changed over the years. I do believe as individuals we can overcome limitations, environmental or genetic influences and modify our nature.

  • Confession

    Interesting thought for a thread... I do see what appears to be the stubborn aspect of human nature. Without getting into specifics, there are certain mindsets common to the discussion of human government that just don't seem to go away--despite the fact that history has shown their futility. Still such concepts persist.

    It would appear that many things occur in waves. Trends. Charles Taze Russell himself seemed to be trying to promote a fairly free society of Christian persons. He didn't like his group being thought of as an "organization"--at least for the great majority of his life.

    "The endeavor to compel all men to think alike on all subjects, culminated in the great apostasy and the development of the great papal system…" (WT 9/1/1893, p.572)

    And yet what did the organization he founded become? Precisely what he didn't want. A legalistic and authoritarian religion, compelling all members to accept "the entire range" of doctrine taught by them.

    That sucks...

  • Satanus

    Generally, it seems to me that society is getting better. However, like stockmarket blips, there are ups and downs. It is not that long ago that we were in dark ages. The present holy war between two ultra religious entities may drag down another darkness upon the world before it is finished. Let's hope not. At least it isn't total war at this time.


  • Narkissos

    Isn't "human nature" an oxymoron?

  • BrendaCloutier

    The influences of family, social religions political groups, etc., culture and traditions passed on for generations including bigotry, predudice, violence, dependencies, hiding family "secrets", being a "have" or "have not", or "my ____ is better than your ____" all feed our human "nature". Such generational ingraining is difficult to break at a personal level, let alone at a group or social level.

    Most humans are social creatures and seek the surrounds and approval of other like people. If there are no others of like-mind available, then individuals change their own attituded, behaviours, etc., to fit in and be accepted. (Peer pressure)

    For a deeper look at who we are as a species, look at tribalism and it's range of good to horrid (tribe takes care of it's own to tribe elite kill any "subject" that crosses the elite's shadow)

  • JamesThomas

    Interesting post, Carmel.

    there seems to be those among you that feel human nature is an immutable entity locked into sideboards that will not (cannot) be altered.

    I have seen within myself the amazing ability to create and identity of thought. A fragile self, which seems concretely separate from all other things and people which then become threats. Which makes Narkissos' oxymoronic statement make sense.

    Billions of these little make-believe identities make up the vast majority of society; and in this large pool of fear there is mans inhumanity to man, and mans war with nature. We are so confined in our suffocating mind-pods that we may even feel at times that the emotions and the physical body are enemies to be enslaved and conquered.

    Perhaps, it is not our genuine human nature which is an "immutable entity locked into sideboards that will not (cannot) be altered"; but rather the shared of existence we believe ourselves to be.

    How many people do we know which have actually question and investigated into the individual identity programmed into the mind from unknowing parents and society, and continually reinforced by the minds extraordinary talent of storytelling?

    Little wonder our journey out into a seemingly real separation from our true oneness with all nature may result in self destruction. Or perhaps the vaster nature of all things will somehow force the intellectual mind to reevaluate and investigate into what it now -- for the most part -- ignores.


  • atypical

    I think human nature doesn't need to be changed, it's just that more people need to use the good side of that human nature. The witness culture is a good example of the cumulative effects of high-control groups. On the other hand, there are people all over the world who are promoting free thinking and good deeds toward others.

    In my opinion, everybody has the capacity to succumb to a greed for power, influence, or control, and if left unchecked, that greed can start to replace any compassion, until that person is willing to hurt others in his/her quest. Now, put a group of such people in control of a large organization, and you have got a terrible, explosive mix.

    On the other hand, I also think everybody has the capacity to love, to help others, and to set healthy priorities in their life. It's like the old kids book: "What if everybody did?"

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