Basically there are two opposing camps when it comes to the, what is human nature, question. The topic has some similarity to the chicken and the egg question.
Lets say we look at what some would call the violent nature of man. This one aspect of human behavior is most likely the most troublesome. Now there’s no debate over whether mankind has acted violently. The question I have is where the violent behavior originates.
Here we find the opinions, assessments, observations and reasoning as to human nature get divided into to basic camps. The followers of camp one says mankind is violent by nature. Camp two says mankind is violent in reaction to his environment.
Do you know which camp you’re in? Do you know why?
One of the questions I started to ask myself (way to late in life) is, “Why do I believe what I believe”. This is the most important question I’ve asked to date. It may well be the most important question anyone can ever ask themselves. Almost without exception we believe what we believe, about the nature of man, because of what we were told.
Now the question – Is man violent – is answerable through simple observation. Read history, read current events, go to school. Do any of these and we observe man’s violent behavior. We can safely say – man is violent. But, for the question – Is man is violent by nature – how could we know the answer?
Something else I would add to the mix here is – Mankind’s Tendencies. We could safely say that any and all tendencies are part of mans nature. Any person can behave in any way imaginable under the right circumstance. The same person can love, hate, nurture or destroy.
Then we would refine the question and ask – what are mankind’s natural tendencies.
Do we react to situations according to the situation? Could we say man’s nature is to survive? I would say yes to this survival nature. We can see that there are times when an act of violence is necessary to our survival. Is this the same as saying man is violent by nature?
Violent by nature would suggest that in any situation man is a violent creature. Is this true?
Of course these are questions which are answered by each of us on an individual basis. But I suggest that the – why do I believe what I believe – question, never be far from mind.
What I would like people to look at along with the question of violent nature is what type of community would these two ideological camps produce. Can you see the different ways their communities might function?
If mankind is violent by nature what kind of laws or control mechanisms might be required to best insure peace? What about the other way of thinking? If mankind reacts in accordance to the situation what control mechanism is required by the community to best insure peace?
See the vast world of difference that would exist for each community? Where would you rather live?
Out of what schools of thought is the “Man Is Violent By Nature” doctrine taught?