What is Human Nature?


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Simple materialists often claim that human nature is basically sex and violence, love in the service of procreation and war in the service of the collective and individual ego.  Many people feel, believe, and teach their kids this, or if not teach it, at least act in such a way as to have their kids assume it to be the case.  I rhetorically ask.. who are these people?  …no answer…  They, themselves, don’t know.  And I imagine most decent people wouldn’t want to know them.  Because if human nature is not beyond animal nature, what good is life?  If our will and cultural manifestations cannot transcend the worst aspects of animal existence, then why go on living?

Many would claim that human nature is the maximization of pleasure or positive feeling, not exclusively simple physical pleasure.  This is indeed slightly truer than the idea that human nature is simply the animal instincts, sex and aggression.  But it is still not the ultimate truth.  The worst case scenario of this view of human nature would be self-abandonment to the most easily accessible or readily available source of pleasure, the most obvious and intense being the preferable.  This is the short term instant gratification attitude with which we’re all familiar living in the propagandized materialist short-sighted ignorant pleasure-dome of paradoxical desperation called capitalist modernity. //whose psyche is cut off from human history, naturalistic religiosity, scholastic values, developmental optimism, and creative independence from waged labor//   On the other hand, artful mastery of enjoyable activities would be the best case scenario of this idea of human nature, the optimization of seeking positive feeling, not exclusively simple physical pleasure.

Truer still would be to say that human nature is the will and movement toward ideals of all kinds, including the elusive ‘absolute freedom.’  Ideals of all kinds would include but transcend the secondly mentioned human nature.  The idea of absolute freedom is seemingly not a goal of the people who have hedonic or simple animalistic views of human nature, and indeed is assumed to not exist at all, but only as a fantasy, delusion, or aberration of perception and action.  People who view idealism itself as a delusion, in favor of cynical realism, also have a stunted half-witted immature conception of freedom.

The ultimate truth of human nature may be beyond and including the previous two.. Jesus Christ, or the inborn archetypal ideal of Jesus Christ, or the ideal primordial mystic.

“A living man can be enslaved and reduced to the historic condition of an object,” Camus warned. “But if he dies in refusing to be enslaved, he reaffirms the existence of another kind of human nature which refuses to be classified as an object.”

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