Human Nature In Stories | Lessons From The Lord of the Flies

What can we really know about human nature? I think one of the best ways to understand it is through stories. Sure, biology can tell us how our body works. But, only narrative, philosophy, and theology can help us understand our souls.

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Was Rousseau right about human nature?

Rousseau said that people were inherently good. I don’t think that’s the case. In The Lord of the Flies, we get a glimpse of what might happen if we were thrust back into nature. And, it doesn’t look good. However, I think it is much more accurate than the naive hope Rousseau seemed to have.

Are people inherently bad?

However, I don’t think people are inherently bad either. I think being itself is good, so in that respect we’re all good. With regards to whether or not we’re all morally good, I’d say we have a mixed bag. And, it depends on the day for each of us. I’ve had good and bad days (sometimes back to back). We have to understand ourselves in light of Natural Law.

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Does society dictate human nature?

Society influences people, but society doesn’t dictate our nature. Instead, I think a mixture of our temperament, societal influences, chance, and our choices influence it. We are in control of who we are and how we handle what’s thrown our way. That, I think, is the only way to look at human nature honestly, pragmatically, and truthfully.

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