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Guided by the Gods – Human Nature and Asatru

By Ryan

Human nature is one of the foundation stones of ethical philosophy. Every philosophy the world over, from Rousseau’s theories on the General Will to Lord Shang’s stark Legalism, are based on fundamental axioms of what defines humanity. These assumptions regarding human nature determine how one should treat other people, view the world, and live your life. In the West the most dominant theories of human nature can be summed up in one of two schools of thought.

One school of thought holds that humans are inherently flawed by nature. Whether the cause is Original Sin or our barbarous natural state the assumption remains the same. Humans are imperfect. Society must therefore assume that people will, given the choice, give in to their base natures putting their self-interest ahead of all other concerns. If one assumes that people are innately flawed and prone to acting in a potentially destructive fashion to fulfill their base desires then all responses are going to assume that people must be restrained for their own good.

This is not the only understanding of humanity that has sprung up in the West. The other holds a much more positive view. This view, first summed up by John Locke in his Two Treatises on Government, argues that humans far from being creatures driven by impulses we must struggle against are blank slates when we come into the world. We are neither good nor evil by nature but instead boundless potential shaped by our experiences in life. We are not given to destruction as a result of being human but as a consequence of one’s experiences and circumstances. In this understanding humans do not need to be held back from danger but given the best tools to guide ourselves to the best possible outcome in pursuing our desires.

Read the original article at: Ryans Desk

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