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Man Bites Man On the Goodness and Shortcomings of Anthropos The question of whether humanity itself is evil or not is one of the most fundamental aspects to any cultural world view and at best a very divisive one The two major representatives of this conflict within Christianity and in recent Western culture as a whole were Pelagius and Augustine The former of these two thinkers advocated a world-view featuring man as capable of manufacturing for himself salvation that humans could perfect one another Augustine asserted that man was at his core delectant in evil pursuits and therefore must look to higher creative powers for his control and redemption Eventually these two views were seemingly synthesized further by Rousseau into the ideal of the noble savage a man pre-civilized who was untouched by society and therefore good His view has survived in many ways to continue in popular Western thought that man is good at conception but evil by his societys mold However mans decay by his society is not the case but it is mans lot rather that he is self-serving and immoral because he fails to follow his own values like a three-year-old pretending to play chess Man throughout recorded history has been able to find faults with his enemies often practicing these same vices simultaneously yet writing these own vices off in himself as necessary and his enemies as inexcusable Likewise the argument that man in a hunter-gatherer society is in fact noble and disinclined toward destruction is also ludicrous The uncivilized human is not a perfect individual in a society befitting his or her pristine senses - a truly perfect organism is impermeable to decay - but a destructive being held in check by natural necessity Finally man has chosen to allow himself all but to forget his own faults and tendency toward ruin of his environment by justifying his actions by bending religious ideals to fit his nature and fashion
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