Friday, April 9

I may have hit upon something useful to do with this blog, that might get me to post more often. I believe I shall try to argue my way through the Anglican catechism. My arguments may convince no-one but myself (though if any of my Biola friends are reading this, please point out logical errors to me!), but I want to try to argue through these things anyway.

Q. What are we by nature?

This question assumes the existence of a distinct human nature, one that applies to all men. This flies in the face of Marxist and Nietzschean thought, as well as that of Freud. According to Suicide of the West, this is one of the main differences between liberals and conservatives: liberals believe that mankind has a "plastic" nature, one that changes and can be molded, if indeed he has one at all. Conservatives believe in a universal nature of man that does not, for the most part, change.

I believe in a universal nature of man, for several reasons.

1. The simple fact that we still read, and are powerfully impacted by, old books. The story of Orestes is still as potent today as it was thousands of years ago. Man's nature, towards hatred and revenge, has not changed, and we still see ourselves in Orestes.

2. Art, good art, impacts wide ranges of people. If human nature was plastic, then art would become impotent. You would never know if your work could actually impact your audience. But good art still touches everyone who experiences it.

3. Although I do not necessarily believe that history repeats itself, human beings continue to make the same mistakes. There are no new errors that we can make that have not been made before. The study of history leads me to conclude that men do, indeed, have a universal nature. Men in all times, and all places, have done the same things.

That being determined: what is that nature? What is it that men are?

To see what men are, we must see what they do.

What are things that all men do? Mankind: is born, creates(art, music, etc), loves, hates, fights, speaks, and dies. Animals are born, may love and hate(depending on your view of animal nature), fight, and die, but they do not create, nor think, not speak. Spirits create, think, and perhaps speak and feel (this is up for debate) but do not die.

God created all things, including man. God loves. God hates. God (or at any rate His servants) fights evil. God spoke the Incarnate Word, Who was born and died.

Man's nature is the image of God. We are not God, but we, His creation, reflect Him.

A. We are part of God's creation, made in the image of God.

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