Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is man basically good?

Dennis Prager is an Orthodox Jewish professor and talk show host. His article, "The Liberal Mind Rejects Sad Facts" is a response to the negative responses he received from another article he wrote in which he argued that people are not basically good.

Mr. Prager is astounded that so many Jews believe that people are basically good. He writes, "In a lifetime of teaching and writing on Judaism, I have never encountered a single normative statement in 3,000 years of Jewish writing that asserted that man is basically good."

As a Christian, I am astounded that so many Christians seem to believe that man is basically good. They believe this nonsense in spite of the fact that Paul wrote that "There is none righteous, no, not one" and "no one does good, not even one" (Romans 3:10, 12) and that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

Ideas have consequences. Those who think people are basically good tend to think that when people do bad things it is always someone else's fault--the problem is poverty, or upbringing, or environment or anything but human nature. The solution, therefore, is always education (never punishment). And the Left believes this nonsense in spite of the fact that some of the most vile, heinous criminal and terrorist acts have been committed by very educated people!

It is this belief that leads the Left to think that endless negotiation is always the answer to international problems. If we just understood the terrorists, and negotiated with them and accommodated (appeased) them, everything would turn out OK (that is working about as well with Iran today as it did when Neville Chamberlain was negotiating with Adolf Hitler).

Anyway, if you only read one article this week, please take time to read "The Liberal Mind Rejects Sad Facts" by Dennis Prager.


professor ed said...

Certainly it is true that "...all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23 KJ). But it is also true that "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set fourth to be a propitiation throught faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, throughthe forebearance of God" (Romans 3:24-25 KJ). Based on this latter scripture I would argue that man is indeed basically sinful thanks to Adam and Eve, but as he is clensed, he is made good. Therefore a man forgiven of his sins is a "good" man. So is mankind basically goo? My answer is "yes" IF he seeks forgiveness from God, through the blood of His son, for those sins.

St.Lee said...

Professor Ed, I agree with you to a point, but as one reads Romans 7 one cannot help but see the tension that Paul lays out between the flesh and "the inward man."

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
Rom 7:25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

We probably agree for the most part, but I think it is too easy to discount the tendencies of our flesh. Of course, the longer one is a Christian, the more successful we should be at keeping the "old man" at bay.