Human nature and the social order

963 Words4 Pages
Human nature is that which makes us distinct from the nature of the animals and the rest of creation in that we can think and feel. One of the primary distinctions between human beings and the rest of creation is the ability to reason. No other creature has this ability thus, this is a unique gift bestowed by God. Our reason enables us to reflect on our own nature and the nature of God and to derive knowledge of God's will for His creation. No other part of God’s creation has a nature capable of reason and that is to distinguish right from wrong. Originally human nature was flawless due to the fact that it was so created by God. Among the many philosophers or sociologists that spent most of their time trying to study, understand and define human nature were Rousseau, Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Locke, all of which had different approaches to the study of human nature but their conclusions were very much similar. Each of these theorists greatly influenced my understanding of human nature as a whole, giving me a different perspective through their unique arguments.
Rousseau believed that in the modern world, human beings came to derive their very sense of self from the opinion of others, a fact which he saw as corrosive of freedom and destructive of individual authenticity. Rousseau stated that the state as it currently existed was corrupt, unjust and was dominated by the rich and powerful who used their powers to further their own interests at the expense of the weak. According to him the ideal state would be a genuine democracy, a moral organization that bound people together in freedom, equality and civic devotion. Each person in this ideal state would have to surrender all his rights unconditionally to the community and subm...

... middle of paper ...

... done. Locke argued that government is legitimate, but only in so far as it acts within the limits of this implied contract. According to him, authorization was meaningless, except that it gave people reason to believe that the use of force is just.
Karl Marx looked at how capitalism alienated humanity by making work a mere means of individual existence. The same applies to social relations; in reality people are not free ‟ individuals anymore than we are organs or functions of society; we are determined by society, possibly irrationally, but nevertheless definitely.” Our natural ability (or inability) is largely a product of socialization and cultural adherence, as many new socializations theories argue. Overall, all four theorists believed equality benefits human nature but most of their arguments gave substantial weight to Marx’s theory concerning human nature.

More about Human nature and the social order

Open Document