C.S. Lewis once wrote; “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.” I think this is true.
For some reason the belief that man is basically good is still generally held in spite of all the wars, corruption, greed, violence, destruction, oppression, exploitation, and all the other human evils that rage in and around us every moment of every day.
Why is that?
I don’t deny that men have done great things- of course we have- but does a “good” species have a history such as ours and behave the way we do? Is man intrinsically evil but able to aspire to good and noble things, or is he intrinsically good yet capable of every sort of evil imaginable?
I had a small debate with a co-worker many years ago on this very topic. He held tenaciously to his view that man is basically good. I asked one question he never answered: Did you ever have to teach your children to lie, hit, or grab… or did you have to teach the NOT to do those things?
My point was made. He didn’t change his view, mind you. We just moved on to other things.
People don’t like to hear that they aren’t as good as they think they are, and they certainly don’t like to hear that they are in such bad shape that they need a Savior.
But hey, what can I say? …Truth is truth, and sometimes it stings.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?” -Jeremiah 17:9