human nature

This tag is associated with 30 posts

We Take Care of Each Other

Early this morning my grown daughter came into my bedroom, looking like something the cat dragged in. “Mommy!” she moaned. Mommy? I haven’t been called Mommy in 20 years. “I’m sick,” she said, laying her disheveled head on the foot of the bed. Four days of headache, vomiting and fever. I told her she had … Continue reading

The Beautiful Thing about Humans

We humans; neither angels nor devils but capable of being either. The news, of course, must tell us stories that are dramatic and negative, because undramatic and positive events are not news. I saw this rare positive story a few days ago from Australia. A woman had somehow got her leg caught under a train … Continue reading

The Lighter Side of Marx, Hitler, Lenin and Stalin?

  So you question my including Karl Marx in this list? Well, you are right. Compared to the others, Marx was a pussycat, a dusty philosopher. Is it a philosopher’s fault if readers take his words and run with them to the killing fields? After all, they have done the same with Jesus’ words. Marx … Continue reading

Sports as a Substitute for War

As a student of public opinion, it has been fascinating to note that Americans have become much more interested in the World Cup than ever before. Of course, the rest of the world has been interested in soccer for about 100 years, but Americans are famous for not caring what interests the rest of the … Continue reading

How GREED destroys societies-and always will

History is written through the political prism of the writer. Thus when Rousseau wanted to prove that man in a state of nature was good, free and equal he offered up primitive societies, about which he knew almost nothing, as an example. Hobbes, on the other hand, wanting to prove that man in a state … Continue reading

The Devil: Know Your Enemy

Take the devil as a metaphor for the shadow side of human nature or as a supernatural being-either way; it is good to know your enemy. I just finished Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism and couldn’t help but think: they sound just like the devil, who Jesus described as, “A liar and the father … Continue reading

Humans: what we all have in common

Anthropologist Donald Brown wrote Human Universals, about the things all humans share, across different times and cultures. This brought down a mini schmidt-storm on his head from the anthropological community, which preferred cultural relativism, but cheers from the psychological community, which assumes all humans think pretty much alike. But why should humans sharing many innate … Continue reading

Empathy: I feel you, my friend.

Admit it: If we demonstrated empathy for each other, it would be the end of war and injustice. Scientists say we are born with empathy, so what is wrong? If you have empathy (basically, I  feel you) you cannot imagine any human being who has none. Yet scientists tell us that four percent of the … Continue reading

Science, History, the Bible and the Quest for Certainty

Let’s face it, humans crave certainty, and who can blame them? For 200,000 years, humans lived as hunter-gatherers, who were, and still are, very conservative when it comes to change.(1)  Hey, if it has worked forever to keep us alive, why mess with it? When one worldview was challenged, as must have happened when the … Continue reading

Weight Gain: Blame Your Inner Hunter-Gatherer

There is no evidence that human beings have changed fundamentally in the last 200,000 years. Since we spent almost all of that time as hunter-gatherers, our ancestors have much to teach us about being human. According to Jared Diamond’s The World until Yesterday, tribes were extremely interested in food. They did not have refrigerators or … Continue reading