Nature of Man

Marina Moes
Social 30-1 McBride

Nature of Man

There has always been great debate about the nature of man, and which actions to take in directing man based on this. The idea that man is irrational refers to the lack of reason or logic used when making decisions. Being concerned only with one's own well being and desires, with no regard for others, is what it is to be selfish. According to the source, man has both of these attributes and therefore needs an authoritarian rule. That is, to have the government assert control over people's lives, but not wholly over economic and social institutions; and to make decisions for the people, who are in submission of the authority. This form of government is opposite of democracy and opposed of individualism. This ideology would be supported by people like Thomas Hobbes. He believed that human nature was about violence and fear, people only cared for themselves thus hurting others to protect themselves. This aggression came from freedom, and so there needs to be security and control for the good of everyone. He saw proof of this from the chaos he experienced   during the English Civil War. There are many others who would strongly disagree with this source, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Though society has corrupted them, Rousseau believed humans were born good, free and equal. The solution to this debased society was to have the will of the general public be the absolute authority, where the citizens create laws directly. His perspective was based on the poverty and inequality he saw created by the autocratic government he lived under. Throughout history, there have been many instances where man has been shown to be irrational and selfish. The cases that prove man to be selfless and rational are few and far between. This leads to the idea that the majority of man is, in fact, as the source suggests. If so, then an authoritarian system of government would be ideal; having control over affairs, and providing safety for...