Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Is human nature still basically good?

In response to the three-part series on “Response to Concerns by an Urbanite (here are the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), an English reader raised some interesting points. Rather than letting her post get buried in the comments section, I wanted to bring it forward.

Reader “Grubby Jeans” (love the moniker!) wrote: Oh dear this is scary! I live in the south of England and it would be almost impossible to get more than about 20 miles away from a sizeable town. I have built up a good store of food after reading blogs like this but it could easily be stolen by anyone armed with a gun. As it is difficult to buy guns legally here anyone with a gun is likely not to be a law abiding citizen.

But do you really think that people are so bad? Think of the many people in WW11 how helped refugees even though they were hungry themselves. The family who hid Anne Frank's family for years is just one example out of many. I will have to trust that human nature is still basically good. I have to say I find it strange that so many people making comments, who seem to be Christian, can be at ease with planning to kill others, apparently without asking questions or finding out their intentions.

I welcome respectful replies to Grubby Jean’s questions and observations.


  1. Society is not the same as back then. All of the people have been brainwashed to look out for themselves rather than anyone else. I think that a large part of this is the intrusiveness of government. We used to take care of the neighbors because we had the means but now government steals a lot of our funds and then doles it out to "the poor". The fact that England has slid so far down the rabbit hole that it is now no longer legal to protect your home from an invasion by any means is really sad.

  2. Sadly the world is a much worse place than it was during WW2. The electronic age has seen a disconnect where neighbors rarely know each other on a level like they did back then. The caring and compassion of The greatest generation is hard to find in this modern genration unless they are raised by people of faith with strong morale values. Just look at the normal amount of violence on any given day of the week in your country Grubby Jeans then consider what it is like during the world cup match or the last event when there was any major amount of problems from youth related problems.

  3. The actions of those who housed the family of Anne Frank went directly against "human nature". Instinct demands that one does what is necessary to survive, procreate, and advance one's own interests.

    The learned behaviors of charity and other such virtues are not natural. This is why children need parents. It is, however, the ability to choose between instinct and that which is deemed "good" that differentiates the human from animals.

    Hard times, however, are what tests the mettle of those who will be forced to make hard choices. For those who are certain they will behave in a Christian manner may fail miserably when tested and those who are thought to be reprobates will, when put to the fire, exhibit the charity that will astound many - most likely even themselves.

  4. Humans Good? Never has man been good, since the hasatan was able to convince Mrs. Adam to disobey Elohims command.
    Today we have 40 different christian doctrines that all are spewing their own hermaneutical interpretations to represent their 501C protected pulpits, instead of just following the written instructions given to us from the WORD. We have turned into sheep requiring "interpretation" to know what to believe. Yeshua knew that this road would be narrow and even those that follow His fathers LAW would be less than those that find the narrow path, to actually walk it. So, the majority of man is indeed "evil".
    Pray for our earthly world to seek the Father and follow HIS WORD. Hear and Obey!

  5. I wish I could share her view of the good nature of people in todays world. I just think that modern folks are too self centered and lack the skills to survive without looting. Honor has disappeared from the modern mind.

    Carl in the UP

  6. Somebody please forward Ms. Grubby Jeans some video of the last Black Friday riots at Walmart over a friggin' microwave.

  7. I know many good people (and yes most are Christian) who live in my small community. Increasingly though, there are some who do not live a life that could be called good. Meth, drugs and heavy alcohol use has created families who have no concept of morality. Life is cheap to many of them them and welfare has allowed them to survive in modern society with no skills. I have no desire to shoot anyone but unless one shows a willingness to protect ones family and property, some of these people will have no qualms in taking my life or property in desperate times. A firearm is one way to protect the weak from the strong. Greg in KS

  8. May God forbid that we, as Americans, ever become as cowed, helpless or complacent as the British have become.

    As for our readiness to defend ourselves and our families, I refer Grubby Jeans to Psalms 144, which begins: Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight.

    If Grubby Jeans wants to judge me or anyone else here as 'seeming to be Christians' and talk about how 'scary' all this is, I suppose it can be easily forgiven, since it's always safer and easier to miscast and disrespect Christians than it is to stand up to the murderous inbred hordes of followers of 'the religion of peace' presently raping and murdering British citizens and being enabled by spineless British politicians to force creeping sharia on their country and bleed them dry.

    Grubby Jeans may have the right basic idea about storing food and being somewhat prepared, but without the will or, apparently, even the moral conviction to defend themselves, what's the point?

    There have always been good people and bad people in this world.

    When the good ones give up and give in to evil without even putting up a fight, evil prospers.

    I make no apologies for my willingness to stand against those who would harm me, my family or my neighbor. Nor do I care if Grubby Jeans deigns to pass judgement on me or question my faith. I would simply remind that poster that it was the Americans who came to Europe and kicked the Germans' butts in WW2, and that without their goodness and willingness to fight, and their sacrifices of life and limb, GJ would have grown up in Nazi-land, if indeed they'd ever have lived at all.

    I'm glad Grubby Jeans isn't my neighbor, cowering in a dark corner believing in human goodness while I stand up and fight for it. Neighbors like that will sell you out in a heartbeat.

    When people endeavor to kick Christ out of their lives and their nations, evil will always fill the void.

    A. McSp

  9. Our society in America today is very self centered, with a "me first", " live for the moment" attitude . Good folks seem to be few and far between . When things get really tough the pleasant exterior we see on some folks today will quickly disappear . Hunger, cold, pain, & sickness will alter one's thought processes in very short order .
    We try to build a small core of very close people with like minds . We also believe a strong belief in God as an anchor to our earthly journey is important .

  10. There were good people back then....
    There were bad people back then also. Romanticism of the past is a very common thing. There were massive levels of atrocities going on throughout the world as the wars raged on.
    All you have to do is dig into some of the first hand accounts and see that people did horrible things to each other. And always have during times of war.

    Of course there are accounts of selfless acts and heroism too. But the human race is equally at home helping each other as it is destroying each other. The time it occurred is not relevant. It has been this way forever.

  11. Grubby Jeans, do I really think people are so bad? Yes, yes I do. Do you remember the vast wave of rioting in English cities that was triggered by the death of Mark Duggan? And the acts of cruelty and terror (gangs forcing people to strip naked and filming them with their phones for no other reason than for their amusement and the feeling of power it gave them). Society is very different now from it was in WWII, how the British have fallen as a nation. Be very afraid of what even a small minority of the populace will do when unleashed without fear of restraint by police.

    I think a lot of TEOTWAWKI fiction writers are very quick to have the ‘good guys’ shoot the ‘bad guys’ given that the author knows they’re very bad guys. In reality it’s a lot harder for someone who has a conscience to strike first given limited information on someone’s intent. I think a lot of good people will die through hesitating.

  12. Unfortunately human nature is not "basically good", it is basically wicked. Take any concordance and look up wicked, wickedly, wickedness, etc. and you'll find many, many verses about the basically wicked nature of man. Our only salvation is trust in Jesus Christ.


  13. My reply...humans can choose to BE good....but according to the Bible, human nature is not good. We are sinners, and our natural bent is selfishness and sinning. God creates us into new creatures when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, and it is because of Christ that we can be "good". But even then...our righteousnesses are as filthy rags....

  14. Another point...while thinking of the many who helped others in ww2....perhaps that number should be compared to the overwhelming majority of people who turned their back on their neighbors...or worse, turned them in. I think that would give us a true look at society/human nature. In Germany alone, most cities had small concentration camps. It wasn't just the big ones we all know...tiny towns had them. The people knew, and chose self-preservation. Then add in the insanity of russia's system of human destruction.

    Or add in the world's current system of self-preservation at the cost of human lives....abortion.... Are we any less selfish, turning our backs on the murder of unborn babies. These people who remove human life from their bodies in order to continue on with life as before....they don't care about killing others....they don't care about others at all....

  15. You mentioned World War II. In that war alone, at least 30,000,000 civilians including Anne Frank lost their lives. If civility has changed in the last 70 years it has arguably gotten worse. As James Rawles of SurvivalBlog.com says, “Civilization is just a thin veneer”.

    As a Christian, I believe God distinguished between killing and murder (shedding of innocent blood). I believe I have a God-given DUTY to protect my loved one. If it REQUIRES killing an evil-doer then so be it. Let me ask you a question. If your innocent loved one was about to be raped and/or murdered, and you knew I had a gun, would you want me to intervene as necessary to stop the perpetrator?

    And now for the really, really bad news… You have a much greater threat than the ‘Golden Horde’. You mention gun control and the fact that your government has disarmed you. For every person murdered by an individual, governments have murdered 10,000 of their OWN people. Source 'Death by Government' by R.J. Rummel. In the 20th Century alone, governments murdered four times as many civilians as were killed in all the international and domestic wars combined. (Source: Death Chart http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/deathgc.htm ) And we wonder why governments demand gun control?

    We live in what the government-controlled media smugly calls the ‘Wild West’. My wife and I openly carry every day. No one thinks anything of it. What the media refuses to tell you is that the ‘Wild West’ is very safe and civilized. And getting a sweet taste of rare civility today is probably why most folks visit Patrice’s web site.

    Montana Guy

    1. "As a Christian, I believe God distinguished between killing and murder (shedding of innocent blood). I believe I have a God-given DUTY to protect my loved one. If it REQUIRES killing an evil-doer then so be it. Let me ask you a question. If your innocent loved one was about to be raped and/or murdered, and you knew I had a gun, would you want me to intervene as necessary to stop the perpetrator?"


      Another excellent post by you.

      A. McSp

  16. In my (very limited) experience from what I've seen it varies greatly neighborhood by neighborhood. We had a huge power outage that left half of our state as well as the state next door to lose power for something like half a day. Nobody could get gas and all the stores closed down, but everyone was calm and a vast majority turned it into a big neighborhood block party. We stayed at my in-law's house and several of their neighbors came by offering to share food and make sure everyone was alright. Some even offered flashlights and glow sticks for the kids. It was great to see everyone come together.

    Granted though, that was a SHORT term blip of a disruption. Do I have faith that everyone would be so warm and welcoming in a weeks time? Or a month? Or even longer? No, not really.

  17. Humans are inherently wicked, not good. The Holocaust would never have happened if humans were naturally good. Those who sheltered Anne Frank were exceptional. Even so, she was betrayed and died in a concentration camp. I hardly think this qualifies as a reason for optimism about the behavior of ones' fellow human beings in a TEOTWAKI situation.
    Here is the US, the continual promotion of dependence on the government for everything has destroyed the sense of morality necessary for strangers to be willing to help others, and unwilling to hurt others for selfish gain.

  18. The Bible gives no doubt as to the "goodness" of man.

  19. It's a mistake to make a broad statement that people are either 'good' or 'bad' There have always been both, and one should be prepared to resist evil. In the Bible Jesus tells his disciples to 'go and sell everything you have and buy a sword' before going out into the world. So called Christians are not always good either. By and large the Nazi's were Luthren.. Paul tells us to 'live in peace with everyone, as much as is possible" Sadly it isn't always possible, because true evil exists in this world. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and we are to be 'Christlike' The Bible says there is a time for war, and a time for peace. Discernment in a disaster is something to pray about. Most prepper philosophy includes having enough food for self AND charity, That is in addition to the fire-power for defending life and liberty.

    There will be good people to help us, and for us to care for, and there will ALSO be people full of evil intent and no conscience. History shows us this.

    Society (at least in the USA) as a whole has devolved, rather than evolved over time. People are much more rude, vulgar and self centered. In a disaster, this will make society a much more dangerous place. Also, the prevalence of drugs among the populace should not be dismissed. People are using flakka, dabbing THC and all manner of things that alter logical thinking and reacting, Very common.

    Pray... and be prepared for the good, the bad and the very ugly.

  20. The problem is, it doesn't matter if (under normal circumstances) the good folks outnumber the bad when you're talking a close quarters situation such as a decent sized town or city.

    In a SHTF type situation the "bad" will overwhelm the good because the "bad" will have no qualms about taking what they need by force. Your neighbors might be awesome folks, but when the new guy in town puts a gun to your child's head are you going to give him what he asks for, even if it means starving yourself, or are you going to let him kidnap/rape/maim/kill your child because giving him what he wants would mean everyone else starves? You have to keep the "bad" away in the first place, and that just isn't going to happen in the sort of close quarters that is a reasonable sized town or city.

    With the support of your neighbors you might be able to hold off some of those "bad". But that assumes your neighbors haven't tried to "bug out" in the first place. Or weren't trapped away from home. Didn't die in whatever disaster caused the problem in the first place......

  21. There are clear examples of what happens when there is a major disaster like: Katrina--hurricane, Nepal--earthquake, Argentina--economic collapse, etc. You'll find both good and bad people. Safety becomes a real concern. A gun may be necessary at times. Possibly an alternative initial response could be found in a can of WASP spray. It shoots 20+ feet (about 7 meters) and very quickly discourages better than pepper spray. Just sayin'.

  22. While I would love to believe that mankind is basically "good" unfortunately that just simply isn't true. A generation or more have grown selfish and self centered with a "me, me, me" attitude. Yes there are some fabulous and very caring individuals out there but unfortunately they are far and few between.

    Should the proverbial hit the fan then my family will be prepared. Would we take all reasonable steps to protect our family? Absolutely. While I'm fine with some charity my family comes first. It's mine and my husbands responsibility to take care of our children and elderly parents.

    Does that make us selfish/inconsiderate/brutal? Perhaps but we are willing to live with that. We are not blessed to live in a community where neighbours know each other and help each other out. It is what it is and we deal with it.We are not going to be hiding in a corner hoping the ravaging hordes will pass us by but neither are we going to willing seek confrontation but we will protect what is ours.

    I don't live in England or America and gun ownership is legal here providing you have a licence and follow the required steps for storing guns and ammunition. There are many who are ignoring the signs of what is coming but there are also many who are preparing for the worst and praying for the best. Thank you all for contributing to this discussion it has provided food for thought and that can only be a good thing.

  23. Very interesting reading here today.

    I think most people have a "goodness gene" somewhere in them.

    For example, frequently, when someone has been a victim of a serious crime, their first thoughts are altruistic: They don't want it happen to anyone else. They want to do what they can to protect others from the same heinous act.

    But, as someone else already pointed out before me, Anne Frank's family was ultimately betrayed. By whom, no one knows. Perhaps by someone who was trying to survive the war themselves?

    Anne and her sister, Margot, ended up at Bergen-Belsen where they both died. (According to Wikipedia.)

    I don't think if it can be "blanket-stated" that humans are good or bad. God saddled us with free will. It's up to us to choose the good on purpose. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's not.

    Sometimes we just want to survive a situation brought upon us by someone else who's already chosen the bad.

    Just Me

    1. The Frank's and their friends were found out when a burglar broke into the book store in which they lived in hiding. They slept during the day when the book store was open to customers and could only walk around, talk, and make any noise at night. The burglar was caught by the police and when questioned, revealed that he had heard noises in the upstairs of the book store. It was then that they were caught.

    2. Sorry, I think this might be right out of the movie. I just visited Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam last summer and the history they tell is more realistic. It wasn't a family hiding the Frank's, it was his own co-workers at a company where he had a managerial position (some say co-owner). One of the workers finally gave them up. Yes, there was a burglary, but that wasn't what doomed them. Anyway, that's what the good folks in Amsterdam told us and they furnished us with a nice booklet with photos and data. Just my 2 cents. Your mileage may vary.

      BTW, you should read one of Patrice's older posts. I forget what it's called but the gist of it is that what's coming isn't going to be like your grandparent's depression where folks where kinder.

      God Bless,
      Janet in MA

  24. Good and bad people are rarely in the "black or white" spectrum. Most of us fall somewhere in the grays in between. What would be unthinkable for one of us might be perfectly acceptable to another. Figuring out what you would do to survive, or help your family survive may help...but when it comes down to the crucial, actual moment, you may find out you are capable of much worse than what you imagined. Or incapable of acts that would insure your survival. You can't know until it happens.

  25. How many times through history have people fought and paid for with their blood, the rights that God has given them, only to become complacent, rather LAZY, and to lose them for the next generations?
    Too may to outline in my response!
    That in itself is wickedness, on both sides. That is what not being able to defend yourself is all about. The wicked have convinced the lazy (which is wickedness also) to disarm themselves, willingly, I must add. How many times must this happen? It's not just about being armed, it's about being micro-managed into submission. I submit to my God and after that I must defend myself.
    The lazy have taken their own liberty, a gift from our Creator, and willingly thrown it away, not just for themselves but for children as well. We will each have to stand and account for what we did with that gift as well as for how we treated each other. But...when I stand for liberty, I stand for it for all, not just myself. If you read history, you will find that very few patriots stood for liberty and fought for liberty, while the rest cowered fearfully, afraid of being on the wrong side politically when the dust settled, instead of siding with God.
    I don't have to ask the intentions of anyone coming up my driveway to be a Christian. That is not required of me. The wicked are not above lying. I do, however, intend to be charitable, but it won't be at my house and I will make that very clear from the very beginning.
    I guess that I am saying that I do not think people are inherently good. If they were, they would not mock God and we would not be in this situation.

  26. Just from the attitude towards an adult, along with the foul language, I am inclined to not believe that this "15 year old girl" is what she claims to be. If indeed, she is what she claims, then we are beyond hope for the future of this nation when children would dare show such attitude, disrespect, and language towards an adult.

  27. The concept of human nature being basically good is flawed. Left to ourselves we humans are subject to the curse and tend to do what is right in our own eyes(Judges 17:6) and every imagination of the thoughts of our hearts are only evil continually(Genesis 6:5). This is without God and the reason there is a need for God to create in us a clean heart (Psalm 51) and give us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). We have been lulled into believing that human nature is basically good by may hundreds of years of the Judeo Christian value system being injected into our western society. As it permeated our civil structure the average person adopted many of the values even if they did not believe in Jesus Christ. If you visit another country where they have not had this influence or it is many generations in their past, the lack becomes more obvious. One of the ways you can tell is how a society values life. Take the middle east for instance. The Muslim held countries lack value for the human life. They value those close to them and few others. As western civilization attacks this Judeo Christian foundation from which concepts like our responsibility to our Creator and the value of life created in His likeness comes, it reduces itself to paganism and everything associated with that paganism will become more prevalent. The less God is acknowledged in our civil society, the less civil it will be. Your statement indicated that you believed that Christians were planning to kill others. I don't think “planning” is exactly the word for it. (of course if there is a comment I missed then please point it out) Everything I have read here indicates that concerned folks are preparing to defend themselves and their families against people who may not have any respect for human life. There is a distinction between murder and killing for defense. In Nehemiah 4 the people of Israel prepared to defend themselves, their families, and their society against outside aggressors seeking to destroy them. One of the Ten Commandments is often read, “though shalt not kill” but the Hebrew verb is retzach is murder. The Levitical law shows that not all violent death at the hands of another human is the fault of the person who did the killing. In Exodus 22:2-3 where a thief breaking in at night is killed by the resident, the resident is not at fault. Sometimes we don't see criminal behavior as the evil that it is because of the blurred lines between civil and criminal law in our society and the moral relativism and situational ethics. The closer criminal laws reflect God's natural law the more obvious it becomes that criminal behavior is evil. We value human life and rightly so, but there are some questions we should ask ourselves. If an officer of the law derives his authority from the law, does he still bear his authority when violating that law? If we are protected by the laws of our society does that protection still extend to us when we are breaking those laws to violate someone else's rights under the law? How about if the person violating the law is threatening our right to life or the lives of our loved ones? Which is evil, allowing their evil or protecting life by taking it? This brings me to authority and responsibility and their relationship with one another. Mr. Lewis has a responsibility to protect and provide for the family that God gave him. And with that responsibility comes the authority necessary to perform in the role in which God has placed him. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37) Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8) What good is providing food and shelter if we don't also provide defense?
    -Old Soldier

  28. sorry for no flow on that last post .. had to trim it to fit ( :
    -Old Soldier

  29. Me, I think that the good in good people and the bad in bad people will be amplified.

    I found this statement of hers to be quite ironic, and exactly what we DON'T want to happen here...
    As it is difficult to buy guns legally here anyone with a gun is likely not to be a law abiding citizen.

    - Charlie

  30. Thank you Patrice for drawing attention to my comment and to so many of you for taking the time to reply. Yes, there are plenty of nasty people out there, and good ones too, and even good people will steal if their children are starving. Thanks to the person who recommended the Wasp spray, it would certainly be a good deterrent to an unarmed thief. Beyond that I should imagine that my best bet would be to hide most of the stores and if the 'golden horde' come get out and let them take what was obvious. That is an approach that has a long history, it's was the way the Britons survived raids by the Danes and I'm sure it has been used throughout the world. As you say in 'Response to Concerns by an Urbanite' it would take a whole armed community to resist the 'Golden Horde' so if my husband and I tried to fight them, even if we were armed (and knew what we were doing) it would probably end badly for us.

  31. I thought her comment, "As it is difficult to buy guns legally here anyone with a gun is likely not to be a law abiding citizen." Was very telling... The Liberal politicians here in the U.S. are striving to take guns away from law-abiding citizens, and IF they are successful, the only folks who will have guns will be the criminals. The writing is on the wall!