Is human nature essentially good or bad? Let’s ask babies.

Lesley over on Heretics Anonymous fears there are two Christian Churches divided by fundamental beliefs. Whilst Lesley highlights four beliefs, I want to focus on the following:

On Church views humans as ‘essentially fallen’ whilst the other as ‘essentially good’.

Lesley is entirely correct in this observation. I would posit this difference is a product of theology and that perhaps there is room in the one church for fundamentally different perspectives, but that is another matter.

I used to be in the ‘essentially fallen’ camp derived from a hyper-Calvinistic and somewhat pessimistic view of humanity, but now incorporating and taking on board Catholic teaching, view humans as ‘essentially good’ as a by-product of being made in the image of God.

And it looks like some recent research supports this.

The best way to get under the bonnet of human hard-wiring is to conduct research on those of us with the minimum of cultural influences, and that of course is babies.

At this point I’d like to direct you to a blog post on this issue over on Mind Hacks, detailing a fascinating experiment which indicates babies not only infer motive, but have an in-built preference to towards ‘good motives’.

Husband, Father, Christian (not the mentalist type), Mentalist, Blogger, and so forth. Gloucestershire UK Follow me on Twitter

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