Man?s nature can be looked at in many different ways. Observing a few of the several views helps one to appreciate all of the positive and negative characteristics man has brought forth. The majority of the views are negative, or pessimistic, and they are attracted to the thought of whether man has any hope, whereas the positive views focus on the outstanding needs and abilities of man. Christmas has its positive and negative characteristics to it as well, which is a good example.
One of the positive point of views came from Ashley Montigu, who was an optimistic man that believed that the outstanding characteristic of mankind is his ability to learn. Such aspects of life including physical needs of food, clothing, and shelter are main priorities. He believed that if children were raised so their needs are met, they would grow up healthy, happy, and stable. Emotionally, man needs love and acceptance and without those variables he will break down. Christmas can be related to Ashley Montigu?s view because it is a time for love, joy, generosity, and peace. When one gives to the less fortunate his heart flourishes with joy and happiness, yet if one does not give or receive he will be left with a rotten, cold feeling just as if a child were raised without their physical or emotional needs.
The majority of man?s views are negative including the Scientific view and the Western Religious view. Firstly, the Scientific view believed that man evolved from an upright walking, tool using, intelligent, ape-like creature. Scientists theorized that he inherited a genetic code and his intelligence outgrew his emotional development, therefore leaving him emotionally retarded. Man is looked at as being territorially aggressive, which could be very dangerous in a nuclear age. The Western Religious view of man?s nature believes that man is sinful or imperfect and leaves one with the thought of if we are all born with original sin, is there any hope for us? Christian?s believed in this theory and it has captured many people?s eyes and taught them the belief. Christmas can also be imperfect because it tends to make one feel depressed and unhappy due to financial hardships.
Golding?s view of man?s nature was a combination of good and evil, which stresses on the veneer of civilization and how we need law and order to save us. He believed that there is a beast within mankind, which takes control when there is no stable social order. When there is social order, this beast is prowling within the gates of civilization. Golding conjectured that all of our actions are learned and that man is a creature hopelessly fallen from Grace. We are a paradox, meaning we have negative and positive views of man?s nature, and most of the negative stuff is learned. Christmas relates to Golding?s view by having its good and bad points. It is a very happy time of the year because gifts are given and people overall fill themselves with love and happiness, but deep down comes the feeling of depression and remorse seeping through.
In conclusion, man?s nature is a mixture of both good and evil and can be greatly appreciated when put towards the positive aspects of life. None of these views may be very accurate, but if you take a piece of each view and put them together you have a well-defined description of man?s nature. Christmas time is a lovely time of the year, but it can have its bad characteristics as well, just as man?s nature has its flaws. Just like Golding says, ?Man is attracted to evil as a bee is to honey?.
Ali Burton 2001