The Depravity of Man

With all the collusion, political conspiracy, mass murder, sexual predation, racial prejudice and bigotry, the doctrines of human depravity held throughout orthodox Christian history have once again been vindicated.

But while we recognize and decry the wanton immorality of Hollywood and Times Square, of Washington DC and Wall Street, we ought also to remember that we, too, are radically corrupt, totally depraved, and basically evil. And we are in need of a new nature – a new birth or regeneration – which comes only by grace toward salvation from our due punishment.

 

If 2017 supported any theory of human nature it undoubtedly once again furthered the proposition that mankind is basically evil. With all the allegations of collusion, political conspiracy, mass murder, sexual predation, racial prejudice and bigotry, libel and slander, dishonest journalism, treason, and dark-state mutiny, the doctrines of human depravity held throughout orthodox Christian history have once again been vindicated.

As a parenthesis I will note that the formulation “basically evil” is important – as it is for synonymic relatives “radical corruption” and “total depravity”. The phrases are meant to imply there is a foundational or fundamental wickedness that affects every aspect of being thereafter. Man is at his base evil; at his roothe is corrupt; and the totality of his being is affected by depravity.  (“Total depravity” is not meant to imply that man is as utterly depraved as is theoretically possible, only that the totality of our being is in some fashion or measure affected by the want of complete and perfect goodness.)

In our generational hubris, we pretend that we are better than those before us – that a sort of moral evolution is taking place, allowing our species to draw closer to ethical perfection. But this can only be true if the concept of morality is approached from the subjective, if we determine for ourselves what consists of keeping and transgressing the moral law. But then again, that would be no law – no law in the same sense as the laws of physics or logic – because subjectivity is the ficklest of judges.

From the standpoint of a moral objectivist – that there is an ontological moral law imposed upon this universe, outside and transcendent of ourselves – the opposite conclusion is drawn; not that we are getting progressively worse, but that progress of our moral essence in our natural state is outside of our human capacity whatsoever; that we continuously violate the objective and created laws of goodness. We violate them because as creatures – that is, that which has been created – we do not serve the interests of that which has created us. We do not recognize our subservience to the creator; to the supreme and sovereign ultimate authority. Rather, we act out of service first and foremost to our own selfish interests. We are slaves to the pursuit of personal gain, and the prevention of personal loss.

Simply put, Natural Man cannot NOT sin.

We may pretend a façade of altruism, but within the natural state that service is still to our own supposed honor, dignity, or empathy, which service is once again a service unto one’s own self.

The fundamental moral law of Christianity and its Hebrew roots is to love YHWH your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. This is an objective law, in the same way likewise that gravity is an objective law, that there is a sovereign “ought-ness” outside mere physical existence in the demand for conformity to that law.

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