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Athenian View of Human Nature Essay

The course of background has shown that during times of dilemma or devastation, people’s the case human nature emerges.

Unlike the view outside the window of Gandhi, in these occasions humans react violently and are also concerned with self-interest, supporting the Athenian’s look at of human motivation. Inside the History of the Peloponnesian Battle, Thucydides offers ample support of this view of being human. Generally viewed as one of the first the case historians, this individual wanted to view the world since it really was and firmly insisted on staying with the facts.

Thucydides subjected human nature to an extremely cold and reductive examination, which could always be regarded as negativity, but he considered to be realistic look. Generally people want to keep up a positive self-concept of themselves which causes them to agree with the overly idealistic views of human nature, just like that presented by Gandhi. The Athenians held the belief that the three motives for human nature are secureness, honor, and self-interest, and these trigger people to end up being inherently chaotic. When there exists a breakdown of law and order, a state of unprecedented lawlessness takes place and during the confusion, people’s values revert to a barbaric state.

Gandhi, on the other hand, thought that individuals act violently as a result of a war or perhaps disaster, nevertheless that their true being human compels them to be relaxing. In other words, humans only work violently once provoked and when it is necessary pertaining to survival. However, the Athenians show that people become untamed and violent during times of confusion, because their particular true being human is permitted to emerge. “Then, with the normal conventions of civilized life thrown into confusion, being human, always ready to offend even where laws and regulations exist, demonstrated itself happily in its true colors, since something incapable of controlling passion, insubordinate towards the idea of justice, the adversary to nearly anything superior to alone? ” (p.

245) Throughout the Peloponnesian War, Athens was struck by plague, which caused wide-spread chaos and confusion. The Athenians started to be indifferent to the rules of religion and rules, and started out openly performing acts of self-indulgence. “It was generally agreed that what was equally honorable and valuable was the pleasure in the moment and everything that might conceivably lead to that satisfaction. No fear of god or law of man a new restraining influence. ” (p. 155) The same kind of lawlessness took place during the civil war in Corcyra in which extreme physical violence took place throughout a period of concern. Fighting and aggression had been considered brave and anyone who held chaotic opinions can always be trusted, while anyone who objected them became a suspect.

The Athenians created a democratic system of authorities that was necessary to continue to keep order and peace among the people. The people felt that their involvement in federal government was essential in order to stop themselves via being uncivilized and therefore philistine. Gandhi contended that the human race shouldn’t reprimand each other due to the belief that no one offers power over anyone else but themselves, however it is obvious that laws and regulations and punishments are primary in containing violent being human.

Strong governments prevent persons from wrecking each other out of self-interest. There becomes an orderly balance offered by the good ruling the weak. A major aspect in the Athenian perspective of human motivation is definitely the notion those in power are the stronger and naturally rule or perhaps dominate within the weak. Through the debate for Sparta, the Athenians admit to exploiting their empire for their benefit and earth their activities firmly in a natural rules tied to an eternal being human. They support the belief it is human nature to rule what one can and they are merely performing in accordance with the current law. “It has always been a rule the weak must be subject to the strong; and besides, we consider that people are worthy of our power. ” (p.

80) Physical violence and your survival are the laws and regulations of characteristics and even though humans include found a way to manipulate all their surroundings those basic intuition exist in every humans on a fundamental level. It makes the most sense to live peacefully in society, which is why persons generally comply with laws, although that does not show that humans are inherently great. In the end, people are naturally disposed to do wrong and no sum of laws of punishments will prevent this. “In a word it is not possible? for being human, when once seriously arranged upon some course, being prevented from following that course by force of law or perhaps by any means of violence. ” (p.


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