Man, Nature, and The Good

Nov 27, 2011 by

Nature’s universe and man who is part of nature’s universe is structured around interactions. Nature’s interactions are set by laws, a set of bonds and connections that follow an order. Bonds and connections like gravity, and physics. As part of nature we also are structured to make bonds and connections. If we do not we wither, go insane and ultimately may die. The bonds and connections we make, for example are love, friendship and community, all which are tied to relationships. Our bonds and connections can be demonstrated by the need to have our achievements and failures recognized by others which can only be achieved through relationships. We also use others failures and achievements as standards for comparison and as a motivation to aspire to be excellent. If we are connected our work is towards the good, if we are not connected it can become evil. It is a choice that we make. When de Sade states that nature has the power to manipulate people toward good or evil that suggests that we do not have a choice and by nature are too weak to fend off evil.

Nature is not ruled by an “equal need of vices and of virtues.” If  balance is necessary then it can be assumed that some are destined for evil and some are destined to be good. Once again that negates choice. Nature does not have the power “to move me to evil.”  I am part of nature. I will my actions. We do not need to bring balance to the “force”. Rather, the capability of doing the greatest evil or the greatest good is itself balance. There would be no point for man to act with perfect virtue or to act in accord with perfect vice. It would defeat our connection to the universe. “[H]er (nature‘s) own end and needs” are our own ends and needs controlled by our choice. We choose the good because by nature we must bond and be connected as humans. If we choose evil we would loose the connections and bonds which would be unnatural. Evil acts destroy bonds and connections that people need to function as humans. To adhere to nature we must choose good.

Nietzsche wrote that the universe cares nothing for man, he was right. It is not the universe’s function to care for man, but it is man’s function to care for the universe and each other. Aristotle was correct when he stated that “all human action must be aimed at some good”. The good is a must, the most compelling overriding influence of our nature. It is so compelling that we, by choice, are willing to give up our lives for the sake of the good of the community. The so-called “state of nature” is unnatural. For man the true state of nature is the community. Only there can his acts be recognized for their true intentions, only there can justice prevail. The end of good is the constant pursuit of excellence of character. That is what keeps the community together. Evil drives men apart making them alien to one another. The end of evil is the destruction of character and ultimately the human spirit which can only lead to the death of the human soul.

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