human nature Quotes

While ritual, emotion and reasoning are all significant aspects of human nature, the most nearly unique human characteristic is the ability to associate abstractly and to reason. Curiosity and the urge to solve problems are the emotional hallmarks of our species; and the most characteristically human activities are mathematics, science, technology, music and the arts--a somewhat broader range of subjects than is usually included under the "humanities." Indeed, in its common usage this very word seems to reflect a peculiar narrowness of vision about what is human. Mathematics is as much a "humanity" as poetry.

- Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Survival of the fittest" in the commonly used animal sense is not a theory or principle for a "time-binding" being. This theory is only for the physical bodies of animals; its effect upon humanity is sinister and degrading. We see the principle at work all about us in criminal exploitation and profiteering. As a matter of fact, the ages-long application of this animal principle to human affairs has degraded the whole human morale in an inconceivably far-reaching way. Personal greed and selfishness are brazenly owned as principles of conduct. We shrug our shoulders in acquiescence and proclaim greed and selfishness to be the very core of human nature, take it all for granted, and let it pass at that. We have gone so far in our degradation that the prophet of capitalistic principles, Adam Smith, in his famous Wealth of Nations, arrives at the laws of wealth, not from the phenomena of wealth nor from statistical statements, but from the phenomena of selfishness-a fact which shows how far-reaching in its dire influence upon all humanity is the theory that human beings are "animals." Of course the effect is very disastrous. The preceding chapters have shown that the theory is false; it is false, not only because of its unhappy effects, but it belies the characteristic nature of man. Human nature, this time-binding power, not only has the peculiar capacity for perpetual progress, but it has, over and above all animal propensities, certain qualities constituting it a distinctive dimension or type of life. Not only our whole collective life proves a love for higher ideals, but even our dead give us the rich heritage, material and spiritual, of all their toils. There is nothing mystical about it; to call SUCH a class a naturally selfish class is not only nonsensical but monstrous.

- Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity

The argument has long been made that we humans are by nature compassionate and empathic despite the occasional streak of meanness, but torrents of bad news throughout history have contradicted that claim, and little sound science has backed it. But try this thought experiment. Imagine the number of opportunities people around the world today might have to commit an antisocial act, from rape or murder to simple rudeness and dishonesty. Make that number the bottom of a fraction. Now for the top value you put the number of such antisocial acts that will actually occur today. That ratio of potential to enacted meanness holds at close to zero any day of the year. And if for the top value you put the number of benevolent acts performed in a given day, the ratio of kindness to cruelty will always be positive. (The news, however, comes to us as though that ratio was reversed.)Harvard's Jerome Kagan proposes this mental exercise to make a simple point about human nature: the sum total of goodness vastly outweighs that of meanness. 'Although humans inherit a biological bias that permits them to feel anger, jealousy, selfishness and envy, and to be rude, aggressive or violent,' Kagan notes, 'they inherit an even stronger biological bias for kindness, compassion, cooperation, love and nurture – especially toward those in need.' This inbuilt ethical sense, he adds, 'is a biological feature of our species.

- Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

To illustrate the nature of this theandric reciprocity, Thomas invokes, as an example, the physical touch of Jesus’s hand: “he wrought divine things humanly, as when he healed the leper with a touch.” The touch of a human being is not in itself miraculous, and even in Jesus this human action is not humanly healing. The miraculous fact of the healing power of this human touch, rather, as Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange puts it, “proceeds from God as the principal cause and from Christ’s human nature as the instrumental cause.” Jesus works divine things humanly. More ultimately, Jesus wills the divine will of salvation humanly. And so he wills theandrically in the sense that what he wills has an “infinite value” that “derives from the divine suppositum that is the agent which operates”. The deifying effects of the Incarnation are thus contingent on the theandric fact of the interpenetrating unity of divine-human operations.

- Aaron Riches

What we call “Higher” behavior is elaborated by our abstract mind to ensure survival by an efficient cohesion of our clan.What we call “lower” behavior is to ensure survival at the expense of a rival, or to prevent the survival of a rival to be at our expense.So,Be they our “higher” and “lower” behavior/selves, our humanity and inhumanity, our “Divine” and “diabolic” trends, or any aspect of our Human Nature,All are created by our abstract mind to ensure survival in an environment of scarcity.But of course you can always choose to adopt “revelations” which present human nature as: A messed up image of a messed up supernatural coexistence between two messed up opposite supernatural entities with a messed up relation.Ultimately, we all think we choose by what we think we know.

- Haroutioun Bochnakian, The Human Consensus and The Ultimate Project Of Humanity

Humanity smacks me the taste of human psyche and prejudice, being part of human nature. Humans believe that they have a right to decide on behalf of all creatures and make laws for them. Love is more preferred word to replace humanity, it incorporates feelings of all creatures in comparison to humanity, which is only humane.

- Tarif Naaz

Given that the human soul is the very core of our human nature, we might note that, when we are guided by soul, we are guided by nature. Both soul and greater nature do guide us in our individual development, whether or not we ask for this guidance.

- Bill Plotkin, Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World

Will Human Nature destroy Nature and Humans?

- Drats, Humans Need Three Hands: Will Human Nature Destroy Nature and Humans?

I learned many things about human nature, but one of the greatest is the nobility inherent within us all, for one of the greatest things about being human is the ability to be humane

- Sara Niles, Torn From the Inside Out

They are distinct enough that our crude instruments can pick up the differences, yet both are healthy instances of that staggeringly improbable, exquisitely engineered system we call a human being.

- Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

You focus on telling stories,
we do everything else.