The Bible teaches its followers that human beings were made in the image of God, and that, in fact, the Lord of the universe breathed His Spirit into man. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, they were sent to earth to work on themselves, with the promise that they would ultimately find deliverance, along with their children, provided that they obey God on earth. The very fact that they were disobedient to God is referred to as the ‘original sin’ of man (Harent, 1911). Yet, the Nazis who claimed to have been staunch believers of the Bible killed millions of Jews in the name of the Christ.
Likewise, although the meaning of the word, Islam, is peace, there have been individuals who claimed to be Muslims but nevertheless took lives of innocents in the name of the God. According to a new study on the causes of terrorism, ordinary people can be easily “influenced into violence” (“New Research,” 2007). Still, John Locke (2009) – a prominent thinker of the seventeenth century – states that human beings have “perfect freedom” with a sense of morality and an intellect that allows them to choose or refuse certain people, situations, beliefs, etc.
Even though many would assert that it is religion alone that teaches morality to people, we have proved that followers of religions may indulge in evil deeds because of faulty interpretations of scriptures or bad influences. Therefore I believe that man is born good, that is, a container for the Spirit of God. But, even if he does not follow religious principles he may learn ethics and develop a sense of responsibility toward others from good influences, for example, philosophers such as Locke. In fact, good people abound. It is their positive influence that allows us to continue thinking along the lines of ethics and morality.
References Harent, S. (1911). Original Sin. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved Jan 31, 2009 from New Advent: http://www. newadvent. org/cathen/11312a. htm. Locke, J. (2009). Book II, Chapter II: Of the State of Nature. In Two Treatises of Government. Retrieved Jan 31, 2009 from Lonang Institute: http://www. lonang. com/exlibris/locke/loc-202. htm. New Research Into Causes Of Terrorism Reveals People Turn To Suicide Bombing To Preserve Identity. (2007, May 12). Medical News Today. Retrieved Jan 31, 2009, from http://www. medicalnewstoday. com/articles/70717. php.