Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Looking for a way to understand the power of destructiveness--war, hatred, self-abasement--Freud referred to the death instinct. Whatever one thinks of Freud and of this particular idea, we have to admit that human beings have an astonishing capacity to destroy. We also have an astonishing capacity to create: city skyscrapers rise from nothing to "touch the face of God;" saints resolve their passions so completely they can love in the face of hellish despair; scientists can comprehend the biophysical properties that account for the possibility of life. But each of these creative capacities contains the seeds of its own destruction.

We should grapple with the various interpretations of this destructiveness. Especially important in our time is evolutionary naturalism, but it is worth pondering why other creatures lack the destructive range of human beings. Does not the human capacity for self-destruction and strictly wanton destruction point to the need for some sort of extra-natural account of destructiveness?

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...