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Erik J. Wielenberg on the Dark Heart Within Ourselves

Erik J. Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe (February 7, 2005).

One does not have to be a theist, much less a Christian, to recognize that the tendency toward selfishness is at the same time one of the most entrenched as well as the most pernicious features of human nature. Naturalist and theist alike should acknowledge that one of the greatest challenges we face is the dark heart within ourselves. To combat this heart of darkness, Christianity recommends surrender to God; Mill recommends developing a sense of unity with mankind; Kant recommends making the requirements of morality our top priority; Singer recommends devoting oneself to the reduction of suffering; I have recommended putting science to use in the Platonic quest for a reliable way of making people virtuous. These are all forms of a common struggle – the struggle against the selfishness inherent in human nature. Perhaps, then, this is one struggle in which we are all on the same side. Long live the ethical revolution.