From within people, from their hearts, come evil thought, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.
– Mark 7:21-23
In Social Science 1 class back in the university, our professor asked, “Who among you believe that man, by nature, is evil?” Almost on impulse, I bravely raised my right hand. I felt my face turned red as heads turned to look at me, all of them eager to hear my reason. I suddenly felt nervous and the words that I managed to utter were: “I think that man, by nature, is evil because one has to struggle most of the time in order to do good. On the other hand it seems easy and effortless to do otherwise.” I based the idea partly on the osmotic spontaneous movement of molecules through a permeable membrane from a gradient of higher concentration to that that of lower concentration in order to equalize the concentration on both sides. The professor seemed to just listened to what I said, did not give so much reaction, and continued with the lecture and told us the correct answer, that man, by nature, is neutral. But I still had a continuation to my answer that I kept to myself. As a Catholic Christian, I knew and believe that our first parents, Adam and Eve, fell into sin and thus all has original sin. So how can we be good by nature? But God gave each one of us a conscience, His inner voice that tells us to do what is right. With that then, I can agree that man is neutral by nature.
I could not forget that incident and kept pondering on it.
Jesus said, “No one is good but God alone.” (Mark 10:18). But can God love someone who is evil? My answer is “no.” That gave me a clear answer today that man, by nature, is neutral. I failed to notice that osmosis and even Le Chatelier’s principle tell of a natural reaction that goes towards equilibrium, equality, evenness.
Man has fallen into sin, but he has the ability to decide whether to do something good or something evil.