Human nature comprises of unique features human exhibit like emotion, thoughts, and actions. These three features are distinct from cultural influences. The argument concerning some of the human characteristics that help describe human nature, how natural they are and their origin are the frequently debated questions when discussing human beings. Philosophers like Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato, presented varied views of human nature based on their experiences and observations. All these views continue to influence the philosophical beliefs of human beings.
Plato believed that the ability to choose between what is good and bad is part of human nature. Human has intrinsic values that guide them. A philosopher like Augustine viewed human nature as the ability to incorporate unique metaphysics to develop rationalization. Augustine shared similar views of Plato and Plotinus that the body and the soul are different. Pluto believed that human actions are triggered by our thoughts that are generated from our soul. Therefore, human existence is about exercising the free will to determine how to act. Defining human nature is describing the divine process that is beyond human understanding.
Augustine believed that any attempt to achieve good virtues by training, or learning is not achievable because it is through the divine intervention that we can describe the nature of human beings. According to Augustine, humans cannot do anything but simply have hope and faith in God to guide them through life process. I concur with Augustine that it is only through God’s work that humans can live a fulfilling life. Such sentiments contradict Plato’s view that human can exercise free will.
Augustine argument that God has infinite power is widely accepted because those who believe in God act in specific ways that present various outcomes that go beyond human understanding. Such sentiments have been expressed before by medieval philosophers who contend that humans are not capable of exercising free will because of God`s influence in their lives that affects their thoughts and actions.
The traditional theory of human nature presents humans as intellectual beings having a greater capacity for reasoning. Plato believed that human nature consists of three parts reasons, spirit and appetite and all the three were expected to function in harmony. The reasoning part of human nature is located in the brain; this controls the other parts of the body. The spirit coordinates human feeling like temper and is located in the chest of the human body. The appetite is in charge with producing instincts like thirst hunger or lust and is located in the stomach.
Among all the three characteristics described by Plato is reason, reason is the most important part of human nature that it controls all the aspects of hum action hence guiding persons in his action. Humans are more independent of nature compared to an animal; humans are aware of their ability to reason and some of their consequences of their decisions. When analyzing the different views of human nature, I can conclude that humans are unique because of their capacity to think in a complex manner and be in control of their actions. It is evident that not all philosophers agree on the definition of human nature, but they all define similar patterns of reasoning from a natural system of ethics. According to Greek philosophers, human beings have instincts and emotion, but the most important character is their ability to reason and control their feelings and primitive urges.