Paul's Passing Thoughts

Prager U Gets It Wrong: Man Is Basically Good

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 30, 2020

ppt-jpeg4Don’t get me wrong, I think Prager U is a godsend. That’s why I was surprised at this video where they toe the line on traditional church orthodoxy. Secondly, regarding this view, they mange to contradict themselves with another viewpoint, which for them, is another anomaly.  First of all, I reject the premise of the question, “Is mankind basically good or basically sinful?” But, if you would have to choose one, “basically good” is the best answer. Perhaps I will present that argument in another post, but for time sake, this post is about the argument that Prager presents against its own view.

Overall, Prager U presents the idea that basically sinful people can create things that are basically good and teach people to be good. In addition, in the aforementioned video, Dennis Prager states,

Ok, then, are people basically good? As I will show, given humanity’s history, the answer should be obvious. Of course, human nature isn’t basically good. Now, this doesn’t mean that people are basically bad. We are born with real potential to do good. But we are not basically good.

This is why I say the question itself doesn’t have a proper premise. And, it wouldn’t be correct to say that Prager is totally onboard with church orthodoxy which is more consistent on this issue. In fact, church orthodoxy states that mankind cannot do any good work because mankind is basically evil or “totally depraved.” So, Prager is kind of half-pregnant on the issue.

Biblically, we find that the “works of the law” written into the being of everyone born into the world teaches us what is good and evil and either accuses us or excuses us. This is part of being created in the image of God.

Prager, in the video, offers the following point to prove his thesis: if man is basically good we wouldn’t need to create laws or teach children to be good. Plus, historically, people have done really, really, bad things. Well, historically, people have done really, really good things. And, children do good things that they have never been taught to do. And, laws created by men are often good, right?

However, Prager’s greatest contradiction is in this video that is otherwise profound. He states that America is an idea that has been a greater force for good than anything else in human history as far as governments are concerned. Hence, the idea that America needs “fundamental change” is an idea vigorously rejected by conservatives.

I contend that those who create something fundamentally good are not fundamentally sinful.



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  1. Lydia said, on January 30, 2020 at 9:36 PM

    Wow. I heard him speak on this years ago and that wasn’t his focus at all. His focus was choice. What happened? Maybe they could at least say we know good. We know fair from unfair. Watch little kids play and you will pick up on it.


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