Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Our Innate Understanding of Human Nature

When we first decided to adopt from Haiti, we were told that many people there had a fear that rich foreigners might be adopting in order to use Haitian children as organ donors. We found this hard to believe. How could anyone think such a thing? Sure, we have heard of couples getting pregnant for the sole purpose of using their new baby as an organ or tissue donor, but adoption is a long, expensive ordeal. Even if someone was willing to spend the money, it didn't make sense that someone in need of a transplant would bother going through a process that requires a huge amount of paperwork, a thorough background check, a psychological evaluation, and a full medical screening, not to mention a one-and-a-half to two-year wait before the adoption is finalized. Silly, right?

Well, that's what I thought until I ran across Take a look at it for a moment. You can easily see how something like that could get wild rumors started in an impoverished, superstitious Third World country.

Admit it. You were appalled at first. But if you bothered to poke around the site for a bit, you quickly discovered that it is a hoax -- a crude one, yes, but a hoax nonetheless. It does, however, draw attention to the fact that children all over the world are objectified and treated as disposable commodities all the time. (Ever hear of embryonic stem cell research?)

Actually, it really shouldn't surprise us at all that some people would see a site like and think it's legitimate. Ryan W. McMaken, blogging at, made an excellent observation: "Some people see right through the hoaxes immediately, but many are outraged and quite credulous. In the end, the fact that people are willing to believe, even momentarily, that the proposal in question is being seriously put forward, is an excellent commentary on humanity's opinion of itself."

We have known the difference between right and wrong ever since Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It's not that we are oblivious to God, it's that we actively rebel against God. The Bible merely confirms the fact that "the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Genesis 8:21).

The truth is, most of us have an innate understanding of human nature. We know exactly how depraved we can be. Those who say that people are essentially good at heart are only lying to themselves. They know better.

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