The armadillo mentions this because these two contrasting approaches are not limited to Scriptural research. They can be found in every human discipline, including the effort to understand man himself.
The Psalmist asks, "What is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou takest account of him?" A woman seeking an abortion was asked by an abortion protester, "Do you know what that is growing inside you?" She answered, "It's whatever I want it to be." Some in the modern world would give that same answer to the Psalmist who asked about man's nature.
We suffer under conflicting, irreconcilable views in our "modern" world. No, I don't mean the political left and right or the democrats and republicans. I mean the views of the mass of us, on the one hand, who trust in and exercise common sense, know what it is to live in the real world and understand what is required to successfully interact with real people each day, and, on the other hand, those elites who, being well-off enough to detach themselves from the necessities that drive most of us each day, choose to live in the fickle fantasyland of random ideas, presuppositions and notions that evanescently flit between their ears.
The common sense person believes man has a nature, and when that nature is allowed to actualize itself through normal human intercourse the result is both good and reasonable. In contrast, the elite who lives in fantasyland believes that he can be the Author of reality. Such a person believes that man is simply a lump of clay that the conditioning of science, the deluge of propaganda and the force of government can shape and mold into whatever. And if the first try doesn't work so well, not to worry. The failure can be pounded back into a lump and the process begun again. Why not? "Man," they reason,"is nothing but an animal and can, therefore, be herded, manipulated and directed accordingly to conform to the purposed end of the elites. Sure, some will protest in ignorance but they must be silenced. They just don't realize all that is being done is being done for their own good, and in time, they will understand and be glad."
As such are the thoughts of western elites, the nurse Racheds of the 21st century.
The moral, financial and social collapse we are seeing happening all around us in the West is the direct result of the increasingly unencumbered operation of the "lump of clay" philosophers, beginning around the time of the so-called Enlightenment. What this means in practical terms is that elites, seizing political, social and economic power, have purposely and consciously rejected the wisdom of the past, and in a fit of self-importance, pride and arrogance, have proceeded to try to impose the novel ideas of the fantasyland that exists between their ears upon the rest of us.
The first great adventures with these novel ideas were experiments involving Power. This resulted in the rise of consolidated governments, tyrants and, in the past century, two horrific world wars. After the wars a disillusioned mankind in the West turned from Power to Pleasure; hedonism and the meeting of material needs became the practical goal, and regarding man exclusively as a sensorial being became the philosophical flavor of the day. And the result is where we in the west find ourselves at this moment in history.
The process of imposing the narrow utopian views of a few elites upon the mass of human kind has been going on long enough and in enough places to receive some just criticism and judgment. The verdict is summed up in an all but forgotten word, but one we will hear more and more often in the coming months and years: Unsustainable.
The consequences of great suffering, penury and privation are now beating down the door of the novel, utopian, hedonistic fantasyland of western elites.
In other words, the novel experiments of the Thought Meisters have been, one after another, colossal failures. Some of them sounded wonderful in theory. Some of them even seemed to work grandly for a time. But now most of us see that "for a time" for what it really was: the time before the consequences began to manifest.
Now that the consequences are here it is clear. These novel notions that thumb the nose at common sense, deny human nature and play God with reality are Unsustainable in the Real World non-elites must live in day after day.
What is needed for governments to begin to repair the damage their mad policies have caused? The answer is simple: "Get out of the way; let man be man and God be God––for both God and man's sake!"
Contrary to the insistence of elites, it is not necessary for governments to be proactive, intervene and meddle in order for humans and economies to prosper. All that is needed of governments is to not enshrine policies in law that are hostile to private property and inhibit, suppress or encumber the free exchange of goods and services between peoples. Government interference and micromanaging can only result in waste, suffering, injustice, failure and de facto, if not formal, slavery.
With a nod to that popular sophist, John Lennon, we might offer this advice to statists and government toadies: "Why not give freedom a try?"
Free markets, human nature, human need and the common reality we share can all work together to take care of the details and create a beneficial result for all––except, perhaps, for the self-important elites, of course. They will be left to face their own pathetic lives, the failure and stupidity of their pet notions, and the sickening reality of their parasitic, prideful natures. It is in such a quagmire they will be left to deal with their own ineptitudes, foppish irrelevance and individual psychoses.
When that day comes (and it will) it will be a grand day, indeed.