Last Friday the London Independent's environment editor Michael McCarthy began an article with these questions, "Are people good? Is humankind basically benign?" McCarthy notes that the secular humanistic viewpoint would recognize the innate goodness of mankind.
But McCarthy grew up in a Catholic home and understands the biblical view regarding human nature:
In the Christian view of the world, Man is fallen, yet because of Christ’s self-sacrifice on the cross on Good Friday, Man is redeemed ... In the Christian world view, humankind is not basically benign. People are not good.
McCarthy has observed humans destroying the environment and this has reinforced his views of human nature: "I still think Man will destroy the Earth. It is a pessimistic valedictory note I offer, for you cannot focus closely on what is happening and not be a pessimist."
We learn about the fallen nature of mankind from the Bible. Genesis chapter 3 reports how Adam and Eve sinned. Humankind inherited this fallen sin nature.
Paul writes about this concept of original sin in Romans 5:12-13 when he states, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law."