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NOBLE SAVAGES


For a while people have believed that our problems exist because we are too civilized. If we would just get back to nature and throw away all of the modern conveniences and the ideas found in the Christian religion, then we would be like the noble savages of old.


A good example of this is the Native Americans, the Indians. If we were to go back in time and observe the life of the Indians before the appearance of the Europeans, before the influence of Christianity, I don't think we would find them to be noble savages. In regard to the Aztecs, we would find a warlike people who sacrificed their fellow savages to their gods. This doesn't sound very noble to me.


Charles Dickens said of this idea: "My position is, that if we have anything to learn from the Noble Savage, it is what to avoid. His virtues are a fable; his happiness is a delusion; his nobility, nonsense. We have no justification for being cruel to him; but he passes away before an immeasurably better and higher power [i.e., that of Christianity] than ever ran wild in any earthly woods, and the world will be all the better when this place knows him no more."

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