Two interesting articles of note:
(1) From Discover on a book review of "The Lucifer Effect" by Philip Zimbardo - about the Stanford University experiment in the 70s where college students were asked to be either prisioners or prison guards and the crazy things that ensued. They said, "Any deed that any human being has ever committed, however horrible, is possible for any of us - under the right circumstances. That knowledge does not excuse evil; it democratizes it, sharing its blame among ordinary actors rather tahn declaring it the province of deviants and despots - of Them but not Us. The primary lesson of the stanford Prison Experiment is that situations can lead us to behave in ways we would not, could not, predict possible in advance." (Discover - April 2007, p. 69)
I thought it was an interesting that a secular magazine talked about the inherent 'badness' of man - unlike article #2 from a Christian magazine:
(2) From Christianity Today, "Worth Dying For? - http://www.christianitytoday.com/singles/newsletter/
Are we really 'worth dying for? Rob Bell says that "You have inestimable worth that comes from your creator." so it's not a selfish worth, but still, if God made us worth dying for, why would we need Jesus to die for us? I think there are actually some other good things in this article, but it was an interesting contrast to article #1.
"What does all this mean? Does it mean that we Jews are better off than the Gentiles? No, it doesn't! Jews, as well as Gentiles, are ruled by sin, just as I have said. The Scriptures tell us, "No one is acceptable to God! Not one of them understands or even searches for God. They have all turned away and are worthless. There isn't one person who does right. Their words are like
an open pit, and their tongues are good only for telling lies. Each word is as deadly as the fangs of a snake, and they say nothing but bitter curses. These people quickly become violent. Wherever they go, they leave ruin and destruction. They don't know how to live in peace. They don't even fear God." (Romans 3:9-18:)
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. " (1 Corinthians 10:13)