What is human nature?

Sebastian Copeland is a photographer and environmental activist. Copeland grew up in France and Britain, and graduated from UCLA in 1987 with a major in film. Throughout the 1990’s, Copeland directed commercials – everything from soft drinks to sportswear – as well as music videos. He is also known for his celebrity portraiture; he’s taken pictures of Sandra Bullock, Kate Bosworth, and Orlando Bloom (who is also his cousin), among others. In recent years, Copeland has focused on environmental activism. He serves on the Board of Directors of Global Green USA and recently published Antarctica: The Global Warning

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Question: What is human nature?

Copeland: What is human nature? Well I think human nature, above and beyond anything else, is a perception. And that perception, to echo a little bit of what I just said, will either position itself in synergy with its surrounding, or position itself in a predatory or an antagonistic position; meaning by that that we will use other resources to our own . . . for the promotion of our own needs. And you know human nature is a philosophy ultimately – a philosophy that defines how we fit in the universe; how do we fit within the natural order, and how do we fit within the spiritual order? If the question is what is my personal philosophy on human nature, then I would have to say that . . . that human nature is a work in progress that has a tremendous potential, but also has a lot of shortcomings – the pitfalls of which have tremendous consequences on our own ability to survive in this environment. Recorded on: 12/3/07