Stephen Pinker writes on human nature
I think that there is a quasi-religious theory of human nature that is prevalent among pundits and intellectuals, which includes both empirical assumptions about how the mind works and a set of values that people hang on those assumptions. The theory is has three parts.
One is the doctrine of "the blank slate": that we have no inherent talents or temperaments, because the mind is shaped completely by the environment?parenting, culture, and society.
The second is "the noble savage": that evil motives are not inherent to people but come from corrupting social institutions.
The third is "the ghost in the machine", that the most important part of us is somehow independent of our biology, so that our ability to have experiences and make choices can't be explained by our physiological makeup and evolutionary history.
These three idea ideas are increasingly being challenged by the sciences of the mind, brain, genes, and evolution, but they are held as much for their moral and political uplift as for any empirical rationale. People think that these doctrines are preferable on moral grounds and that the alternative is a forbidden territory that we should avoid at all costs.