A CONVERSATION delving into the flaws of Western humanity yesterday captivated an intimate audience at Fullers Bookshop.
The nature of perceived imperfection, its biblical origin and the purpose of God in modern society were discussed by Tasmanian authors and historians James Boyce and Nick Clements.
The discussion was hosted on the back of Boyce's newly-released book Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World.
``We experience that innate humanness is in some way flawed and it needs a fix,'' Boyce said.
``There's a sort of hole to be filled there, a salvation to be found and we've sort of got a smorgasbord of that in the modern world.
``Consumer culture is a classic example, and the varieties of self-help movements.''
He said he believed the inheritance of a ``guilty gene'' or perceived imperfection was the foundation stone for Western culture.
``As an atheist of a Christian, or anything in-between, we are born with aspects of our ancestral inheritance, like other cultures are,'' Boyce said.
``We have a creation story which is moulded how we see life, how we see ourselves, that's what the book's about, it's a reflection on that.
``The idea that a newborn baby is born guilty and bad is certainly nothing that we could accept, it's barbaric in its religious essence _ my point is that it's not just that, it was always a view of human nature, that's how it's lived on.''