“The heart is desperately wicked. Who can understand it?”
Both the Old and the New Testament speaks of the complete and hopeless corruption of the human soul. It is the source of all our world’s problems (atheist bigots would like to just pick a group of people and blame them). From the dawn of history, we have seen that if we ignore this fact, all attempts to solve the world’s problems and to bring peace to the world will end in failure. To ignore the fact of our wicked and deceitful heart is only fooling ourselves.
Actually, that is what deceitful means. To say that our problems stem from a lack of wealth, or a lack of education, or a lack of freedom or the lack of clean drinking water or the lack of access to proper birth control or the presence of Christians or the lack of proper medical care or anything else is deceiving ourselves.
Deceitfulness within this context means that we are believing wrong thoughts and behaviours about what contributes to our problem. Therefore any effort to fix the human dilemma with outside influences (leaving the inner man untouched) will also entail wrong efforts, thoughts and behaviours.