Nature VS Nurture

The answer to the nature-nurture arguments is very often nature, but I don’t see it’s less nurture because of that. It’s not an either/or thing: we have natures and we have a lot of nurturing to do, it’s not one or the other.
As impressive as some of the ‘nature’ studies and experiments are, still there are some large bodies of knowledge that prove the importance of nurturing as well. The premise upon which all of psychology and psychiatry is founded is the idea that abuse hurts and damages people, – statistically, not every person, every time – impairing our normal functioning. Mountains are the studies and evidence for this factual case of the importance of the nurture side of things.
I don’t know what we plan to do with this information showing how much of what we can excel in, or fail in, is hardwired, our natures from birth. Are we planning to marry and breed in a more scientific manner? Mandatory sterilization of the inferior?
What our function is, what we can do, is nurture, and there is room for improvement. We could work on our nurturing. Any improvement we can make in our nurturing of our young has the potential to bring everyone’s lives up a level. Anything we learn about the hardwired part of ourselves is good to know, but I’m suspicious it may not be a good sort of knowledge to actually use. In terms of the law, and actual nurturing of children, it is the nurturing aspect of life that should concern us.

3 thoughts on “Nature VS Nurture

  1. Pamela Spiro Wagner October 6, 2014 / 5:49 pm

    How do you know that “abuse hurts and damages people, – statistically, not every person, every time.” I would in fact venture to suggest that abuse damages each and every person who has been abused/punished. We simply have not done enough research to figure this out. Why would any one individual be spared? We are all at an early point in our lives vulnerable infants and I don’t know that an infant has the power of resistance to this sort of damaging effect so early on.

    I suspect that nearly every single person on earth these days has experienced some form of abuse from infancy and therefore has been damaged and so we do not yet know what an undamaged person looks like, except for such exceptional souls as the Dalai Lama. (If indeed he was always undamaged or perhaps he has just been healed.) Punishment is rampant and approved in most of the world’s societies. Perhaps some cultures eschew it, but I am not aware of them. Are you? In any event, they are surely few and far between. As I commented yesterday on another of your posts, it is my sense that abuse, violence, and violation are linked, along with sadism and a certain amount of sadistic pleasure taken in inflicting punishment on the part of perpetrators, whether they be parents or prison wardens/guards. Indeed, I have experienced such sadism and glee-taking first hand even in mental hospitals from nurses, doctors and aides (as the inflicted, not the inflictor, I would add.) However, contrary to the Freudians, I do not believe that for every sadist there is a masochist. Freud created that counterbalancing “masochist” in order to blame the victim. But just because he said it doesn’t mean it’s true. Sometimes there are innocent victims of violence who are just in the wrong place in life at the wrong time: many, many of us in fact. What goes wrong though is when our being abused and victimized turns us ourselves into abusers and sadists and allows us to justify it, as when we tell ourselves the lie that punishment is a good and necessary “evil.” Think about it. Nothing “evil” is necessary, nothing “evil” can be also “good.”

    But I talk too much! And no one wants to hear this sort of thing, certainly not that they are experiencing sadistic pleasure when they spank or punish their children. No, no no, they want to think that they are pure and “christian” or whatever and highly moral and blah, blah, blah, blah….


  2. neighsayer October 6, 2014 / 7:31 pm

    Well, I just didn’t want to hear from some hater that he knew of an instance of punishment or abuse that didn’t fuck him up, as if a single case of dodging that bullet proved anything. I was just trying to nip that in the bud.

    I see you’ve found the good N v N ones, the later ones. I really think I did something brilliant there! (meet you there in a minute . . . )


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