Punishment, Rewards, and Human Nature

. . . and Capitalism.

We are not ‘born bad,’ despite what our authoritarian parents and leaders would have us think, despite that everyone seems to think we are. The Christians call it Original Sin, they think we are born evil and need God and His rod to beat it out of us, and the evolutionists think we are basically animals, and need to be civilized by force.
So we use punishments and their inverse, rewards, to teach us how to behave and this makes everything about us and our desires. That is the concept of punishing, to turn us away from an unwanted behaviour by causing some pain for us – just in case the actual negative consequence of our behaviour escapes us. Punishing brings an immediate focus of it to us, to our personal selves. Rewards do the exact same thing: when we do something good, it’s made good for us.
Of course, this teaches the opposite of any true morality, this negates any idea of altruism. Punishments and rewards simply train us to behave certain ways only because of the benefits or detriments to ourselves. This does not teach concern for others.
This is how we raise our children, this is how we teach, all day, every day, for the longest period of childhood and education of any animal on Earth . . . and then the Capitalists talk of competition, self interest and even greed as “Human Nature.”
Of course, Human nature is only a collection of observations, and not in fact a cause or explanation for anything. Again – all day, every day, for the longest period of childhood and education of any animal on Earth, we punish and reward, making every teachable moment for every human only about himself, and then we declare people to be “naturally” only interested in themselves.
Pffft, I say. Rubbish.
Science is telling us that the “blank slate” theory is not true. And correct as they may be, born as a blank slate or not, we spend, again – all day, every day, for the longest period of childhood and education of any animal on Earth – writing on, drawing on, and inscribing into our slates, until our slates are left with no clear, unused space, we end with layers upon layers of script, all mixed up and nearly indecipherable. It is truly no surprise that the original state of our slates is such a mystery, but it is no mystery that we very actively and forcefully write on it ourselves, and science also tells us that all that energy and force will not be without effects.
Human nature is what we make it. Until we stop so forcefully creating our natures, we will never know what it may have been, what the scripts might be if we really allow nature to mark our slates.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s