The Eternal Debate

Ah, the age-old question, on the one hand so tired and over, but on the other hand, still so much fun! It’s been asked for at least centuries now, and the language changes, the context changes, but since at least as far back as that Rousseau fellow, we’ve been asking some version of this:

How much of what we are is because of our hardware, that we are born to be this way – and how much of it is created through physical and social abuse?

Flat-out, unsupportable abuse aside, how much of it is what we were going to be regardless, and how much of who we are is because if we’re not, some human, from our loving mother on up the line all the way to world leader (but mostly the kids at school) will make our lives a living Hell if we’re not? How much of our personalities are innate and how much are adaptations we make so as not to have the crap kicked out of us by our friends and family? And how much of who we are is because of the times we didn’t avoid it? Does a beating not change you if you agree with it or something? Does it not if you don’t?

Wasn’t the whole point of the beating to change you?

Where are you on the Nature VS Abuse question?

I assume the Nature people will stick to their Nature sticks and stones; I assume also that the Nurture people will stick to their Nurture carrots. You’d think they’d never heard the question before, and I suppose that is somehow possible, and not exactly what you’d call plausible deniability, but some version of it. Maybe we should leave them to think about it for a few minutes.

Then where will you stand? Do you face the abuse, or submit to it?

I want to send this question to all the ivory towers, the evo-psychologists and the old time, blank slate psychologists as well, like how Mohammed sent his challenge to the world leaders, “Will you submit to the will of God?” They all said no, no, no, but submit they did over the centuries, and mostly all in the first or second one. History tells us that was more of a rhetorical question, a formality.

Islam had swords, though, while all I will use is the pen.

I know enough to understand the odds. I know where humanity has stood on this ancient question so far, and our position to date has been we couldn’t even ask the question.



Feb. 19th., 2019

5 thoughts on “The Eternal Debate

  1. Scarlett February 24, 2019 / 4:25 pm

    It’s somewhere in the middle for me, I think that evolution’s effect on the organism is to make it selfish and with that comes violence. Then there is abuse which will either make you passive or you’ll lash out and perpetuate the problem.

    Then here we are at the point where supposedly we have reason, and if you listen to 99.99% of the world we are from a divine origin and therefore capable of divinity. The problem is that civilization isn’t, despite what we call it. Abuse could be lessened dramatically with reason but there is as much chance of that as us doing something about the environmental disaster we are creating.

    Nationalism, racism, sexism, deism – all the isms – that’s the problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff/neighsayer February 24, 2019 / 4:55 pm

      yes, and by nature’s rules we will simply kill ourselves and everything else, no problem, as long as we’re not disappointing some God or other, as long as we’re just the machine. It’s always all good from God or Nature’s POV. All I’m after with this one is that my version of the question should look closer to reasonable than the way that question was been worded so far, “nurture,” which the evo-swine have decided has no power, but left it in the equation anyway, because, well, swine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Scarlett February 24, 2019 / 5:12 pm

        I think so, when I was a teen I used to think that the Star Trek world is achievable NOW, it’s just people are too lazy or pig headed to accept new ways of thinking and behaving.

        So in my perfect world – you go to Starfleet Command and I’ll go to the Engineering deck and fiddle with the warp core. Wouldn’t that be nice.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jeff/neighsayer February 24, 2019 / 6:34 pm

          yeah, I don’t know if I even have Star Trek level command in me, but something like that . . . reminds me, I decided not to keep watching the latest iteration of Star Trek last week, although I’m not 100% sure yet. I watched season one, I was happy it ended, it was too scary for me, at least in my present state. But it’s back.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Scarlett February 27, 2019 / 12:42 am

            Every time I decide to stop the next episode is enough to keep e interested, this series is a bit darker than the previous versions, more realistic maybe?

            I think you’d make a fine bridge officer on Voyager or the Next Gen’s Enterprise.


Leave a Reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s