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