Questions of Nature Vs Nurture

in philosophy •  9 days ago


When it comes to the philosophical debate of nature versus nurture, there are two opposing sides of thoughts fighting against each other. Some might agree that nurture is everything and nature is just some part of things.

Everything can be nurtured, shaped, and programmed with the right nurturing. But nature is innate. Our biological program and needs, genetic we inherit from our parents and ancestors, these all are the things that can't be changed (maybe not today but who knows when genetic engineering would revolutionize our future someday).


An English philosopher and physician, John Locke, gave rise to the hypothesis that we humans have no innate ideas, that our minds are blank canvasses. Everyday, our mind canvasses would write and record every experience, sensations and thoughts. This is where nurture comes in. Ideas and thoughts are the most immaterial things in our life. Where do idea comes from? Which part of our brain? Our medulla oblongata? Hypothalamus? Does ideas comes from both inside and outside?


On the other hand, nature is life's greatest gift and curse. People who were born with no defects, a wealthy and stable family are being blessed with good life. The ones who were born abnormal, into a poor family and broken home, aren't lucky enough to have a good start of life. But no matter what, they still could changed their life, given the chance they want to. Again, this is where nurture comes taking nature's part for the better.

But then, nature play its role on some crucial part of human life. The nature of human, the innate desire to kill, destroy and create comes from a deeper trench of our heart and minds. Innate knowledge might comes from nature such as our survival mode, avoiding danger and harm, fighting to live, but these things might come from practice and experience as well. We shaped our environment based on our innate tendencies and nurture it to adapt ourselves with it.

It might safe to presume that there is no nature versus nature. Nature interacts with nurture and through nurture, we shape our nature.

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I believe that it's a reciprocity of both. There are always conditioning factors, some benefit us, others harm us, but always, if we have the will, we can change things.


The power of will do comes with resistance against religious existentialist, the presence of deities and supernatural forces (to the people who believe them). Some of them leaning toward Nature more than nurture, that fate and will is beyond our control. That's what I've seen so far. Not that I'm against them but this is where humanity diverged and separated.


Again, I would find myself in a middle way, because why would we have the will if we should reject it completely? It must fulfill some function.

It's like we have legs, but we should not use them.