Nature, NurturePosted: February 8, 2010
The nature vs nurture debate has been going on for decades. This is a question which is trying to define what makes us the kind of human beings we are. What shapes us, what makes us the way we are. There is the view widely held, which says that nurture is what defines who and how we are. What does this mean? This means simply that when we arrive in this world, we are a blank slate, and this slate can then be written, impressed upon as desired. What this means is that if we can define the desired output in terms of qualities which we as a society find desirable in people, then through nurture, we can inculcate these qualities in people from birth. In fact, our entire system of education is based on this assumption. The assumption is that since all children are born identical (i am not using the word equal here, merely identical) in terms of their mental make-up, then given consistent inputs, the outputs would be consistent.
This, however, is not the way it works, and this is abundantly clear in the word around us. Each of us is endowed with a certain individuality which we receive from a source which we are as yet unable to describe logically, but which we feel within and around us in some form or other. What this means is simply this: we are not all born equal. Now, this is a politically incorrect statement, so let me elaborate. What i am trying to say here is that we all ought to be equal in the eyes of society, but we are not equal in terms of our tendencies or capabilities. If we were, we would not have exams or IQ tests, because these wouldnt be able to distinguish between people with identical capabilities. We can see it around us. Some people are fascinated by the sciences, some by the arts, or history, literature and so on. This just tells us that we are all different individuals, with some form of nature embedded with us at birth, which we carry with us through our lives. We dont actually have to, but changing this is far easier said than done.