View Full Version : sunday topic

December 27th, 2003, 11:36 PM
Wanna talk about nurture vs nature?

I'm watching an episode of Law and Order, the case is about a guy who raped and murdered some girls, and his defense is that he was born to do it because his father is a convicted rapist.

December 27th, 2003, 11:46 PM
Nurture all the way. The environment that you are raised in shapes you much more then your base nature.

December 28th, 2003, 12:25 AM
I think its even.

Somethings can be nurtured but somethings can't be.

For example , you take a baby and each day kill something in front of it . When it grows up it will be used to death.

As for nature a perfect example is a cat , no matter how much you feed it or train it it still hunts and kills.

December 28th, 2003, 01:47 AM
And because his father did it that's okay then, is it? Jeez, sometimes I can't believe the level of scum you'd have to be to defend people like that. Even if you're a state defender and are being forced to, there comes a time when you should just flat out refuse.

December 28th, 2003, 01:49 AM
She did it pro bono, because it would've been a precedent had she won. She didn't win.

December 28th, 2003, 03:08 AM
Nature. Choice.

I am so tired of the old excuse "but when I was young life was hard, my dad hit my mum, my older brother did drugs and molested me." etc

Many of my friends had terrible childhoods, in the "system," multiple divorces of parents, abandonment, child abuse.... none of them are crack heads who murder ppl.

I think the cat example is very true. How often are normal every day joes the mass murders who lived next door? Nature.

December 28th, 2003, 07:35 AM
Aye I'd have to go on the NATURE side as well... hell look at me.. perfectly normal life till I was 17... parents stayed together... always had jobs... perfect Brady-esque family...
And BOY did I go awry once I was out on my own... I was the "one step away from sociopath type"
But plenty of alchohol soon cured me and I am alive to tell the tale today

December 28th, 2003, 09:37 AM
Why is that you hear people saying their environment caused them to do poorly or be evil, but people who are successful seem to always want to take the credit themseleves?

I would have to say both play a part, but the decisions and actions and mentality you form is entirely up to you. Some people can go through hell and come out still strong and productive, some people can have a sterling upbringing and still decide to be something else, different from what their family is.

I believe it is ultimately up to the individual based in part on their nature, and based in part on their "nuture" , or lack thereof.

I will tell you this, it is not our nature as humans to "be good." You have to teach children the concept of sharing. It is not inherent. People are basically self preserving until they become more aware or are taught.

So to me it is contrary to nature to be "good" which is why it is so difficult.

December 28th, 2003, 11:47 AM
One of our most driving urges is to cause harm to one another. We are TAUGHT that this is wrong. People are, inherently, not good beings. At least that's my own personal belief. We need to be set on the path of good. But then again, you can show someone that path, but they can choose to simply not take it. Not sure which my little rant would go under, nurture, or nature, or both. :-/

Rhiamon Fatesealer
December 30th, 2003, 04:53 PM
I think its a combination of the two. And I also think that a person can overcome either, if they chose to.

December 30th, 2003, 06:46 PM
I think both factor in, but I must aggree with Rhiamon Fatesealer here. Anything can be overcome.

I do believe it is easier to overcome nature than nurture.

December 30th, 2003, 11:28 PM
Half of one, 2/4 of the other. Much of who we are is taught to us by our parents, friends and the like, but part of us remains untouched by these influences.

I do not believe that people are by nature either good or evil. See the wild animals as they go about their day to day lives? They eat or are eaten, knowing only what is needed for survival, not worring over moral or ethical issues; perhaps they don't have time for such concerns. The panther does not consider eating his/her prey immoral or moral, he/she only considers the empty stomach growling at him/her. My point being that considerations of right and wrong, or morality, are constructs of the nurture end of the equation, the nature end just is. In the absense of nurture, or lets say culture, such issues are moot.

By nature we are, perhaps, selfish? Maybe? But bad or evil I'd have to say no. But then again, for the last 3 million(?) years humans have not had nature without nurture. We have all this time been creatures of community. It is part and parcel of our human condition that we congregate into groups, thus ensuring there is an element of nurture, to some extent or another. For a decisive scientific answer we'd have to have test groups, one with only nature, one with only nurture, and one with both. Seems unlikely to happen.

And so this question remains in the realm of the philosopher; a land where there are many right and wrong answers, some answers that are neither, and the question is always more important than the answer.

Oh, and back to the story of the tv show (haven't seen it myself) my opinion is the chap's father did what he did, but the person on trial is not the dad, it's the son. And the son is the only one responsible for the son's actions.

December 31st, 2003, 01:43 AM
I don't know. I see animals as being mostly hard-wired. You can train them to do actions based on a systems of rewards and punishments, but all this is filtered through the animals hard-coded response to punishment and reward. You aren't changing the basic components of the animal's psyke.

Since a man is capable of recognizing behavior conditioning for what it is, I think he is capable of deciding whether the conditioning will affect him. He is also aware of his own actions, unless he deludes himself otherwise. By that he is also able to identify how he reacts to situations, and can decide if he wishes to alter those responses.

Some responses are of course harder to alter.

I think eventually a man chooses his own path.

December 31st, 2003, 01:29 PM
I think like most... that we are a combination of the two, meted by nature, but fine tuned and trimmed by what was taught to us (nurture). Further fine tuning is done through concious, objective thought :)

However, I don't believe a lack of better judgment can be blamed on genetics. We are not so isolated in our society that such rules as "don't murder anyone" or "don't rape anyone" pass anyone by, and let such an uninformed person fall back on "rape&murder" genetics.

Nor do I believe that genetic predisposition to severe mania or sociopathy make a murderer/rapist innocent. I believe (perhaps, ignorantly) that a conscious decision was made at some point to do those things. They may not be able to tell fantasy from reality, but even small children who haven't quite learned the difference between the two (or who haven't quite grasped the concept of death, yet) know by parental nurture that murder is wrong, if they haven't lead a completely sheltered/neglected life.

That's just assuming that the upbringing was pleasant, and the only determining factor for committing a crime was genetic. That's not even getting into crazy parents, abusive situations, gang activity, etc. When bringing that into the equation.. I believe that carries more weight than genetics, and even then, there are people who come out of those kinds of situations who don't commit crimes, or inflict the same kind of damage on their own children. Again, conscious thought plays a bigger part than either nurture or nature, for a lot of people.

December 31st, 2003, 06:06 PM
I would have to say a combo of the two. Though I must say that the home environment is not the only one people are exposed to. Peers, and supervisors i.e. teachers etc. all play a role. Every experience has a role. But I still think it is mainly a combo and it can be overcome.

But the reason people use stuff like that for a defense is because they got caught and want to get off so they must find a scapegoat, and the media is more than happy to promote the scapegoat for them. :evil:

Do my dirty work scapegoat for you are the one that is shamed.---- Metallica
ummm doesn't really have anything to do with this thread it just popped in my head and my shoes are long fellows.

December 31st, 2003, 07:12 PM
I only read the first few posts so dont kill me on what I'm about to say....

If nuture is the dominate influnence... then is it right to let people who break the law and get pregent to have their children? Arn't they breeding more criminals? The young people who get pregent are stupid enough to do so in the first place,, what kind of kids do you expect from them?

Edit: they both play a big part in it, or so pychology says. Human nature is too broad of a field to really say were all based on it, like common sense you really can't pin it down. Nuture can be drilled into someone enough that its like brain washing and they really didn't know it was right or wrong... Its up to you to find out if it was right or wrong to escape nuture.