Nature vs. Nurture

To make it perfectly clear, this is an analogy, as I do not have enough evidence to prove otherwise.

We are born, and according to our DNA, in there is how we would respond to every question that could ever be asked or every event that could come before us. Whether or not it is the correct way to respond is irrelevant. Only know that these questions have already been “answered” for us, at least the first time.

But, as we go through life, we experience some of these events and we realize that our response (which was the natural one) is not a good one. Click! A few of the answers in our book change, and with it, how we will respond in the future.

Each one of these little “answers” is interconnected with all the others. Some are closer together, and therefore are more closely related. The closer they are in relation to one another, the more likely it is that any change in a neighbor “answer” will also change. Thus, our personality changes, bit by bit, as we experience events and related ones.

I guess you could say that the “answers” are just a metaphor for neurons in the brain. I know they are not that simple, but imagine neurons as a simple on/off (binary) switch. RandomNeuron#1554390593984 is set to “on” at birth. The organism experiences that instance and immediately (perhaps unconsciously) changes its mind, and RandomNeuron#1554390593984 is now set to “off.” Now, because it is connected to (possibly) thousands of other similar switches, some of them may switch to “off” as well, or may even invert polarity.

Okay, so what the hell am I talking about? Let’s super simplify this whole issue and say that your feelings on, say, abortion are “set” at birth to “yes.” In other words, your natural feelings towards abortion is that you have no problem with it. But, when you are 15, you see a video that shows a baby after abortion. Suddenly, a certain “switch” changes its polarity, and now you feel very differently towards the issue.

Now, simplifying it to this degree does a great disservice to the debates that really have no “yes” or “no” answer. In the current debate on abortion, for example, there are people who believe an entire spectrum of things. Some believe that it should be illegal, period. Others believe that it should be legal, period. Still others believe that it should be highly regulated, with only a specific kind of case where it should be allowed. And still others believe that it should be free to anyone, but not sponsored by tax money. Somewhere in that spectrum is where you stand, and your place is dependent on two things. 1. Your natural predisposition towards a certain response. 2. Your “updated” philosophy that has been altered by your experiences.

Some people go through great changes in their lives, and end up with quite a different set of “answers” than what they were born with. Others (consciously or unconsciously) maintain a similar association to their “preset” tendencies. So, why is this a problem?

It is important not to be confused by the use of terms like “developed” or “matured” in the following paragraphs. To many, to be labeled “immature” is a great annoyance, and that is hardly what I want anyone reading this to do. It is in reference only to my version of “biological maturity,” and in no way relates to which is “better.” That said, I believe that people of the first kind I mentioned, those that go through great biological maturity, simply change much of their “preset” answers while the second group, those that tend to maintain a similar stance, have a low level of biological maturity. Again, I must stress that this is not an argument about which is better or more beneficial. This is simply an objective discussion about the nature of personality.

So, we ask again, why is this a problem? The problem, I believe, occurs from the fact that, no matter what someone tries to tell you, you believe what you believe because it is the best answer you can come up with given your situation. People do not take opinions consciously knowing it is wrong, or else they would not have that opinion. Most of the time, unless our ego or something else gets in the way, when we realize that our opinion was wrong, we (at least) admit to ourselves that it was. If we do this unconsciously, sometimes this turns into denial.


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