The nature versus nurture debate has been raging for decades and even today, it still elicits mixed reactions from different people. This concept presents the cosmic conflict between ethics and environmental surroundings and influences as the essential aspects that govern and determine a person’s behavioral conduct. One side proposes that at birth, the brain is a clean slate that is open to a great deal of influences, and it is these surrounding influences that govern a person’s behavioral traits. The contrasting side proposes that a person’s behavioral capabilities are encoded in the person’s DNA. This person is limited to a given number of behavioral traits, which map back to the person’s DNA hence your nature determines whom you are and how you behave.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine is a good example of nature versus nurture. Peace negotiators reported that Yasser Arafat was a man very difficult to negotiate with because he found the notion of giving up conflict alien and frankly depriving. They claimed that Yasser Arafat had an identity, which was defined by struggle. Lack of a struggle for him would be equal to a lack of personal identity and a disturbance in his personal identity. He would therefore, be more inclined towards the creation of struggle as a means of seeking resolutions to the personal identity crisis he experiences when there is no primary opponent to fight against. Though a member of the Islamic religion from childhood, which preaches peace and has been described on numerous occasions as a religion of peace Yasser Arafat found his fulfillment in conflict, and the waging of war. It can be argued that the concept of gaining fulfillment through struggle and preferably warfare was engraved in his metaphysical being, and this rendered all of his life experiences null and void as far a decision-making and behavior are concerned. Despite his background and raising, he would always find a sense of self-fulfillment in struggling ad-waging war against a formidable and worthy adversary. His behavioral patterns were inclined towards a frame of thought engraved in his metaphysics and for him conflict would always mean inner peace and fulfillment irrespective of the rampant loss of life and both financial and social implications of a war.
German dictator Adolf Hitler is a good example of nurture triumphing over nature.in the year 1905 a young Adolf Hitler led a bohemian life inside Vienna, his chief source of finance being orphan’s support and a little support from his mother. Clearly rising to any form of prominence was not encoded anywhere in his DNA. If genetics were the key determinants of behavior, Adolf Hitler would have grown up extremely poor with a meager income and died a poor man. At a given point of his life, after his mother’s death, he lived in a homeless shelter and later settled in houses meant for poor workers. This man clearly had poverty encoded in his DNA and had no hope for a brighter future. Adolf Hitler however, adapted to his circumstances, joining the military at the onset of the First World War and using cunning intelligence to rise the ranks until he became the top man in Germany. His experiences influenced how he acted and fueled him to strive for greatness and prominence until he finally made it to the top in Germany. Analysis of his lineage reveals that none of his ancestors had any leadership qualities or served as leaders of any kind hence his DNA had absolutely no leadership elements, yet he rose up the ranks and became Germany’s dictator. It was his life experiences that influenced his decision-making trends and capabilities, which catapulted him to the top of the political scene in Germany and later the greater Europe.
Collapse of the Soviet Union is a classic showcase of nature’s triumph over nurture. It was not the superiority of the American military or the or economic woes in the soviet union that caused the union’s untimely collapse, but rather the inclination towards western ideas and ideologies that brought down the soviet union. In the early 1970s, soviet intellectuals began accepting ideas propagated by the west and this led to the fall of Marxist Leninism. These soviet intellectuals had been raised under Marxist Leninism from childhood to adulthood. It was the key concept preached by their elders and superiors and mods of the citizens were completely engulfed by this wave, but these intellectuals dared to think differently. They started considering ideologies and ways of life completely contrary to what they had learned and seen from early childhood to adulthood. Their nature overwhelmed their nurture, and they started to see the gaping holes in the way of life they had known from childhood. They dared to think differently, their nurture not withstanding and this led to wider acceptance of western ideologies by more members of the Soviet Union and eventually the collapse of the western union. Perhaps thinking differently was encoded in the DNA of these intellectuals; and this made their environment and life experiences insignificant as far as behavior and decision-making are concerned.
The cosmic battle between nature and nurture grows ever fiercer because with each passing day there is more and more evidence lending support to either side. There is an ever-increasing gap between the two, with each concept gaining merit and growing stronger with each passing day.