Inevitable Human Nature

909 Words 4 Pages
Most people would agree that human nature is valid to the extent that people are effected by physical attributes and genetics. The major debate is whether human nature exists beyond those elements of our lives. I believe in a human nature that is not fixed but adaptable; not only would we have had to evolve to our current condition, but we also must be able to evolve from it. While the genetic differences between chimpanzees and human beings are very small, their effects are drastic and extremely significant. In the cases of feral children and extreme cultural differences, it is difficult to see a universal condition of humanity. I argue that human nature is not a fixed set of universal traits but instead a malleable universal aptitude. While …show more content…
Gazzaniga explains an experiment that was done in 1971, named “Newborn’s Response to the Cry of Another Infant.” In this experiment, babies who had been alive for only a few days cried in response to the distress of other infants. While the response of the newborns may seem natural or obvious, it has a serious implication that empathy is innate. If empathy is the ability to “feel” and understand the happiness and suffering of others, and morality is the desire to help others achieve happiness and relieve their suffering, then this experiment implies something else. It implies that a universal sense of morality is inborn in human beings. A universal moral code is an attractive alternative to the theory that morality is specifically a social construct. The issue of morality heavily involves both nature and nurture. Some would argue that morality is a social construct because, if moral code is inborn in human beings, there would be no need for laws and a criminal justice system. I believe, however, that a universal ethics could not be disproved by the fact that there are extremely immoral people. As Sam Harris writes in The End of Faith, “Just as defects in color vision can result from genetic and developmental disorders, problems can undoubtedly arise in our ethical and emotional circuitry as well. To say that a person is ‘color-blind’ or ‘achromatopsic’ is now a straightforward statement… to say that he is ‘an evil sociopath’ or ‘lacking in moral fiber’ seems hopelessly …show more content…
The fact that human beings can recognize unjust laws and cruel social norms is evidence in itself that a universal ethics exists. Morality as a social construct is subject to distortion because of religion, politics, money, misconceptions, corruption, and many other reasons. However, moral code as a product of evolution is pure, and will influence pure actions as long as we will it; it is what enables us to recognize when the majority is acting in the wrong, and it is what encourages us to protect the weak. It is the reason that Abraham Lincoln put an end to slavery even though the majority of Americans supported it. It is the element that sets human beings apart from other animals in the moral community, and the reason we have evolved into the beings that we are today. Moral code simply could not survive if it were something as fickle and malleable as social

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