Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"The Modern Denial of Human Nature"

The title of this post is actually the sub title of the book, "The Blank Slate", by Stephen Pinker. who was a professor of psychology at MIT when his book was published in 20o2.

This commentary on my part likely qualifies as an expression of a voice crying in the wilderness.
Like the age old philosophical question about a tree falling in the forest with no one around, does it make a sound.

I write this as if it is a virtual tree falling in the cyber forest. You don't have to be around during the actual event, my writing this. If you find it interesting you will have confirmed the event.

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and theoretical thinker of the first half of the twentieth century
postulated that we don't come into life a blank slate, but that we come into life with predispositions about how we see our world and how we prefer to make decisions about what we see.

Steven Pinker, the an MIT professor, wrote a book a few years ago called,The Blank Slate, The Modern Denial of Human Nature, which espoused, in an up to date way, the same idea.

Our leaders, politicians, business executives, and in some cases, our teachers, and in most cases our parents, operate as if we all come into life a blank slate, and the Nurture, by itself is what shapes us, makes who we are.

WRONG!!! Any one who has parented more than one child knows this. Kids, siblings, raised in the same environment, the family and home, subjected to the same Nurture, rarely behave alike,
but display their own unique personality. Some have postulated the birth order is at play.

I'll leave that to others who are more knowledgeable than I to flesh that out, but birth order and/or at birth inherent preferences both tell us that to assume we all should be considered blank slates and equally easily influenced by our authorities, parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, bosses, politicians, is more than naive, it's destructive.

What do you think? Use the comments option to chime in.

Lighthouse Keeper

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