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Nature Vs. Nurture: What Causes The Evil Drive?

788 words - 4 pages


Humans have always had the tendency to act in evil ways. It can range from small acts of misbehavior to larger acts of criminal intent. The reason people can be evil has been endlessly deliberated and refuted, but there have been very few definitive arguments. One of the many topics of discussion include whether evil is hereditary or environment. This asks whether the behavior is basic instinct, or molded by each individual’s upbringing and external social factors. Thanks to philosophical theories and psychological methods we can approach the question of nature vs. nurture from an array of different angles.
Natural state of man has been one of the major themes in political philosophy for ...view middle of the document...

Despite the fact that Locke and Rousseau have differing opinions regarding man’s innate state of mind, they both agree upon the theory that external factors of environment change man’s development.
The debate whether evil is a product of nature or nurture is ageless in the psychological community. One of the most prominent arguments revolves around the tendencies of psychopaths and what drives their evil impulses. Psychopathy is properly defined as: “A person who is mentally ill, who does not care about other people, and who is usually dangerous or violent” (“Psychopathy” def. 1). Many psychologists believe that the reason psychopaths “do not care” or feel no remorse is hereditary; however, others believe that environment molds their already antisocial behavior into a potentially dangerous psychopathic condition. The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart is one of the best sources of information testing the argument. Led in 1979 by Professor Thomas Joseph Bouchard Jr. of the University of Minnesota, the study was conducted on 100 sets of twins that were separated at birth and brought together at the age of 11 or 17 for a week of intensive psychological testing. The results of the study revealed that despite the different environments they grew up in, the twins’ personalities, attitudes, and interests were 60% similar. Once the results of the study were...

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