American Human Nature

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When discussing human nature, we often debate whether humans are inherently good or evil. Yet what we don’t consider is if human nature exists at all. When asked about what human nature is, many of us would cite different sets of characteristics that vary depending on our upbringing, environment and culture. There are some concepts, such as rationality, ability or predisposition to use language, formation of complex social structures and self-consciousness that pop up again and again, but are these ‘universals’ enough to be used to define the entire population of Homo sapiens? And are these characteristics unique enough, that when used to characterize the human population, no other close evolutionary relatives will come to be defined as human…show more content…
The underlying factors which drive behaviors of a man from the top 1% of America are very different from those for a man from a lost tribe in the Amazon, New Guinea, India or Central Africa. Human nature should be a unified set of factors – biological and socio-cultural – which all humans subscribe to. Yet, starting with the biological aspect of human nature, the American man and the hunter are significantly different. For one, the American man is resistant to diseases, both through vaccinations and evolution, while the uncontacted man is likely to lack immunity to common diseases, not unlike the indigenous prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. Additionally, the American man likely provides for his family through mainly using his knowledge and non-physical skills to earn money for the exchange of food, shelter, security, etc. The Amazonian, on the other hand, is likely to be a hunter-gatherer, using his body to maneuver through the landscape to find food for himself, his family and his community at large. Although both men most likely take on a ‘head of the family’ role, one depends heavily on being able-bodied to survive while the other can still sustain himself without much physical effort. Additionally, as the uncontacted tribes are so small and isolated, their language is nothing like we have ever heard before, like that of the Sentinelese people, nor will it be…show more content…
For example, in ancient Chinese society, there is a huge emphasis on filial piety, ancestor veneration, and patriarchy, while in North American native groups, such as the Navajo, operations on a matrilineal basis was the norm. As well, the self-oriented western thinking is distinct from the communal mindset which is prevalent in East Asia to this day. When we look to the world now, there is still such variability and conflict between the norms and practices of different groups of humans, such as women in sub-Saharan Africa who victimize their daughters through female genital mutilation as it is the cultural norm versus the those in the western world who promote the prevention of FGM through multinationals. With such a degree of conflict between normality for both the discovered and uncontacted cultures, how can we even come up with one set of characteristics to define human nature? The lack of possibility of including all humans into one concrete framework dissuades me from believing that human nature exists at
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