Nature vs. Nurture: Which is the Origin of Virtue?

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A classic debated topic of nurture versus nature has been and always will be an argumentative subject in the scientific world. Some psychologists and scientists believe that one’s behavioral aspects originate only from the environmental factors of one’s upbringing, while other opposing specialists argue the outlook in science that agrees with the naturalist idea. The concept of naturalistic ideas supports that one’s genetic makeup, inherited from one’s parents, is the sole determining factor in one’s behavioral characteristics. However, these two opposing viewpoints have produced a number of questions that have perplexed philosophers for ages. Where do our society’s virtues come from? Are they taught? Are they universal? Are we born with them, or does an individual’s possession of them depend on his or her environment?

One can propose that integrity, patience, and other virtues are taught to one’s society via religious scriptures, the values in public and private schools try to instill in its students and child rearing methods used by parents. These work in conjunction with one’s heredity to create a balance between our genetic framework and our environment to influence ones behavior. “The diversity of our behavior has influenced psychologists from different perspectives to more thoroughly examine what makes an individual act the way he/she does. This search has been mostly expressed through an ongoing debate that has been around at least since the days of Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle” (VanBuren).

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle believed that happiness requires virtue; hence a person who wanted to be happy needed “virtuous amounts of character.” Socrates identifies happiness with pleasure and exp...

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VanBuren, Joseph. "Nature VS. Nurture: Working Together Instead of Fighting | Socyberty." Socyberty | Society on the Web. 3 Jan. 2008. Web. 19 Aug. 2011. .

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