“Human Nature” vs. Cultural Diversity

“It’s human nature” is simultaneously one of the most popular – and one of the most misused – phrases used to explain one’s actions. “Nature” implies a certain genetic coding. It suggests that it is within a person’s DNA to act in a manner that in fact is more typically in accordance with a person’s culture. What we view as nature is actually culture parading as “nature”.

According to Jonathan Marks in his article “Nulture,” the statement “it’s human nature” also implies a complete separation of human behaviors from human culture. In other words, it gives rise to what is commonly known as the “nature-culture dichotomy.” This allows for human actions to be blamed solely on pre-determined genetic sequences, rather than on the culture in which a person was raised.

The phrase also implies a lack of diversity. If a certain action is human nature, then any actions contradictory to that action are not human nature, and therefore unnatural. This line of thinking completely disregards any anthropological research into the numerous diversities found in cultures all around the world. “Human nature”, therefore, is a misleading concept that is most commonly used as a simple explanation for cultural differences that are not yet understood.

Source: http://popanth.com/article/nulture/

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