Have you ever watched the movie Matilda? I remember the books from when I was a kid, but it’s been a long time since I thought about them. One of my roommates is, however, obsessed with the movie. I have to admit that it’s actually a pretty good movie. I rather thoroughly enjoyed it. However, Matilda has some rather strong themes of nature over nurture. This is going to matter for your challenge today. Anyway, I have a story challenge for you. So, you know the rules. Take your subject and run with it. Write me a story of 1000 words or less and stay on topic. As before, if it’s in any way applicable, you should use this to try to develop your world a little more :).
Your Challenge: What is human moral nature? Are we inherently good? Inherently bad? Somewhere in between? How much of our personality is determined by our nature? by our environment? Hopefully you’ll get something useful out of these questions :). Something interesting is that the Chinese word Xing is generally translated as ‘nature’. However, it doesn’t mean quite what we mean. In Confucian writings Xing could be defined as ‘that with which we originally begin, and the process which we will naturally follow lacking any significant need or outside interference’. For instance, Mengzi argued that human nature was good because we all began with incipient other-focuses feelings such as sympathy or shame, and that if our inherent needs are provided for (in these inherent needs Mengzi included moral education) then we will naturally and easily develop into morally cultivated individuals.
P.S. I want to say here that I realize that I’ve essentially turned some of these story challenges into philosophy challenges. For those of you are don’t much like the philosophy posts I apologize. Hopefully staring in January I’ll have some time to sit down and write up a new set of challenges. However, for now, these are what’s on my brain :P.