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Identity Based on Conditioning (are you really an Individual?)

Your Parents and Elders are always telling you to be yourself, or be your own person. They encourage you to try new things as you grow up and always are trying to raise you to be individual. But the very act of raising a child invoves conditioning, instilling certain values and interests into children via words or actions, and not only this, but teachers and many other people influence a growing child in many different ways. So the question is, Are you realy an individual if your childhood is conditioned?

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    Jul 26 2012: We are all individuals that must survive in a society. So we are conditioned to survive within our greater social and global community but strive to maintain our individuality.

    Some people find comfort in conformity and some people find comfort in autonomy. But we are conditioned to survive within our collective societies both for the survival of ourselves and the survival of the society at large.

    If we were all true individuals with no societal constraints, we would revert to what is commonly called barbarianism or what some societies call the time of chaos, where people were willing to kill each other for limited resources. We still do some of that but only within the social constraint of our situation.

    Personally I am an individual that lives within societal constraints if I feel like it/
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    Jul 26 2012: Even if there is another person who looks just like you, has the same memories, same thoughts, and same number of atoms, there is still one thing that's different: location. The other person is at a different point in space and time.

    So if there truly was gonna be another person, that person would be literally just you, even in location and time. So the way I see it, there can only be one you.
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    Jul 26 2012: We are the accumulation of our experiences. That is our identity and makes us unique. If we were without any form of conditioning our identity would be void.
  • Aug 1 2012: What makes us individuals is the fact that we always have a choice when it come to doing something or not doing it; and acting in a particular way or not.

    It is impossible to be free from the influences of living in a social environment and human community. Some elderly individual may tell someone of some act and attitude that has been proven by experience to be detrimental to anyone who behaves as such.
    A foolish person may ignore such advice and decide to fall into the dreaded trap; someone may take the advice to heart and find ways to a favourable end.

    Eventually, it is still the individual that would bear the consequences of bad choices; or enjoy the fruits of good one.
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    Jul 31 2012: WE can't change our past and we can't change our DNA, but we can make choices. And we can recognise and question the influences from our past.
  • Jul 31 2012: None of these comments are duplicates.
  • Jul 30 2012: There are external influences i.e. people and the environment. Your DNA also plays a profound part in how you interpret these influences. We are all unique, no one is equal. As sentient being we have one to gift “the ability to choose.” We can cognitively choose what we appreciate, sometimes. The more we learn about what make us tick the more power we gain in molding our unconscious mind.
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    Jul 29 2012: Is it not our conditioning that has brought about this desire for indviduality?
    Is not the concept of the individual part of that conditioning?
    Are identity and conditioning 2 seperate entities?
    Or is one just a verb and the other a noun.
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    Jul 27 2012: Identity is an interesting concept. We humans have many of the same attributes, opinions, emotions, and experiences; however, our interpretations differ which is what makes us individuals. I think the answer to your debate is that yes we are individuals because no matter how much our childhood is conditioned we have the capacity to think subjectively for ourselves at a certain age.

    I hope this makes sense, good debate!
  • Jul 26 2012: We are the plant, not the seed. Our version of rain is freedom. Give enough and the plant lives and grows, too much and it dies and sometimes kills. Let children learn through a system that tailors itself to the interest of the child instead of one that encourages the child to follow his own interests The child himself is the best designer of his own educational requirements. But society requires compromise and the more we compromise the more we surrender our freedom and our individuality which is the foundation of what is creative and innovative in the individual.
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    Jul 26 2012: I can absolutely assure you that I am.
    • Jul 26 2012: Ditto !

      I too can assure you that I am really an individual

      Hi Deb!

      Back home again. You had some nice music on your TED disscussion

      Best wishes from Daniel
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        Jul 26 2012: Hi! I am so happy happy youare back in touch, Daniel!