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Do people change?

As humans we evolved from, in a sense, animals. We all have animalistic characteristics in each and every one of us.

For example;
Raise a baby tiger from birth in a home, in civilization and teach it to be a calm and loving animal it will conform to learn to be as loving and as a obedient as a dog. When it is fully grown put the tiger back into its natural habitat and sooner then later its animal instincts of "killing" and "survival of the fetus" will emerge. It will go back to being who he is, what a tiger really is. No matter how long you teach the tiger to be loving and gentle once back it its innate environment something will trigger its true self to emerge.

Humans compared to animals have the ability to learn and evolve therefore could a human learn other ways and change or is who we are at birth pre-determined and will stay with us forever?

  • Sep 6 2012: Yes. But don't live your life waiting for it.
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    Sep 6 2012: I don't know anything about the behavior of tigers being brought up in a domestic setting, but most research supports the finding the humans are the product of genetics and environment and that while some characteristics are stable, others can change over time depending on the environment.
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    Sep 11 2012: No lion is going to be in my house. A lion has no conscience.
  • Sep 10 2012: I read the case at yahoo news a few months ago, it was about the young boy who founded at the house dog. He is 6 yo and based on their neighbourhood story, the boy's parents past away when he was 2 yo. Since that occasion, the boy refused to live in the orphan house. In his mind, its better to live with his dogs. He eats like a dog, walking like a dog, even he was barking every person who wants to get closer to him. The point is that each part of his life adopted from the way of the dogs life. But now, under the social department of... (i forget the country is) he does like a human being. he try to eat with spoon, he try to learn how to speak in human language, etc. It means that animal or human will going back to who they are.
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    Sep 9 2012: The individual can work to change their reactions to their environment. The larger society does not readily change and traditionally will repeat historical actions. The only certain change or evolution regarding mankind is the increasing complexity in our tools and toys.
  • Sep 7 2012: I'd to add that maybe will power plays a role in whether or not we allow ourselves to give in to whatever is triggering our inner selves.

    Sticking to my prison example, if a violent offender leaves prison as a changed man and encounters a situation where he feels the urge to engage in violence once again BUT knows that its wrong and couldn't stomach the idea of bringing out his "old self". Then would that man be considered a changed person until he breaks and resorts back to violence?
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    Sep 7 2012: If you don't adapt or change to the environment, natural selection will take its course.

    Same can be said for society, and same can be said that the newer generation will always take over because you can't stay with old ideas forever, there will always be new things that will redefine the old.
  • Sep 7 2012: Humans...are born with our neurology in a very undeveloped state. I think it is this that allows our brains to...sort of imprint on the culture around us. Also on our family. So as we become mature, it does become more difficult to change who we are...as our habits and preferences are literally wired into the structure of our brains.
    But...we still have neurogenesis occurring as adults. So it is possible to change.
    In our evolutionary past, adaptability was selected-for.
    Personality can change radically over a lifespan.

    Now...there is a catch to that. Twin studies seem to show that there are innate proclivities to like certain things. I think one is influenced by genetics. Humans are no blank slate.
    Still, we're evolved to be able to change ourselves as required.
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    Sep 6 2012: People within modern societies and especial within cities live like animals in the Zoo.

    Cages are made of rules and regulations. It is the price we pay for easy meals and relative safety.

    Any individual can change with age or wisdom but people at large don't.
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    Sep 6 2012: The human is a product of nature and nuture. Some things do not change (genetic details) ; while some things can change.
    We have the power to make choices, and our responses to external influences do vary (different reactions to different people and environments and circumstances).

    Sometimes when people change, we do not notice or observe such change(s) because we are looking out for our subjective interpretation of change(s). But in some instances, it is just a little difference that is the difference; sometimes the little difference makes a difference to us; and sometimes it doesn't.
  • Sep 6 2012: I guess the diffrence is more physical. A tiger is limited in the options he has to survive. He needs to eat and protect himself, and there is not much choice how he can do this. That is why he has to fall back on what you consider his instincts.

    There is a video on youtube about two guys who had raised a tiger baby in London/England, i guess that was in the 70s. This tiger grew up and the stronger he got, the more dangerous it was to be around him (not lifethreatening for the two guys, but anyone else), simply because of his physical strenght.

    They decided to bring him back into the wilderness, what was sucessfull. Years later they decided to look for him, and once they found him something happened. The tiger remembered the guys and ran to them, "hugged" them and so on. And the other tigers around him did not attack the guys too, nor the one who was filming.

    Like you describe it, it is the environment that does the change. Well, this tiger had a changed environment, but he had memories on his own past, and he himself decided which "instinct" to follow. That makes clear i think that lifeforms of most kind, at least those who are able to interact with others, are able to "change". I doubt that a mosquito has a memory, but birds seem to have-just to explain what i mean with ability to interact.

    The tiger is a good example for something else. They decided to bring him back into the wild not because he had changed insofar that he attempted to kill them, but insofar that he simply got too strong to handle him. When this tiger "played" with them, they risked heavy injuries, specially in the tigers puberty, were he had to learn about his own strength.

    In the wild, when he was grown up and mature, he also hugged them, but did not harm them, they had no single scratch, whilst the tiger was stronger than ever before. Its not about instinct, it is about memories and decisions.
  • Sep 6 2012: "If I cant evolve, there is no purpose in living"
    I very much agree with that quote since in fact we are humans and humans evolve.

    As physical appearance goes that has very little to do with you you are therefore it is quite easy to change physically which may also change how you feel about yourself resulting in perhaps, higher self-esteem and confidence.

    However is it correct to state that "your worldview crashed" is another way of saying the circumstances you lived by where faulted and therefore your environment changed as well, your views changed (how you see the world) etc...which then transformed you into an entirely different being?

    That is why I feel that us humans cannot just change BUT we may become different beings with different views and perceptions of the world when and solely when the circumstances and the environment around us is changed allowing what us humans do best, evolve and adapt. In this case you evolved and adapted to your new fact-based worldview.
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    Gail .

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    Sep 6 2012: If you knew me 30 years ago (when I was 30) and you were to meet me again 30 years later, you would not recognize me in my appearance, dress, or beliefs. I have changed that much! (Thank goodness. If I can't evolve, there is no purpose in living)

    My change was very quick. My worldview crashed. (I realized that most of what I had been taught was a lie). As I established a new, fact-based worldview, my entire "being" transformed as well.
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    Sep 6 2012: Yes people do cahnge...otherwise how we would able to land in the today's level of civilization ?.....aren't we more tolerant to diversity now compared to say even 2/3 decades before

    However it's a fact that though we know everything change except change itself....we are not receptive to change easilty..
    • Sep 6 2012: We adapted through evolution to be able to live in the futuristic generation we are in now compared to years before, so yes as humans we have changed ALTHOUGH at the same time, did we change or did the environment and circumstance around us change, not the human itself?

      I strongly believe that humans do not change but everything around us changes and we just simply adapt allowing evolution to take its course.

      In a science experiment for example you cannot measure something without having a controlled variable.
      We cannot say that humans are capable of change when everything around us is CONSTANTLY changing.

      Also to add as an example; if a convict is sent to prison for violent acts and is then taught in prison how to control himself and what is right and what is wrong then in that environment he will change, he may even change enough to be let out of prison and back in the world.
      If he stays in an environment where he is not tempted to commit violence then he will remain a changed man although if he, lets say, goes back to his hometown where all of the problems started then he is back in his environment where something could easily trigger his violent episodes then that person is right back to where he started off, a violent person. A unchanged man.
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        Sep 6 2012: Adaptation does not come without change.....
        Not sure what change you are focusing on.....is it physical change or psychological one?

        Change of psyche in some people may be very difficult....but in society lot of change we brought froward....for those people who are reluctant to cahnge as you described in your prison example...we have law....who brought those laws ?

        Human being again...is it not?