Nature vs. Nurture

One of the main discussion points in early childhood development is nature vs. nurture. How much of a child behavior is based on upbringing vs. genetics. The same question can be asked about any animal. Is a pit-bull mean because of its breeding or because of how it was raised?

My world of Kavilion is based on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D) in fact many of the ideas come from AD&D roll playing. In AD&D intelligent beings have an alignment. This alignment is like the points of a compass good vs. evil and lawful vs. chaotic. A creature may be lawful good, lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral good, true neutral, neutral evil, chaotic good, chaotic neutral, or chaotic evil. At first glance one might think that lawfulness and evil are mutually exclusive. Hitler was an example of lawful evil. He followed laws though the rules were not in the best interested of society, he demanded order yet it was an evil order. In AD&D a creature’s race has a lot to do with their alignment some races like Humans can be any alignment others like Drow Elves are chaotic evil. Yet, in R. A. Salvatore books Drizzt a Drow Elf breaks off from Drow Elven society and becomes good. So we must ask is it nature or nurture that makes one the way they are.

In the “Elven Lords” books Lord Ferguson’s sister Moenna is raised by Dryads and becomes a Druid, rare for full elves. She embarks on a quest with her brother to battle an Evil Red Dragon that has been terrorizing the local area. Druids are priest of nature and by their basic character are true neutral believing in a balance of good vs. evil and chaos vs. order. They will fight with the underdog no matter which side against a greater force to restore balance to the world. In this adventure Moenna and her companions slay the evil dragon only to discover an egg. The bulk of the group wants to destroy the egg before it can hatch to become an evil dragon. Moenna insist on protecting the egg allowing the dragon too chose its own path in life. As they are actively discussing the issue the egg hatches our baby red dragon sees Moenna first and attaches to her as its mother. Throughout the remaining books Flame becomes a major part of the story as he grows up in a humanoid world raised by an Elven Druid mother and a human Thief father. He experiences such adventures as getting a claw stuck while learning to pick a pocket then in panic flaming his intended victim. Getting excited and burning their house down. He must learn that things in this world are not as straight forward as one might hope. Just because mommy screams when daddy tickles her doesn’t mean she needs to be protected. Flame goes on to become a Druid proving that nurture not nature is the rule.

1 Comment

Filed under Ideas, Thoughts