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‘Destiny is created by the character’: From genetics to environment ~ Prof Antonio Giordano (SHRO)


In the Picture is the portrait of pre-Socratic philosophers Heraclitus of Ephesus and Democritus of Thrace.

Character determines the way by which a person responds to external stimuli and identifies the personal ‘consistency’ that sets them apart from others. it is the most fundamental aspect of the inner being and also the part that is most resistant to change.


According to behavioral genetics, our character is mostly influenced by inherited genes, which govern our preferences and decision. In addition to family traits, the environment in which a person grows up would also has an impact on their character or personality.

Heraclitus was the first to postulate that the way we are fundamentally built – that is, the collection of behaviors that psychology refers to as “character” and which he considers as the “central element” in the realization of one’s potential – determines our existence.

Each of us has a unique character that gives us an indelible imprint and guides our lives. However, another study demonstrates that homozygous twins with the same inherited genetic material will think “similarly”, but not “identically”, and will have different tastes, choices, interests, and preferences.


The adult man/woman is in fact the synthesis of two components: what his/her genome “indicates” and what he/she himself/herself has “chosen” to be. It is the element of ‘strong will’ that plays a fundamental role in influencing his/her destiny!


Each personality is influenced by an unlimited number of variables. It is not only clay as religion would say or the will of the Gods as Homer sang.


Heraclitus was the first to shift attention to the interiority of human beings by diminishing the role of Fate.


However, from the times of Plato, the intriguing belief that a man’s character determines his fate has persisted. According to this view, in the afterlife, souls will have the opportunity to choose their own destiny and adopt it as a model that will influence their future choice. Even if the accompanying demon would constantly remind them of their choice, they would forget it once they came to Earth to complete their destiny after ingesting water from the River Lethe.


Because of this, realizing one’s destiny paves the way to happiness, or eudemonia, and discovering what the devil and consequently the character are trying to tell us. Science, philosophy, and mythology are all attempting to explain the “weight of our choices”, how much they truly depend on us, the “margin for change” as it relates to a genetic code or predetermined destiny, and the role that free will play in deviating from a path marked by difficulties, disabilities, and financial hardships.


Each of us is born with “aptitudes”, inherited from our genetic makeup, but our personal character will determine how we develop, enhance, and use those aptitudes.


This article was first published in Sud Reporter.


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