Which is a "human being?"
In the West, scholars argue over human nature, with some arguing the human being is born neutral, a blank slate, while others argue his proclivity to do good. Still others contend his tendency for evil. These assessments of human nature are based on infants, children, and immature adults, and here lies the problem. In Afrikan thought, a child is not considered fully human, therefore, to use him or her as a barometer for human nature is ludicrous. Just as an acorn possesses the capacity of the great oak, the child likewise has human capacity. However, the acorn, if not in the proper environ at the right time will never reach full realization, similarly, the child without culture and initiation never realizes his or her human potential. Therefore, more than the infant or child, the adult, especially the elder, typifies the human being in Afrikan culture. The human being is the by-product of culture, and an infant having the least exposure to culture is the least human. Only after the human being has become acculturated and thus developed the power of self-actualization can the question of his or her “nature” be entertained. Moreover, the Afrikan sees the human as more of a human becoming, in a constant state of growth and development, who once he or she has spiritually matured can properly be considered a “human being.”