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strappinglad

Nature vs Nurture

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Lately I have been thinking about the innocence of the new born. We come into this life to gain a body and be tested, at least that is what I have been taught. I don't think we come without baggage however. We also arrive in circumstances that are beyond our control. Suppose a spirit is placed into a body that is in a family of thieves. The chances of becoming a thief are quite high I would imagine. Agency gives a person the chance to overcome the situation but the odds are stacked against it.

Christ said one needs to become like a little child for such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Maybe He never met some of the little terrors I have .Talk about socio/psycho . Was nurture the only reason they are like this, or was it in their nature from even before the start? The guards that ran the ovens were not that long before someone's innocent infant.... or were they ?

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12 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

Lately I have been thinking about the innocence of the new born. We come into this life to gain a body and be tested, at least that is what I have been taught. I don't think we come without baggage however. We also arrive in circumstances that are beyond our control. Suppose a spirit is placed into a body that is in a family of thieves. The chances of becoming a thief are quite high I would imagine. Agency gives a person the chance to overcome the situation but the odds are stacked against it.

Christ said one needs to become like a little child for such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Maybe He never met some of the little terrors I have .Talk about socio/psycho . Was nurture the only reason they are like this, or was it in their nature from even before the start? The guards that ran the ovens were not that long before someone's innocent infant.... or were they ?

I think He meant to become as a little child in His hands. That takes care of both nature and nurture. Our natures, in His hands in the first estate, led us to physical birth into this second estate. Our natures, in His hands in this fallen estate (including the post-mortal spirit world), give is a spiritual rebirth back into the Father's presence. In both estates we both choose to be like Him in nature and to be nurtured by Him. 

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I think that is why God has specifically destroyed past groups at times ---- when the atmosphere means that His children have no chance of exercising their agency, there remains no purpose to that existence and allowing His children to come into that world would not allow them the conditions required to become like Him.   It is interesting though that He doesn't destroy all civilizations and it seems that much violence and poverty and  bad stuff is not by itself enough to get that designation.

Edited by rpn
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2 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Lately I have been thinking about the innocence of the new born. We come into this life to gain a body and be tested, at least that is what I have been taught. I don't think we come without baggage however. We also arrive in circumstances that are beyond our control. Suppose a spirit is placed into a body that is in a family of thieves. The chances of becoming a thief are quite high I would imagine. Agency gives a person the chance to overcome the situation but the odds are stacked against it.

Christ said one needs to become like a little child for such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Maybe He never met some of the little terrors I have .Talk about socio/psycho . Was nurture the only reason they are like this, or was it in their nature from even before the start? The guards that ran the ovens were not that long before someone's innocent infant.... or were they ?

I can't remember if you had a chance to watch the FM conference.  If not, be sure and read Jeff Robinson's transcript when it gets posted.

He uses the model not of nature vs. nurture, but rather what does one know how to do (think language, do you remember learning English?  Did you have a choice in learning it even though you weren't born knowing it?)  Children are born with an aptitude to learn, but what they learn is very culturally dependent.  Agency may be limited by what one knows how to do...one can't choose to be a concert pianist or not until one learns that skill.  Otoh, humanity is also very adaptable to circumstances in general.

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This is why I think God's judgment is not condemnatory, but rather restorative.  We will not be condemned for what we couldn't be because we didn't have a way, but what we have ever lost will be restored to us so that we can be who we were always meant to be.  By the way, this restorative justice can begin in this lifetime as we follow the path of Christ. The path of Christ anoints our experiences now, not promises goodies in the future, per se. The caveat to this is that sometimes the very valleys of death we are called to go through are what shape us into 'refined gold', so it is hard to say what is a 'bad' thing and a 'good' thing.  But nevertheless, I prefer to take this perspective on God's judgment.

While it is obvious to me that infants are not blank slates, nevertheless we do experience many things in this lifetime that are NOT under our control and choice and which we must suffer.  The binding of Isaac on the altar, the crucifixion of Christ on the cross.  But Christ also gives us the template of rising out of the tomb, raising Lazarus from the dead.  We begin to learn our choices, learn our responses, gain our knowledge, gain our strength.  It is a lifetime process; and it is the process we desired, so we came here to experience it.

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I am a natural jerk but I have also nurtured that tendency. Difficult paradox.......

Edited by The Nehor
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This is a great subject.  I'm reading a convincing book titled "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" by Gabor Mate', M.D.

When you think of hungry ghosts, think of the men and women who are addicts Dr. Mate' worked with on the Eastside streets of Vancouver, British Columbia.  He speaks with great sensitivity and compassion for those people who keep medicating with their chosen addiction to recieve the comfort they did not receive as a child.  He also expresses compassion for the parents and the stresses they were under.  He makes the case it wasn't the parents' fault.  Most do the best they can and are oblivious to the circumstances that set the child up for failure. Many are children of divorce, or adopted.  Most were horribly abused one way or another. 

He talks about the popular theories of genetic reasons for alcohol, drug and in his case workaholism.  He doesn't believe there is much of a connection to genetics.  He makes a convincing case that most of the challenges come to children who's parents were under great stress when they were in the womb, and how certain chemicals were not available them due to that stress.  They didn't have a significant person tracking them, nurturing them as infants.  In an ideal situation, the mother will look into the child's eyes.  Her eyes will dialate, signaling serotonin release in the infant's bloodstream, causing comfort, security and contentment.  Without that contact, the brain and personality don't develop properly.

I can't do the book justice in a couple paragraphs.  His point is that many great and talented people try to medicate their lonliness by replacing the love they did not experience as a child with their addictions.  They don't understand what is going on.  They just crave that short term high and will wear out their lives chasing after it. 

Some addictions are completely devastating to a life.  Others, like his drug of choice-- workaholism, result in great success and the trappings of wealth.  His addiction also resulted in his children suffering no time with him and lack of nourishing.  He says all addictions have the same impulse to medicate that drives them.

I have a different opinion of the prison system, of how some circumstances are the perfect storm setting people up for failure.  Reading the book, I could see how I caused stress and financial worry for my wife in the early years that caused deficits in some children that would not have been, had I realized what was really happening.  The stresses and lack of support I gave my wife had impact on some children. Things improved, and it shows in the success of some, and the challenges of others.  

I recommend the book.  Talking about the issues with Millenials, he postulates the problem is a lack of nurturing in their formative years due to everyone too stressed and busy outside the home to nurture the child.  Hence, many don't succesfully launch and end up in addictive behaviors to get the comfort they missed.

I'm not explaining this well.  It boils down to if we knew where a person came from, we would appreciate them more and be more creatively helpful.  I'm not doing it justice.  Nature vs. Nurture is an important subject to understand.  I hope it can be explored on this thread.  Had I understood what was happening with our children in their early years, I would have given better support and comfort to my wife and children during those years.  I would probably have made different career choices to provide a more financially stable environment for the entire family.  

I've passed it along to a daughter in law, as tgeir recently married daughter (our granddaughter) wants to start a family this year.  Her husband is in college.  This information is good for young families to know.

Edited by Meerkat
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On 8/6/2018 at 6:45 PM, strappinglad said:

Lately I have been thinking about the innocence of the new born. We come into this life to gain a body and be tested, at least that is what I have been taught. I don't think we come without baggage however. We also arrive in circumstances that are beyond our control. Suppose a spirit is placed into a body that is in a family of thieves. The chances of becoming a thief are quite high I would imagine. Agency gives a person the chance to overcome the situation but the odds are stacked against it.

Christ said one needs to become like a little child for such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Maybe He never met some of the little terrors I have .Talk about socio/psycho . Was nurture the only reason they are like this, or was it in their nature from even before the start? The guards that ran the ovens were not that long before someone's innocent infant.... or were they ?

We don't blame animals and little children because they don't understand the moral or ethical standards adopted by humans.  No matter how horrific their conduct, we can't blame children until they reach the age of accountability -- which in reality probably varies with each child.  Just a rule of thumb which only God can correctly apply.

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I am fascinated by this topic. I was raised in an LDS home and did not meet my biological father until I was in my 30's. I found that my views and perspectives in my 30's were much more closely aligned with my biological father, who had no influence on me or role in nurturing me my first 30-something years on the planet, than they did with the parents who raised me....this was true for everything from my beliefs on religion, politics, society, art, etc., to my preferences in music and literature and even to my hobbies and interests. I have since been fascinated by the role of nature and nurture, having previously been pretty adamant that environment was the most influential factor in personal development.

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You should see Three Identical Strangers as it explores the question of nature vs nurture in a pretty eerie way.  

It details the incomplete but messed up experiment from Dr. Neubauer's study wherein he wants to bring data to the question of nature vs nurture.  I had heard his name before and gotten wind of the study before so some of you also might be familiar.  

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