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Let us make this world a better place to liveA   Baby when born is soft and tender...

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patnala | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 12, 2009 at 9:07 PM via web

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Let us make this world a better place to live

A   Baby when born is soft and tender with no mind of it’s own like a fluid which is ready to take the shape of the  container, while there is a gentle young mother with lots of love and affection, full of dreams for her baby.

Every thing is so normal and quite predictable till this same  baby turns in to a wild terrorist, a ruthless serial killer , a sadist or a rapist. a dictator who initiates a genocide. How ...?


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marilynn07 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted March 12, 2009 at 11:17 PM (Answer #2)

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It is debatable whether the infant mind is the "blank slate" we used to assume.  Any parent can tell you that an infant has an individual personality from the moment of birth, but how much does that personality determine later behavior?  Surely a great deal, but in terms of falling prey to bad ideas or ideologies, or decisions in life or a bent to criminal behavior, etc., we just don't know.  Adolf Hitler, for instance, never gave any indication of anti-Semitism until adulthood, when he was exposed to racist literature in Vienna, and still gave no indication of believing it until a series of events over years (his poverty, the defeat of Germany in WW I, etc.).  I doubt that serial killers and dictators are determined at birth, but here is a wealth of research into very early influences on infants.  Here are two excellent links:

http://74.6.239.67/search/cache?ei=UTF-8&p=research+into+the+mind+of+infants&fr=moz2&u=www.zerotothree.org/site/DocServer/ZT

http://www.lcmedia.com/mind9817.htm

 

 

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 13, 2009 at 8:05 AM (Answer #3)

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Babies grow with many influences.  The parents are one, and a very important influence.  Society is another.  School, teachers, coaches, administrators, babysitters, friends, preachers, youth directors, neighbors, the internet, the media.  The list goes on and on.  The child does not grow up with the influence of just one person, nor can the parents completely control with whom the child comes in contact unless they lock him/her in a closet or basement (abuse, which forms the child in a different way).

I am always amazed at the number of people who state that the serial killer "seemed normal" and was a "quiet" person whom no one ever thought was "capable of this horrible thing".  Who knows how the mind is warped into doing the heinous crimes that some people commit?

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afi80fl | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted March 14, 2009 at 12:50 PM (Answer #4)

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Well, I for one support nurture over nature.  I believe the way we are raised and the values that are instilled in us by our parents, friends, and mentors have the most to do with the way we turn out.   Yes, I think we're all born "tabula rasas", or, blank slates.  If you ever take education or psychology courses in school, you're going to come across the Latin phrase quite a bit.

Horrible people do horrible things, but if you look back through their lives, 9 times out of 10 you're likely going to see a deficiency in their childhood that wasn't detected or corrected early on.  Of course, I'm not a bleeding heart liberal looking to make excuses; I'm just noting that after having taught for 5 years, and having minored in Sociology, I've seen a lot of kids and can tell the ones that I believe are going to have a very difficult time in life, due often to neglect or failure to intervene on part of their parents or guardians.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted May 24, 2009 at 3:57 AM (Answer #5)

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It is quite true that people acquire many undesirable attitudes and other behavior pattern during the process of growing up. Some of the negative traits are result of upbringing rather than in born or natural can be guessed from development of similar traits in other animals. For example, humans are the only animals that kill for pleasure.

I think there in general consensus on the need to make this world to make a better place to live in. But when it comes to ways of achieving this goal, we all have our own ideas. I do not want to add to confusion by proposing some new ideas myself. I only want to say that we Will be better placed to achieve better result, if we accept that this is a tough problem, which best mind of all ages have been trying to sole without anywhere total success. I am referring to all the great religious leaders like Christ and Buddha.

People who want to change this world mus be prepared devote long and painstaking effort for it.

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted May 24, 2009 at 6:18 AM (Answer #6)

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I would say that it is either genetics or environment that produces a person in a community. And with a little luck, parents do the best they can and things work out.  If they don't work out, it is almost impossible to discover the true reason for a child's failing.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 27, 2011 at 10:47 AM (Answer #7)

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This is the age-old nature versus nurture argument. The truth is, we are shaped both by our environment and genetics. If there are extreme forces in either direction, they will have more pull. On balance, the situation we grow up in and how we are raised makes us who we are more than some kind of genetic predisposition. In other words, serial killers are neither born nor made.

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