How Is Personality Developed?


There is not a clear answer as to why people act, behave, or do what they do.  However, there are different views of which factors have the most effect on a human being’s development.  View A is “People are formed the most by their parents, relationships, and values”, view B is “People are formed the most by their own genetics and personality and personal decisions”, and view C is “People are formed the most by the current influences of their time:  peers, spouse/significant others, and media”.  View A seems to be the most accurate because most of a child’s brain is formed when he or she is living with their parents.

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View A which is “People are formed the most by their parents, relationships, and values” is the most accurate based on when the child’s brain takes in the most information.  By the time a child reaches five years of age, 90% of their brain growth is already developed.  Children’s brains are adapting to life extremely rapidly when they are living with their parents and siblings.  They do start school towards the end of this rapid brain development phase, but they are towards the end of it.

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Based on a study by Kwalombota Mahalihali called “Families Influences on the development of a Child’s Behavior”, he states “Families, especially parents, play a fundamental role in forming the values of children. The ability to cope with and adjust to life’s problems and demands is based upon the psychological foundations of early family experiences.”  A person’s family has the tendency to predict who the child will be in the future.  What the family values and how parents teach children to teach others helps predict how the child will act with others when they are older.  Unfortunately, if a family is abusive or unhappy, the child’s emotions can become out of whack.  Thus, he or she will become an abnormal individual.

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View B is that “People are formed the most by their own genetics and personality and personal decisions.”  Genetics do have a big factor in determining who a person will be.  Like I stated previously, part of the way I am is because my genetics are a mix of my mother’s and father’s.  More than that, though, I believe growing up with them and acquiring their characteristics caused me to be the way I am.  Genetics probably had something to do with it, also though.  The best research to figure out the relationship of genes to personality are twin studies.  In a twin study entitled “Self-Efficacy Is Mainly Genetic, Not Learned: A Multiple-Rater Twin Study on the Causal Structure of General Self-Efficacy in Young People”, the results found “that additive genetic factors explained 75% of the variation in the common psychometric general self-efficacy factor. The remaining 25% of the variation in this factor was explained by unique, non-shared environmental effects. The impact of shared environmental sources on the common factor was non-significant. There were no significant sex differences in the estimates of the model” (Waaktaar & Torgersen 657).  Genetics accounted for 75% of the twins’ personalities while 25% were explained by their individual environments growing up.  This concludes that genetics do have a large influence on people, but not the whole person.

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View C is that “People are formed the most by the current influences of their time:  peers, spouse/significant others, and media.”  This holds a big factor on who a human becomes personality-wise because people learn by imitation just like primates.  There was a book written in 1950 by a sociologist named David Riesman.  It was entitled Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character.  It was about different personality types affected by their surroundings and what was going on in the media.

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The three types of personalities that Riesman discussed were tradition-oriented, inner-directed, and other-directed personalities.  People that are very set in their ways and are reluctant to change have tradition-oriented personalities.  They also tend to believe that everything they do is right.  People who feel guilty for everything (even things completely out of their control) have inner-directed personalities.  Their consciences are huge.  They self-depreciate themselves because they always want to help situations that would be impossible for them to help.  The last type of personality discussed by Riesman was the other-directed personality.  They are on the fence about what is right and what is wrong in this world.  They sometimes follow the crowd and they sometimes don’t.  They sometimes feel guilty if they do something wrong.  They sometimes don’t feel guilty.  A good word that I would describe this personality as is “wishy-washy”.  Wishy-washy means that they don’t know what they want, and their responses are always up in the air.

Conscience

In conclusion, View A of “People are formed the most by their parents, relationships, and values” is correct because people learn the most when they are aged zero to six.  This is when they live with their families.  This has been proven throughout the scientific world an abundant amount of times.  View B of “People are formed the most by their own genetics and personality and personal decisions” is semi-accurate due to the twin study by  Waaktaar & Torgersen, but only 75% of the personality traits stayed with the twins that were separated.  So, view B is not 100% accurate.  View C is that “People are formed the most by the current influences of their time:  peers, spouse/significant others, and media”.  People do learn by imitation, but at this point, their personalities have already formed.  They may copy off their friends, but they still have the personalities they obtained from when they were infants to age 6.

Why God Does Not Exist


[Premise 1] If God existed, there would not be pointless evil and suffering placed upon people.
[Premise 2]  There is pointless evil and suffering all over the world.
[Conclusion] Therefore, God does not exist.

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Introduction to the Argument:

            Many people strongly believe and pray to their understanding of God every day.  This gives them a sense of hope and belonging to the world that we live in.  It provides a sense of community to the people who believe in the same God.  These people like to look past or make excuses for all of the bad things that have happened to them, their loved ones, animals, and human beings in general.  In the article The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism, William L. Rowe explains that a supposed omnipotent God would prevent pointless evil, he lets the audience know what pointless evil is, and he explains why he thinks there is pointless evil in general.

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Explain the Argument About the Lack of God:

            If there were a benevolent God overlooking the world, there would not be constant pain, suffering, and killing going on every day.  These things constitute pointless evil.  A holy and all-powerful being would be able to prevent suffering and evil on all levels.  He would not just sit by and watch a massive amount of people and animals endure both emotional and physical pain due to the evil permeating the world.  Why is this evil occurring in the first place if there is an omnipotent and all-good God?

Rowe states that “if the intense suffering leads to some greater good, a good we could not have obtained without undergoing the suffering in question, we might conclude that the suffering is justified, but it remains an evil nevertheless”.  Pointless evil is the evil in which we cannot figure out the greater good of it.  Rowe gives an example of pointless evil occurring and that example is:  “In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned, and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn’s intense suffering is pointless”.  The suffering of the fawn will never lead to the greater good of living creatures.

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No one really knows for sure why there is so much evil that leads nowhere.  “The theist may point out that some suffering leads to moral and spiritual development impossible without suffering. But it’s reasonably clear that suffering often occurs in a degree far beyond what is required for character development” (Rowe).  Even if some suffering is “required” according to a believer of God, why is the suffering so intense?  If suffering was needed for moral and spiritual development according to God, he would make the suffering as short and painless as it could possibly be.

Assessing the Argument About God’s Nonexistence and Permeating Evil: 

            It seems as if there are more instances of evil in this world as there are instances of good.  This evil is not justified and it has no point to it.  There are no sins that can lead to the intense amount of suffering that human beings and other living creatures endure.  There is a theory that people are born innately good and there is a theory that people are born innately evil.  I believe that people are born innately evil.  There are natural urges in every human being that cause them to do things that are ungodly.  A human being that is born innately good would have no bad inclinations.  Bad inclinations lead to sinning according to theists.  If everyone has bad inclinations, then every person has sinned.  Thus, they were not born innately good.  It takes a lot for a person to ignore their bad inclinations.

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Animals endure suffering everyday because of human beings.  The evil that is placed on animals has absolutely no point.  The animals that endure the most constant suffering are the animals in slaughterhouses.  If there were an omnipotent God and he believed that human beings need to eat other living creatures, he would make them endure the least amount of suffering possible in their deaths.  These animals should just be put to sleep.  In reality, they are cut open while they are alive and they are trapped in small spaces.  This is more than just animal abuse.  This is animal torture.  The people who kill these animals mercilessly are incomprehensible.  No one should be okay with torturing other living things for their own benefit.

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Every species of living creatures seems to get abused by human beings in general.  There are many pets that get abused daily.  People have pets to keep them company.  This company should be cherished.  If an animal does something that a human does not like, they should not be punished because animals have natural urges and instincts just as humans do.  They should not be treated as lower beings.

There are people who kill and are in gangs and there are people that are always purposely doing wrong and evil things to others, but they sometimes never get caught or punished.  They may even prosper from their wrongdoings.  On the other hand, there are people that do very good deeds and are kind to others, but these people have awful things happen to them or they suffer with terrible illnesses.

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Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis kill and cause pain and suffering to the people who survive.  Also, wars are abounding constantly all over the world and millions of people die or get majorly injured physically and emotionally due to the evil doings of others.  If there were a God, natural disasters and wars would not occur because they are pointless evil due to the wreckage they cause.

Reactions to Possible Objections about the Nonexistence of an Omnipotent God:

            The majority of people believe in some sort of God.  A lot of people would object to an atheist’s point of view because they would make excuses for the suffering.  The biggest argument that a theist may submit is “pointing out goods, for example, to which suffering may well be connected, goods which an omnipotent, omniscient being could not achieve without permitting suffering” (Rowe).  A response to this belief would be that if there was a God, he would let it be known why the suffering was occurring.  If a person has suffered or is currently suffering, they are never told why this is occurring by this omnipotent God.  They cannot change their ways for God if they do not know why God was punishing them.  Hiding things from someone is ungodly so God should not be permitted to hide things either.  Everything should be out in the open to ensure understanding.

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Conclusion:

In summation, there are arguments for and against a God that is all-powerful.  Because of the evil constantly seen in this world, there are more plausible arguments that are against an omnipotent God.  An omnipotent God would not allow any living being to endure the amount of suffering that every living thing has to endure in their lifetime.

How to Approach the First Date


Every person is inevitably nervous when they are first getting to know someone and they will be especially nervous when that someone is a potential romantic interest. One person cannot control what the other person is thinking while on a date, but a good impression can leave a lasting impact. When on a first date, it is most important to try to be yourself regardless of the inevitable first date anxiety, let it show whether you are having a good time or a bad time with the other person, and talk about neutral topics as opposed to topics that elicit strong opinions.

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Being yourself is the most important thing to remember on a first date along with the fact that the other person is just as nervous as you are. The first date should be a low-pressure hangout. You should come into it to see if you could be friends first (Do not show up with flowers…that seems a little too desperate).

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If a woman or a man tries to be someone who they’re not and the relationship ends up working out at first, it will probably fail in the long run. This is because as a relationship progresses, the two people in the relationship continually learn about each other. In order to be happy in a long-term relationship, the goal should be to let the other person in the relationship know everything about you. The relationship cannot be based on a lie because that is torture to both parties. On a first date, one should try to mention the major things that they are interested in and try to bring up topics that seem interesting but not too personal just yet. The point of a first date is to touch upon the surface of one’s true self. If the other person is interested in this “preview”, then a second date is most likely to follow.

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It is very important to let the other person know that you are having a good time if you are enjoying yourself, but it is also important to let them know if you are not having a good time. If you do not have a good time on a first date, then the two of you are probably not suited for each other anyway. Chemistry cannot be forced. If you or the other person is not initially interested at all, they will not be able to force you to have feelings for them and you will not be able to force them to have feelings for you. Even so, it is also important to remember that chemistry takes time to build. If there is a spark on the first date, but not an intense attraction, it is still a good idea to try a second date. When the other person’s personality clicks with your personality, the chemistry feelings increase and the attraction also increases.

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When talking about your interests, it is a good idea to mostly talk about neutral topics at first. Neutral topics are things that will most likely not cause arguments or misunderstandings. Good neutral topics include, but are not limited to, dreams or aspirations, current and past pleasures, favorite movies and television shows, and careers. These topics will evoke good emotions and give the other person a glance at what type of person you are. They should say how they relate to your experiences and then you can see what type of person they are also. The worst topic to bring up and will most likely ensure that you will never see the other person again is your relationship past. This will chase the person away because this shows that you have a lot of emotional baggage. Other big topics that should be avoided are political beliefs, religious beliefs, major personal problems, and feelings about money. You are probably not going to be able to change how people feel about these topics and so they will probably cause arguments or misunderstandings.

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First dates are the predictor of how the relationship will be if a relationship eventually does form and grow. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself and to not pretend to be something or someone who you’re not. If the other person does not like who or how you are when you are being yourself, then they are not worthy of your time anyway. Make sure to let it show if you’re having a good time or a bad time on the date. Honesty is key. The conversations are pivotal to how you both will feel about each other. If you bring up topics that cause strong opinions on either side, there can be misunderstandings or arguments. Neutral topics are the best topics to talk about on a first date. If the relationship does continue to grow, eventually strong opinions will come up and these can be worked through if there are differences. Anxiety is inevitable for each person on the date. No matter how nervous you are, the other person is also nervous. You both are trying to make good impressions on each other. You both are judging each other. If it is meant to be, it will happen. If it is not, do not force it to. The divorce rate is high enough as it is and life is too short to waste time on something for no reason.

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