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Author Topic: The moral development of an infant  (Read 1894 times) Average Rating: 0
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Quinault
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« on: December 23, 2012, 06:06:11 PM »

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Are-Babies-Born-Good-183837741.html

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The Yale Infant Cognition Center is particularly interested in one of the most exalted social functions: ethical judgments, and whether babies are hard-wired to make them. The lab’s initial study along these lines, published in 2007 in the journal Nature, startled the scientific world by showing that in a series of simple morality plays, 6- and 10-month-olds overwhelmingly preferred “good guys” to “bad guys.” “This capacity may serve as the foundation for moral thought and action,” the authors wrote. It “may form an essential basis for...more abstract concepts of right and wrong.”

The last few years produced a spate of related studies hinting that, far from being born a “perfect idiot,” as Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued, or a selfish brute, as Thomas Hobbes feared, a child arrives in the world provisioned with rich, broadly pro-social tendencies and seems predisposed to care about other people. Children can tell, to an extent, what is good and bad, and often act in an altruistic fashion. “Giving Leads to Happiness in Young Children,” a study of under-2-year-olds concluded. “Babies Know What’s Fair” was the upshot of another study, of 19- and 21-month-olds. Toddlers, the new literature suggests, are particularly equitable. They are natural helpers, aiding distressed others at a cost to themselves, growing concerned if someone shreds another person’s artwork and divvying up earnings after a shared task, whether the spoils take the form of detested rye bread or precious Gummy Bears.
 
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Kerdy
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 06:26:31 PM »

Infant/baby doesn't like stuff which scares him/her, nothing ethical about it.  Do I now get a large grant to study stuff?
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 06:28:57 PM »

What? Did you read the article?
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 06:32:41 PM »

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Warneken put the notion on hold while he studied other aspects of toddler cooperation. One day he and a toddler were bouncing a ball together. Truly by accident, the ball rolled away—“the moment of serendipity,” as Warneken now calls it. His first impulse was to retrieve the toy and carry on, but he stopped himself. Instead, he stayed where he was, pretending to strain for the ball, though he was barely extending his incredibly long arms. The little boy watched him struggle, then after a moment heaved himself up, waddled over to the toy and—defying the scientific community’s uncharitable expectations—stretched out his own chubby little arm to hand the ball to his gigantic playmate.

In the following months, Warneken designed experiments for 18-month-olds, in which a hapless adult (often played by him) attempted to perform a variety of tasks, to no avail, as the toddlers looked on. The toddlers gallantly rescued Warneken’s dropped teaspoons and clothespins, stacked his books and pried open stubborn cabinet doors so he could reach inside.

“Eighteen-month-old children would help across these different situations, and do it very spontaneously,” he says. “They are clever helpers. It is not something that’s been trained, and they readily come to help without prompting or without being rewarded.”

The children even help when it’s a personal burden. Warneken showed me a videotaped experiment of a toddler wallowing in a wading pool full of plastic balls. It was clear that he was having the time of his life. Then a klutzy experimenter seated at a nearby desk dropped her pen on the floor. She seemed to have great trouble recovering it and made unhappy sounds. The child shot her a woebegone look before dutifully hauling himself out of the ball pit, picking up the pen and returning it to the researcher. At last he felt free to belly flop into the ball pit once more, unaware that, by helping another at a cost to himself, he had met the formal definition of altruism.
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 06:33:05 PM »

What? Did you read the article?
I did.

There are many problems with the "results" of this study.  For instance, "aiding distressed others at a cost to themselves".  This is most likely the result of not understanding the "cost" in the first place.  Not an ethical judgment.

I understand many folks think people are born “good” while just as many think people are born “bad.”  There is just as much evidence to suggest one over the other from any viewpoint.  However, studies like this seem to be, IMO, a waste.  Let me explain.  Let us take a neutral approach and say people are born neither good or bad, but with a blank slate.  How much do you get from a study of blankness?  Not much.  Everything you learn as the blankness begins to take form is from individual and specific stimuli of that particular person, not everyone.  All you are studying is that specific persons reaction to outside influence.
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 06:35:18 PM »

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Warneken put the notion on hold while he studied other aspects of toddler cooperation. One day he and a toddler were bouncing a ball together. Truly by accident, the ball rolled away—“the moment of serendipity,” as Warneken now calls it. His first impulse was to retrieve the toy and carry on, but he stopped himself. Instead, he stayed where he was, pretending to strain for the ball, though he was barely extending his incredibly long arms. The little boy watched him struggle, then after a moment heaved himself up, waddled over to the toy and—defying the scientific community’s uncharitable expectations—stretched out his own chubby little arm to hand the ball to his gigantic playmate.

In the following months, Warneken designed experiments for 18-month-olds, in which a hapless adult (often played by him) attempted to perform a variety of tasks, to no avail, as the toddlers looked on. The toddlers gallantly rescued Warneken’s dropped teaspoons and clothespins, stacked his books and pried open stubborn cabinet doors so he could reach inside.

“Eighteen-month-old children would help across these different situations, and do it very spontaneously,” he says. “They are clever helpers. It is not something that’s been trained, and they readily come to help without prompting or without being rewarded.”

The children even help when it’s a personal burden. Warneken showed me a videotaped experiment of a toddler wallowing in a wading pool full of plastic balls. It was clear that he was having the time of his life. Then a klutzy experimenter seated at a nearby desk dropped her pen on the floor. She seemed to have great trouble recovering it and made unhappy sounds. The child shot her a woebegone look before dutifully hauling himself out of the ball pit, picking up the pen and returning it to the researcher. At last he felt free to belly flop into the ball pit once more, unaware that, by helping another at a cost to himself, he had met the formal definition of altruism.

Have you ever watched Jurassic Park?  Remember when the one professor was talking about his “Chaos Theory?”  It was silly, but he made a very valid point with the whole water on the wrist and which way it will fall experiment.  It applies to a lot of things, to include the development of children.
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 06:39:08 PM »

Warneken put the notion on hold while he studied other aspects of toddler cooperation. One day he and a toddler were bouncing a ball together. Truly by accident, the ball rolled away—“the moment of serendipity,” as Warneken now calls it. His first impulse was to retrieve the toy and carry on, but he stopped himself. Instead, he stayed where he was, pretending to strain for the ball, though he was barely extending his incredibly long arms. The little boy watched him struggle, then after a moment heaved himself up, waddled over to the toy and—defying the scientific community’s uncharitable expectations—stretched out his own chubby little arm to hand the ball to his gigantic playmate.

He wanted to keep playing.  One may say this was an act of selfishness.  This appears to be a silly study most likely based on preconceived results and twisting the findings to fit those results.  What would his conclusion be if the child had simply started crying, like many children would?

Moment of serendipity.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 06:42:35 PM »

Additionally, he references Dr. Spock.  That, in itself, is enough to dismiss the study.
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 06:44:53 PM »

You are missing the point of the studies. The point is that everyone has assumed that any morality, or sense of right a wrong, has to be taught to a child. The results of this study show that from an early age children have strong concepts of fairness. Infants as young as a few months can count! Adults constantly underestimate the ability of a infant/toddler to have the ability to think and reason. The problem with this underestimation is that they assume that all of them are innately selfish and unreasonable. The reality is quite the opposite. There is an excellent book called "What's going on in there?" That book goes thru the brain development of children 0-5. A young toddler isn't a helpless being. Societies in the past were able to recognize this. By fostering the helpful nature of a toddler, you teach them that it is a positive thing. On their own they want to help.

The issue isn't whether individuals are born good or bad. The issue is whether innately we are born with any concept of good or bad at all. This study proves that on some level, we all know from infancy what is good or bad to some extent.

And if you think he referenced Spock in a meaningful manner, you weren't paying attention to what you were reading.
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 06:46:03 PM »

Warneken put the notion on hold while he studied other aspects of toddler cooperation. One day he and a toddler were bouncing a ball together. Truly by accident, the ball rolled away—“the moment of serendipity,” as Warneken now calls it. His first impulse was to retrieve the toy and carry on, but he stopped himself. Instead, he stayed where he was, pretending to strain for the ball, though he was barely extending his incredibly long arms. The little boy watched him struggle, then after a moment heaved himself up, waddled over to the toy and—defying the scientific community’s uncharitable expectations—stretched out his own chubby little arm to hand the ball to his gigantic playmate.

He wanted to keep playing.  One may say this was an act of selfishness.  This appears to be a silly study most likely based on preconceived results and twisting the findings to fit those results.  What would his conclusion be if the child had simply started crying, like many children would?

Moment of serendipity.   Roll Eyes

"like many children would," do you have any support for this claim?  Have you conducted studies?  No?  I didn't think so.  Instead, you prefer - as usual - to just dismiss scientific studies because you lack understanding.
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2012, 06:47:25 PM »

Kerdy, you are increasingly sounding like an "original sin" Calvinist to me. Between your hang-ups on the human body, and your diatribes on this issue- you seem to assume everyone is evil. I think you ought to read a bit more about the Orthodox views of sin and sin nature Wink
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2012, 06:48:46 PM »

Warneken put the notion on hold while he studied other aspects of toddler cooperation. One day he and a toddler were bouncing a ball together. Truly by accident, the ball rolled away—“the moment of serendipity,” as Warneken now calls it. His first impulse was to retrieve the toy and carry on, but he stopped himself. Instead, he stayed where he was, pretending to strain for the ball, though he was barely extending his incredibly long arms. The little boy watched him struggle, then after a moment heaved himself up, waddled over to the toy and—defying the scientific community’s uncharitable expectations—stretched out his own chubby little arm to hand the ball to his gigantic playmate.

He wanted to keep playing.  One may say this was an act of selfishness.  This appears to be a silly study most likely based on preconceived results and twisting the findings to fit those results.  What would his conclusion be if the child had simply started crying, like many children would?

Moment of serendipity.   Roll Eyes


You ignored, or purposefully skipped the rest of the quote. The second instance was a child that helped someone else they were not actively engaged in playing with. Your "theory" is baseless.
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2012, 06:49:25 PM »

You are missing the point of the studies. The point is that everyone has assumed that any morality, or sense of right a wrong, has to be taught to a child. The results of this study show that from an early age children have strong concepts of fairness. Infants as young as a few months can count! Adults constantly underestimate the ability of a infant/toddler to have the ability to think and reason. The problem with this underestimation is that they assume that all of them are innately selfish and unreasonable. The reality is quite the opposite. There is an excellent book called "What's going on in there?" That book goes thru the brain development of children 0-5. A young toddler isn't a helpless being. Societies in the past were able to recognize this. By fostering the helpful nature of a toddler, you teach them that it is a positive thing. On their own they want to help.

The issue isn't whether individuals are born good or bad. The issue is whether innately we are born with any concept of good or bad at all. This study proves that on some level, we all know from infancy what is good or bad to some extent.

And if you think he referenced Spock in a meaningful manner, you weren't paying attention to what you were reading.

If you read the entire article, you see where others reveal several other flaws to the study.  This isn’t just my opinion.  The study is flawed.  It also did not prove our understanding of good or bad, only their opinion of the results may or may not suggest something closely related to the possibility of that view.  Shortcut version, it didn’t prove anything.
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2012, 06:50:32 PM »

Have you ever watched Jurassic Park?  Remember when the one professor was talking about his “Chaos Theory?”  It was silly, but he made a very valid point with the whole water on the wrist and which way it will fall experiment.  It applies to a lot of things, to include the development of children.

Wow, just WOW. You are espousing chaos theory in child development. I hope your parenting methods aren't reflective of this idea. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2012, 06:50:38 PM »

Kerdy, you are increasingly sounding like an "original sin" Calvinist to me. Between your hang-ups on the human body, and your diatribes on this issue- you seem to assume everyone is evil. I think you ought to read a bit more about the Orthodox views of sin and sin nature Wink

And you are increasingly sounding like an ad hominem debater.  
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« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2012, 06:51:29 PM »

Warneken put the notion on hold while he studied other aspects of toddler cooperation. One day he and a toddler were bouncing a ball together. Truly by accident, the ball rolled away—“the moment of serendipity,” as Warneken now calls it. His first impulse was to retrieve the toy and carry on, but he stopped himself. Instead, he stayed where he was, pretending to strain for the ball, though he was barely extending his incredibly long arms. The little boy watched him struggle, then after a moment heaved himself up, waddled over to the toy and—defying the scientific community’s uncharitable expectations—stretched out his own chubby little arm to hand the ball to his gigantic playmate.

He wanted to keep playing.  One may say this was an act of selfishness.  This appears to be a silly study most likely based on preconceived results and twisting the findings to fit those results.  What would his conclusion be if the child had simply started crying, like many children would?

Moment of serendipity.   Roll Eyes


You ignored, or purposefully skipped the rest of the quote. The second instance was a child that helped someone else they were not actively engaged in playing with. Your "theory" is baseless.

But the question is WHY.  They assume the why without ever really knowing.  That is baseless.
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Quinault
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2012, 06:52:18 PM »

You are missing the point of the studies. The point is that everyone has assumed that any morality, or sense of right a wrong, has to be taught to a child. The results of this study show that from an early age children have strong concepts of fairness. Infants as young as a few months can count! Adults constantly underestimate the ability of a infant/toddler to have the ability to think and reason. The problem with this underestimation is that they assume that all of them are innately selfish and unreasonable. The reality is quite the opposite. There is an excellent book called "What's going on in there?" That book goes thru the brain development of children 0-5. A young toddler isn't a helpless being. Societies in the past were able to recognize this. By fostering the helpful nature of a toddler, you teach them that it is a positive thing. On their own they want to help.

The issue isn't whether individuals are born good or bad. The issue is whether innately we are born with any concept of good or bad at all. This study proves that on some level, we all know from infancy what is good or bad to some extent.

And if you think he referenced Spock in a meaningful manner, you weren't paying attention to what you were reading.

If you read the entire article, you see where others reveal several other flaws to the study.  This isn’t just my opinion.  The study is flawed.  It also did not prove our understanding of good or bad, only their opinion of the results may or may not suggest something closely related to the possibility of that view.  Shortcut version, it didn’t prove anything.

How long have you been reading studies on child development? Because I have been studying it actively for about 15 years. (no, parenting doesn't count) You say there are flaws. Show me a unflawed study on the same concept of moral development in infants/toddlers.
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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2012, 06:53:34 PM »

Have you ever watched Jurassic Park?  Remember when the one professor was talking about his “Chaos Theory?”  It was silly, but he made a very valid point with the whole water on the wrist and which way it will fall experiment.  It applies to a lot of things, to include the development of children.

Wow, just WOW. You are espousing chaos theory in child development. I hope your parenting methods aren't reflective of this idea. Roll Eyes

Can you explain how it is not applicable?  I can easily explain how it is, but being a gentleman, I will allow the lady to proceed first by explaining how every child is the same and get the same results from the same stimuli.  
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« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2012, 06:54:01 PM »

I have actively been involved in these types of studies for over a decade. How many have you been involved in Kerdy?
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2012, 06:54:45 PM »

You are missing the point of the studies. The point is that everyone has assumed that any morality, or sense of right a wrong, has to be taught to a child. The results of this study show that from an early age children have strong concepts of fairness. Infants as young as a few months can count! Adults constantly underestimate the ability of a infant/toddler to have the ability to think and reason. The problem with this underestimation is that they assume that all of them are innately selfish and unreasonable. The reality is quite the opposite. There is an excellent book called "What's going on in there?" That book goes thru the brain development of children 0-5. A young toddler isn't a helpless being. Societies in the past were able to recognize this. By fostering the helpful nature of a toddler, you teach them that it is a positive thing. On their own they want to help.

The issue isn't whether individuals are born good or bad. The issue is whether innately we are born with any concept of good or bad at all. This study proves that on some level, we all know from infancy what is good or bad to some extent.

And if you think he referenced Spock in a meaningful manner, you weren't paying attention to what you were reading.

If you read the entire article, you see where others reveal several other flaws to the study.  This isn’t just my opinion.  The study is flawed.  It also did not prove our understanding of good or bad, only their opinion of the results may or may not suggest something closely related to the possibility of that view.  Shortcut version, it didn’t prove anything.

How long have you been reading studies on child development? Because I have been studying it actively for about 15 years. (no, parenting doesn't count) You say there are flaws. Show me a unflawed study on the same concept of moral development in infants/toddlers.
Wait, is this the infamous, “You just don’t understand” position?  LOL!  
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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2012, 06:55:44 PM »

Some people just aren’t worth engaging in a discussion.  Merry Christmas! Grin
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« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2012, 06:56:21 PM »

Have you ever watched Jurassic Park?  Remember when the one professor was talking about his “Chaos Theory?”  It was silly, but he made a very valid point with the whole water on the wrist and which way it will fall experiment.  It applies to a lot of things, to include the development of children.

Wow, just WOW. You are espousing chaos theory in child development. I hope your parenting methods aren't reflective of this idea. Roll Eyes

Can you explain how it is not applicable?  I can easily explain how it is, but being a gentleman, I will allow the lady to proceed first by explaining how every child is the same and get the same results from the same stimuli.  

If chaos theory was applicable, we wouldn't have standards for "normal" development. The fact is that if children don't make or maintain eye contact before a certain age, we know something is wrong. If a child is incapable of expressing empathy, we know something is wrong. There are obvious standards on what is normal in development, thus development isn't chaotic in the least.

The standards are much more complicated than this link. There are literally books on each stage of development. Consider this link a cliff notes of a cliff notes on development.
http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/normaldevelopment.shtml
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2012, 07:02:40 PM »

Have you ever watched Jurassic Park?  Remember when the one professor was talking about his “Chaos Theory?”  It was silly, but he made a very valid point with the whole water on the wrist and which way it will fall experiment.  It applies to a lot of things, to include the development of children.

I give up.
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« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2012, 07:02:50 PM »

This study turns on its head the entire basis of child development over the last couple decades. For decades the idea was that children have to go thru various developmental stages before they can achieve morality. This study gives a perspective that there is an innate amount of morality in each child.

http://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/hierearchy_of_needs.html
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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2012, 07:15:43 PM »

Piaget and Maslow are *the* final authorities in child development right now, and they have been for decades. This study calls into question their theories.
http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=7929

The standard opinion was that children are incapable of morality on any level before a certain age.
http://www.education.com/reference/article/moral-concepts-children/

To learn that there is any concept of morality existent in a infant/toddler at all is an entirely new concept. Whether you agree with Piaget and Maslow or not, their concepts of development have been the basis for the entire educational system in this country. Even the collegiate system is based upon these concepts. If their idea that children are incapable of morality until they achieve their other needs first is incorrect, the entire educational and developmental system we have will have to be re-evaluated.
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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2012, 08:08:14 PM »

For example; there is an idea that children lie on a consistent basis, and it is developmentally normal

My children for some reason are outside the norm. There is a study they have been involved in that requires both skills in lying, and delayed gratification. The kids and an interviewer go into a room that is video monitored (or is on the otherside of 2 way glass) The interviewer talks/plays with the kids and gives them some crackers/gummies. Then they place a box right in front of the child and tell them not to look in it, and leave the room and view from another room. The expected result is that the children will look into the box, then 90% will lie about looking in the box when asked directly. Typically the kids will look into the box within a few minutes. Our kids made it to 20 minutes before the interviewer just gave up. Because they wouldn't look into the box, they couldn't have anything to lie about. There is an assumption that lying is a normative part of development because children have no sense of morality (outside of what is enforced upon them) before a certain age.
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« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2012, 08:15:10 PM »

This study would indicate that rather than children being born without any morality whatsoever, and eventually developing a sense of right/wrong, instead they have an innate amount. This would mean rather than nurture teaching morality, instead it could be the opposite; we "un-teach" morality.

Lying is the best example of this. Most people tell "little white lies" on a consistent basis. Adults tend to think those little lies have no effect on children. The idea is that developmentally children will begin to lie simply because they are selfish by nature and want to protect themselves. What if it was found that children don't begin to intentionally lie until an older age if they are raised in a lying vacuum?
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« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2012, 04:33:43 AM »

This is kind of a stupid thing to study either way around. Babies lack the cognitive functions to understand the concepts of right and wrong along with most of the consequences and affects of their actions. They are neither good nor bad--they just "are". They're blank slates that will ultimately be molded either good or bad depending on the environment that they grow up in.
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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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James, you have problemz.
Quinault
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« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2012, 04:52:50 AM »

I really don't think children are really a truly blank slate. From my experience as a parent, as well as years working in ECE, I think there is some sense of right/wrong in even infants. They naturally seem to try to "make things fair" whenever they can from a young age. The idea that there is some primitive sense of of right/wrong seems entirely logical to me based upon my observations over the years. In general you can't spoil a baby by fufilling their needs. But you can be overly indulgent with a baby, that indulgence will cause an undesirable outcome. If for example you 10 month old knows that they can throw their food on the floor and there will be no consequence (i.e that they won't get more food) they will continue to do it, and think it is their RIGHT to do so. After the first couple times of learning the cause/effect of throwing an object it is basically just a game of fetch.
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Ioannis Climacus
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« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2012, 04:31:36 PM »

I understand many folks think people are born “good” while just as many think people are born “bad.”  There is just as much evidence to suggest one over the other from any viewpoint.  However, studies like this seem to be, IMO, a waste.  Let me explain.  Let us take a neutral approach and say people are born neither good or bad, but with a blank slate.  How much do you get from a study of blankness?  Not much.  Everything you learn as the blankness begins to take form is from individual and specific stimuli of that particular person, not everyone.  All you are studying is that specific persons reaction to outside influence.
Do you see a conflict in the two statements I emboldened? If there is indeed evidence to suggest other viewpoints (that is, that children are born bad), why would you adopt a notion of tabula rasa? It seems to me that that would only further confirm the fact that humans are born with predispositions (and different ones at that).

Thanks for the article Quinault.
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Note : Many of my posts (especially the ones antedating late 2012) do not reflect charity, tact, or even views I presently hold. Please forgive me for any antagonism I have caused.
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« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2012, 05:25:48 PM »

Good article. Too bad others are incapable of recognizing the significance.
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« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2012, 08:28:42 PM »

I understand many folks think people are born “good” while just as many think people are born “bad.”  There is just as much evidence to suggest one over the other from any viewpoint.  However, studies like this seem to be, IMO, a waste.  Let me explain.  Let us take a neutral approach and say people are born neither good or bad, but with a blank slate.  How much do you get from a study of blankness?  Not much.  Everything you learn as the blankness begins to take form is from individual and specific stimuli of that particular person, not everyone.  All you are studying is that specific persons reaction to outside influence.
Do you see a conflict in the two statements I emboldened? If there is indeed evidence to suggest other viewpoints (that is, that children are born bad), why would you adopt a notion of tabula rasa? It seems to me that that would only further confirm the fact that humans are born with predispositions (and different ones at that).

Thanks for the article Quinault.
No, there is no conflict.  One is a factual statement.  The other is a NEUTRAL approach to the topic.  A meeting in the middle.  People do that a lot.  In fact, it's not the approach even I would take, but it's a start.  Nope, no conflict.
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Ioannis Climacus
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« Reply #32 on: December 25, 2012, 09:00:10 PM »

I understand many folks think people are born “good” while just as many think people are born “bad.”  There is just as much evidence to suggest one over the other from any viewpoint.  However, studies like this seem to be, IMO, a waste.  Let me explain.  Let us take a neutral approach and say people are born neither good or bad, but with a blank slate.  How much do you get from a study of blankness?  Not much.  Everything you learn as the blankness begins to take form is from individual and specific stimuli of that particular person, not everyone.  All you are studying is that specific persons reaction to outside influence.
Do you see a conflict in the two statements I emboldened? If there is indeed evidence to suggest other viewpoints (that is, that children are born bad), why would you adopt a notion of tabula rasa? It seems to me that that would only further confirm the fact that humans are born with predispositions (and different ones at that).

Thanks for the article Quinault.
No, there is no conflict.  One is a factual statement.  The other is a NEUTRAL approach to the topic.  A meeting in the middle.  People do that a lot.  In fact, it's not the approach even I would take, but it's a start.  Nope, no conflict.
It is not really a neutral approach, but a very assertive and opinionated one (that humans are born devoid of ethical judgement). You admit that evidence exists suggesting innate "badness" (as a contradiction to Quinault's article which argues for innate "goodness"). Why disregard evidence and take a position contrary to it? The ultimate question is whether or not humans possess innate morality.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 09:04:00 PM by Ioannis Climacus » Logged

Note : Many of my posts (especially the ones antedating late 2012) do not reflect charity, tact, or even views I presently hold. Please forgive me for any antagonism I have caused.
Kerdy
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« Reply #33 on: December 25, 2012, 10:05:48 PM »

I understand many folks think people are born “good” while just as many think people are born “bad.”  There is just as much evidence to suggest one over the other from any viewpoint.  However, studies like this seem to be, IMO, a waste.  Let me explain.  Let us take a neutral approach and say people are born neither good or bad, but with a blank slate.  How much do you get from a study of blankness?  Not much.  Everything you learn as the blankness begins to take form is from individual and specific stimuli of that particular person, not everyone.  All you are studying is that specific persons reaction to outside influence.
Do you see a conflict in the two statements I emboldened? If there is indeed evidence to suggest other viewpoints (that is, that children are born bad), why would you adopt a notion of tabula rasa? It seems to me that that would only further confirm the fact that humans are born with predispositions (and different ones at that).

Thanks for the article Quinault.
No, there is no conflict.  One is a factual statement.  The other is a NEUTRAL approach to the topic.  A meeting in the middle.  People do that a lot.  In fact, it's not the approach even I would take, but it's a start.  Nope, no conflict.
It is not really a neutral approach, but a very assertive and opinionated one (that humans are born devoid of ethical judgement). You admit that evidence exists suggesting innate "badness" (as a contradiction to Quinault's article which argues for innate "goodness"). Why disregard evidence and take a position contrary to it? The ultimate question is whether or not humans possess innate morality.
Um, sure.
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