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Nature vs Nurture


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#21 shaya

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:12 AM

i guess based on seeing that a certain type of person will always choose one over the other will make some1 think that its the card he was dealt that makes him (or at least helps him) choose one over the other.

what makes some1 choose anything anyway? it has to be something out of his ability to choose to begin with, a cripple cannot go places, a blind man cannot see anything, so here you see that his choices are dictated by the cards he is dealt with, why is it different than when a calmer person will choose one thing and a angrier person will choose another, here you see that the person didnt exactly make his decision but rather his choices were dictated by his situation and he had nothing to do with it.
Start with God - the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

#22 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:30 PM

i guess based on seeing that a certain type of person will always choose one over the other will make some1 think that its the card he was dealt that makes him (or at least helps him) choose one over the other.

What type of person you are is what you choose to be. It is absolutely untrue that certain personality types (i.e. personality traits that are not choices) will choose one way and vice versa. It's simply false.


why is it different than when a calmer person will choose one thing and a angrier person will choose another, here you see that the person didnt exactly make his decision but rather his choices were dictated by his situation and he had nothing to do with it.

Yeah and someone drunk will choose another. So what? A person under a pressurized situation has nothing to do with personality. And besides, its a choice to get angry.


what makes some1 choose anything anyway? it has to be something out of his ability to choose to begin with,

Yes. His Bechirah. Now what's the problem?

Again, you keep assuming there has to be something making him choose. That is not so. You have no reason to assume that. I cannot answer the assumption you choose to have. You're not asking a quesiton, and you're not answering mine - i.e. what makes you think there's something making a person choose besides Bechirah?

#23 Role Model Wannabe

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:37 PM

Thank you Shaya for helping me out, yes that was my original question, but it got more complex over time! Thanks. Always appreciated.

Btw mod, can i respond and talk to a boy over this site, is it allowed (Halachically?)

Ok, so my more complex question (which answers the proof question) is this: If someone is well aware, and has reasons for every single action they take, the reason why and everything, how is there free will.

Example. If someone is a good _____, but at the same time, they are very sensitive, aware, nice, thoughtful, into Ayin Haras, wants to keep talent. (This may be an extreme case, but just using it to explain.)

Ok, so they wouldn't want to show off their talent, because their into Ayin Haras & want to keep their talent, because their nice and don't want the other person to feel bad, are aware, and therefore see that there's "no point" in showing anyone their talent..... They are being humble not because they chose to, but because their personality is that way. I'm talking about people that don't just act on a quick wim, or have a 5 second pre-thought, I'm talking about the person that thinks everything through before he does something. And the reason he did something was because of a reason, a reason that a regular person wouldn't even think of. (Again this an extreme case, it's just used to explain, and there are some people like this in the world.)

Basically, this whole question arose in regards to Anivos, humility. If someone is very humble, they realize that whatever Hashem gave them is pushing them in certain directions in life, not they alone. This may sound like a person with low self-esteem, and may not be a good thing to post now because it will distract the question, and maybe the point won't be taken, but here it is.

I was listening to Rabbi Pliskin's shiur over this dilemma, and he brings Shlomo Hamelech and the story with the Malach Hamaves trying to trick the smartest man in the world, by telling him that it will be beneficial to the person. But that just further intensifies my question, the Malach used Shlomo's trait of Chesed, wanting to save someone's life, and the Torah commandment of saving a life to trick him. Yes, it proves that Shlomo doesn't necessarily use his personality trait of genius, but he used others! At that moment, he was just thinking of saving a life. Which is another personality trait of his. And that wasn't necessarily bad, just an occurrence.

Sorry for the format of this question, it's not really clear, just a stream of conscious that directs me to my question. And if you've answered this somewhere before, I'm sorry for asking again. Thank you again so much for helping me.

#24 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:13 PM

The answer is לפום צערא אגרא. Of course your personality doesn't take away your Bechirah - if you are humble but you could gain $50,000 by showing off your talent, it is still a Nisayon, just not as big a Nisayon as someone who is naturally a showoff.

Personality does not negate Bechirah, but it can make the Bechirah decision easier or harder. And it is correct that a naturally humble person gets less reward for example for acting humble, but if they give in to the Nisayon and show off, for example, it is a greater Aveirah than had a naturally proud person done it. Hashem calculates our personalities into His decision of what Nisyonos He gives us.

But that does not mean there is no Bechirah.

#25 Role Model Wannabe

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:09 PM

Let's say that this person is humble and rich/ doesn't want money/ .... then they wouldn't either choose to showoff. If his personality is not one that runs after money, and his past nurturing gives him confidence..... then he wouldn't choose.

That was the problem with adding the Anivos part, that really wasn't part of the question, I just had to fit it in (maybe my personality is such that it wouldn't allow me otherwise.) So mod, would it be a problem to ask that question again without the Anivos part? Can you please answer the rest?

Ok, so my more complex question (which answers the proof question) is this: If someone is well aware, and has reasons for every single action they take, the reason why and everything, how is there free will.

Ok, so they wouldn't want to show off their talent, because their into Ayin Haras & want to keep their talent, because their nice and don't want the other person to feel bad, are aware, and therefore see that there's "no point" in showing anyone their talent..... They are being humble not because they chose to, but because their personality is that way. I'm talking about people that don't just act on a quick wim, or have a 5 second pre-thought, I'm talking about the person that thinks everything through before he does something. And the reason he did something was because of a reason, a reason that a regular person wouldn't even think of. (Again this an extreme case, it's just used to explain, and there are some people like this in the world.)

Sorry for the format of this question, it's not really clear, just a stream of conscious that directs me to my question. And if you've answered this somewhere before, I'm sorry for asking again. Thank you again so much for helping me.

#26 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:23 AM

If someone has reasons for everything they do there is still Bechirah because there are reasons to do bad as well as good. The decision to choose one reason over another is the Bechirah.

Regardless of a person's natural personality, he will still have reasons to do bad. There is no such thing as a personality that does not have temptations (there is, actually - it's called a Malach). He has reason to steal the money and reason not to. The reason to steal the money is because he can buy things that he wants. The reason not to is because Hashem said not to. Presented with those two options, both of which come complete with motive, he needs to choose which motive to fulfill and which to frustrate. That is his Bechirah.

(You may respond to anyone you like Halachicly)

#27 Role Model Wannabe

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:23 PM

Thank you so much for answering this seemingly simple, yet once-a-time complicated question that I had! Thank you for your patience and wisdom!