Website owner: James Miller
Where do the outlooks, attitudes and values that define us come from? How are they formed? By what mechanisms do we acquire them? One source is thought and reflection. When thought and reflection lead us to a particular opinion on a thing that is our opinion on the subject. That opinion, attitude or stance on the subject remains unless, at some later time, more thought and reflection may cause us to change our opinion. This is one way outlooks, attitudes and values are formed. Another way in which we acquire them is transference from other people. I give the following example: I can remember, at a very young age, being strongly biased against beer gardens, saloons and dance halls. Where did this very negative view of beer gardens, saloons and dance halls in my childhood come from? Well, it didn't come from church because this was before the age when we started attending a church. We were a family that kept to ourselves and didn't socialize much. The list of people who could have influenced my outlooks on such things is very short - my parents. I have no doubt where this bias came from. It came from my mother. It reflected her feelings on the subject. She had a very dim view of beer gardens, saloons and dance halls and by some mechanism her views transferred to me. I picked up her opinions on them just by the way she spoke of them, her tone of voice, etc. She had her strong feelings and her strong feelings transferred to me. I may have confirmed intellectually her opinions in my own mind, there may have been some intellectual process in taking on her views, they may have seemed quite reasonable and justified to me, but her prejudices transferred to me by a process almost like osmosis. I grew up in a home where the climate was a morally clean one and the attitudes, outlooks and values of the home transfered to me without a lot of examination. I acquired these attitudes, outlooks and values not because I was taught them, but just by being in an environment where they were the accepted standard. Some things were right and other things were wrong. Some things were wholesome and good and other things were low, bad and despicable. From the standards of my home I developed a love for the wholesome, clean and good and a strong dislike for the low, bad and despicable. The same thing occurred in regard to language. I was biased against cursing and low language from my early youth. The bias came from the same source. Where did these values of my home come from? They came from Christianity. They are Christian values. After we started attending a church, the church reinforced these values (it was also against all these things). I grew up in a home that was opposed to not only drinking, cursing and bad language but also to dancing, gambling and card playing. I acquired these values and outlooks and carried them into adulthood. I have since examined the values of my youth and, for the most part, still subscribe to them. Not everyone who grows up in a clean, Christian home with high moral standards becomes a clean, high- principled person. Very often friends, the "crowd", turns their minds and values and they go down a bad road. It usually starts in the teen years. They start going with bad friends and going in bad ways in the teen years. Their morals become corrupted and they become unprincipled, low people. People usually pick up the outlooks, attitudes and values of people they want the approval of. When I was a young boy I picked up the outlooks, attitudes and values of my parents because I wanted their approval. I respected them and their values. A young gregarious teenager picks up the attitudes, outlooks and values of that group that he wants the approval of. He conforms to their mind to win their acceptance. Most people want the acceptance and approval of the crowd so they pick up the outlooks, attitudes and values of the crowd. Most teens want the acceptance and approval of the crowd so they take on the attitudes, outlooks and values of the crowd. The vast majority of people (i.e. the "crowd") just have no conception of the high moral standards of the type on which I was raised. Their language is low, their ways are low, their morals are low. Oct 2010 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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