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llamprou's picture

Genes

I agree with Sophie that the only way we can piece apart ones behavior is by 'understanding the interaction of genes and their contribution to various mental states', however I feel it is also important to recognize that a wide variety of mental states are not at all gene related, and that a vast majority of mental states that are can be treated with a variety of different medications. Does this make nature less of a problem than nurture?

I believe that most mental states that are considered detrimental are caused by ones environment and not necessarily their genes. It is helpful to know for a statistical stand point whether or not an individual has a higher probability to develop a specific mental illness but I do not believe that genes alone can take the blame.

I was just thinking about how often individuals who have committed horrible and unspeakable crimes plead temporary insanity or mental instability. Is it fair to justify ones actions based on their unbalanced mental state – caused by their genes – something those individuals had no control over? Does the definition of insanity and mental instability differ?

After running this idea of ‘gene blame’ over and over in my head I have decided that I do not think enough is known about genetics and the genes responsible for specific mental illnesses to sustain such an argument.

Perhaps I always thought of genes affecting an individual more physiologically that mentally or emotionally. And perhaps I believe that nurture is more important than nature, and this is incredibly shocking to me because I am a die-hard biology major and am writing a genetics thesis. So I’ll just stop here and try to figure out more in class on Monday! My lord this post has confused me and what I think and believe entirely!


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