The Topic Of Self Determinism Essay

The Topic Of Self Determinism Essay

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The topic of self-determinism is one that is very important to both Christianity and Psychology. For years it’s been debated whether or not we make our own choices and decide our own fate, or whether we are just a product of God’s detailed plan or our genetic make-up. The Bible seems to state that we are both responsible for our actions and limited by factors outside our control. In this paper I will succinctly state three claims the Bible makes about self-determinism and then evaluate three developmental theories on the basis of these criteria.
The first principle we can derive from scripture is that we do choose what we do and we are responsible for our actions. Support for this principle can be found in Genesis 3:22 in which we see that we have knowledge of both good and evil. Because we know both good and evil, we have the power to choose to do good or to do evil. The whole notion of sin is based on the fact that we are deliberately choosing to do what God commands us not to do. Without choice there would be no consequence to sin.
The second principle we can derive from scripture is that we are limited and affected by our parents’ decisions – both mistakes and achievements. Support for this Biblical principle can be found in Proverbs 22:6 where we can see that parents’ teachings and training determine whether or not children will stray from a moral path. We can also see the negative affects of parents’ decisions in Exodus 20:5 where children will be punished for the wrongdoings of their parents even before the children have been born.
The third principle we can derive from scripture is that we are limited and enhanced by our natural, God-given gifts – or genes in psychological terms. Support for this Biblical principle ca...

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.... Because genes and environment are working in unison, our genes have a large impact on the choices we make, and are also influenced by the choices we make. In macrogenetics these choices would affect our ability for survival, and in microgenetics they would affect how we act in daily situations, but are important for both theories.
All of these theories of development have something to offer in a present-day look at developmental psychology, and even in a Biblical context. I believe epigenetic systems theory fits the best as it fits all the Biblical criteria fairly well. Psychoanalytic theory is the second best theory because it fits the first two criteria, and while it most likely disagrees with the third, this is not a firm assertion. The worst fit for Biblical criteria is learning theory because it completely discounts much of the uniqueness we are given by God.

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