The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SCIENCE! v. choice and the joys of a well-connected punch

Anybody remember when Mike Tyson turned cannibal?

Know anyone who is a kleptomaniac?

Howzabout someone with CDO? That's obsessive-compulsive disorder, but the letters are in the correct order. Check this research out.

Anudderun for yaClinical Depression.

Run this train back to Mike Tyson. Mr. Tyson also remarked, after landing a haymaker on his former wife, that he enjoyed hurting people. Some folks recoiled in disgust. Some other folks just nodded their heads because they too enjoy hurting other people.

Wanna know something else? I will tell you. It's normal.

Yes huh. According to the latest DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) it is normal. This is SCIENCE! Ok, so it is SCIENCE! that a bunch of shrinks vote on and whatever gets the most votes is the way it is. Still SCIENCE! You don't get to decide what is SCIENCE! and what ain't SCIENCE! unless you are one of the people with a Ph.D. and years of experience in that specific field.

Unless you are a true skeptic and say "this is what we know right now and it may change by the end of the day, which means we'll never know absolutely." 

Now that I thoroughly shocked, annoyed and irritated both of my readers, lemme get to the point.

Most intelligent people don't look at someone with Clinical Depression and say "You just need to lighten up." Or get over it, find something happy, etc. etc. Most intelligent people don't tell someone with CDO that "it's just a habit you need to break."

Most intelligent people understand these are deep-seated issues found within the brain. Most intelligent people understand all the will power in the world ain't going to change things.

Unless it can, but that's another story and involves monks wearing wet bed sheets sitting in 0° temps on the side of the mountain in the snow. But that's also not SCIENCE! according to the people who believe SCIENCE! is the word and the only word.

Recently, SCIENCE! announced a lot of behaviors are genetically linked. Ah so. We've known, excuse me, SCIENCE! has known for a lot longer that certain behaviors are absolutely linked to the brain. The late James Brady is the most famous case of this. In both cases, all the will power in the world ain't gonna change things.

The mountain of evidence grows that humans are hard-wired in certain ways.

Yet, we still have people who demand the hard-wiring be accepted and then turn around and demand someone change because they should be able to. Violence and the tendency to violence come to mind. Sexual habits also come to mind.

Some people will say sexual choice is hard wired, but the tendency to violence is a personal choice.

SCIENCE! increasingly says this is such a hard and fast decision, but is leaning seriously toward the hard wired part. Some SCIENCE! says we are definitely hard-wired and choice is not going to change things.

If we side with SCIENCE! then people who act in serial ways (serial killer, serial rapist, serial politician, etc.) cannot do otherwise. They are going to be that way and nothing short of confinement away from victims will stop this. Well, short of brain surgery (see Mr. Brady above) or extreme chemical manipulation, things won't change.

If we side with the will power crowd, then anyone can change. Your choice to be gay, straight, a thief, a liar, etc. Tighten up or loosen up, but quit whining either way. You decide who and what you want to be.

Pick a side. I'm good either way.

If you insist both modalities are correct, then how can you reconcile them? Sure, some "tendencies" can be overridden. Addicts can walk away from their addiction, but the urge will always be there. But what about the other stuff? If sexual orientation is a choice, then so is the orientation to hurt people. If sexual orientation is not a choice, then the drive to see people hurting is not a choice either.

Add to this, what happens to a person who denies their fundamental nature? If that urge is seated deeply enough, it's going to be expressed anyway. SCIENCE! says so anyway.


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