Monday, August 13, 2012

Guest Post: An Object of Miscellany

Well, ask and you shall receive :-)  I have been soliciting guest posts as a means of getting conversations moving in new and fascinating directions, and I've already gotten two.  Yay!  This post is written by Kenny Martin, who possess wisdom far beyond his years (we've had some very philosophical conversations via Facebook).  I'm going to respond to Kenny's post below it, but Kenny and I would both to hear your thoughts on this.  Oh, and keep the guest posts rolling in ... I'm feeling very re-energized :-)

Those against whom the fractiously tailored lives have gone, those who have been bequeathed without regard or piety, megrims, have another fault to lay blame upon aside from self. 

The genomic convolution and, by extension, the scientific methodologies at large have been partitioned as another of the archetypical points upon which the generation of the current day can relinquish both their hopes and their fears. 

There is a new absolution, and it is not contrived from spiritualism nor worship but from logicalities and concreteness. 

However, what, if anything, could be derived from this whether it be rooted in maleficence or benignity? 

The answer, I feel, is a drastic although not inevitable paradigm shift during which we choose between the subjective outlooks and the objective doctrines thereby conforming to one as a whole. However, people are not invariant, but to gauge the societal model as a whole would be the proving grounds as to acquiesce with which one reigns as the predominant model as of late. 

To speak with brevity, I will offer but one question: to which do you adhere and where does the populous as a whole reside?
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(It's me--Katie--again).

I was having a very similar discussion with a group of English teachers last week ... the idea of fate vs. free will, but when you add science into it, it brings a whole different dimension.

So can you blame your genetic makeup for how your life turns out?  Is that any different than blaming any sort of higher power you might believe in?  Different from saying, "Everyone's an asshole but me, and the world is out to get me?"

I, for one, don't think so.

It's funny, we were discussing "Fate" and "Free Will" on a 1-10 scale (in terms of whose fault it was that Oedipus wound up with the fate he did), and I fell much closer to the "Fate" end than most people ... but I believe strongly in free will as well (in other words, there are some things you just can't do a damn thing about, but how you handle events like death or natural disasters or the stock market or whatever is completely and totally up to you).

When you add in the gene factor, I don't think my mindset would be much different.  

You're handed a hand of cards in life ... how you play them is up to you.  If you are genetically predisposed to alcoholism, for example, it doesn't guarantee that you'll be an alcoholic.  If your genes call you to dark places, you can still choose to search for the sun (or take medication).  

I am also, as someone incapable of adding two digit numbers without using my fingers and only made it through the science-based parts of my schooling because my sister grew up to have a PhD in a field of biology, doubtful of "logicalities and concreteness".  I mean, it was "proven" at one point that the world was flat.  Thalidomide was given the scientific world's seal of approval.  And so on.  

So I don't think that the greater world is going to be surprised by any sort of scientific explanation for human behavior.  I'd even go so far as to say it won't change a thing, except possibly increasing the entitlement complex that permeates our culture.

I go back to alcoholism.  I don't mean to sound insensitive, but that "It's a disease" line only goes so far.  When you lie about everything, when you bully the crap out of the one person that has made Herculean efforts to salvage your relationship with your child despite your best efforts to self-sabotage, when you blame everybody else about the situation that you put yourself in, when you refuse to take treatment seriously (such as claiming to be on the "making amends" steps when in reality you haven't admitted to yourself that someone as freaking God-like as you could *possibly* be an alcoholic) ... you know, grow a set, man up, and get over yourself.  There is alcoholism in my genes as well (a lot, actually ... damn Irish ;-)), and I've managed to avoid it; somehow I've been able to take responsibility for my life and mistakes instead of drinking myself into a stupor to avoid reality (and then lying about drinking myself into a stupor to further avoid reality) ... well, I guess this rant should probably end because the point has been made.  

One of my best friends has a life slogan: "PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)".  That is how I try to live my life (I do fail epically at times, although I've gotten much better).  I think that mindset is much stronger than any sort of scientific propensities.