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Predisposition


non conformist
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Ok....Here is my rant about these supposed predispositions we have as human beings. Apparently some people are under the impression that we are born with hard-coded behaviors, emotions, and attitudes which have been, and always will be. For instance, it's believed by some that we are predisposed to worship...that it's in our genetic componement, since some form of it has been done throughout recorded history. Although this poses a great argument (one that I personally never shy away from), the same argument can be made about innumerable behaviors that, generally all people share; or so it seems. Generally, most people want families, we want to be useful, to be fulfilled; we all have hopes, dreams, desires, etc. But those things are not shared universally...and if we didn't have those things, including the "need" to worship or believe in some greater force, our species would still survive. Perhaps it wouldn't thrive, but survive it would.

 

However, I do believe in predisposition. I think we are all born with two very indespensible, geneticlly hard-coded needs, without which we cease to exist...we all need substinance, and we all need love...we seek both from the moment we take our first breath; they both go beyond instinct to become the two forces that ensure our survival...which in itself is the ultimate predisposition.

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I think there is some truth to the idea that we are predisposed toward certain things. This is an old subject that goes back to Spinoza at least.

 

We do have free will, but free will has it's limits. My understanding of Spinoza's argument is that we have free will to move our thumb any which way we wish yet the movements of our thumb are still bound by the laws of nature for thumbs. That is, we can't make our thumb float break free from our hand and float up to the ceiling.

 

Tigers, for example, have a certain amount of free will, yet tigers are predisposed to a certain nature as well. Tigers don't determine to stop killing their food and resort to vegetarianism, yet at the same time, tigers roam at will within certain limits. Humans are a bit more complicated, yet we to have certain qualities that follow laws of nature. We follow those laws more than we care to admit I think.

 

I don't, however, think that humans are predisposed toward worship. I know at least I have no desire to worship anything. Perhaps atheist types are outliers, but at least we disprove the idea that all people have this quality.

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Personally, worship always seemed a little strange to me. I mean conceptually, i've never felt compelled to worship anyone or anything for any reason. When I was first told about God I was also taught I should worship him but I didn't really get it. Seems to me the purpose of worship is really just an ego-boost for the worshipee, otherwise I don't really see the purpose.

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mmmm, there is a definite balance between nature and nurture. We have instincts and so on, and tendencies. I have seen religion explained more appropriately as a need to believe our elders when we are young. In a childlike state we believe what we are told because to question whether the crocs are dangerous is not a good survival trait! Its just when we are older we must critically reason. Religion tends to take us when we are in this childlike state, e.g. childhood or serious mental anguish and loss. When we are lost and scared, religion says "just believe this and everything will be alright". Many people have different tendencies but many basic instincts such as survival, food, etc. are very much ingrained in us all. Not all are benificial to us or others in a modern society, e.g. eat fat and sugar whenever you can to prepare for the hard times which no longer occur, or spread your genes as widely as possible, which doesn't exactly help in a marriage. Being animals capable of abstract thought, however, we can work out which of these instincts to follow and which to ignore. The religous amung us would call this temptation.

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